“A nearly impenetrable thicket of geekitude…”

Thunderbird 2

The big green one was always my favourite, you never knew what was in the pod.

In this case, though, I come to sing the praises not of a hypersonic airborne truck but of the second major version of the Thunderbird e-mail client. For me, it has two new must-have features that fit in really well with the way I work:

  • You can have replies filed in the same folder as the original message.

  • There’s a folder view that just shows folders with new messages.

I have a lot of message filters active that file incoming mail into per-topic folders. Knowing which I need to look at, and not having to re-file outgoing replies, will save me a lot of time.

The one “gotcha” so far has been that some of the key bindings have been changed, at least on the Mac. In particular Shift-Pretzel-M no longer creates a new message, but instead moves the currently selected message to the last folder you moved something to… hilarity ensues. After some initial cursing along the lines of “where on earth did that message disappear to”, obviously.

Ian, after a few months of testing, I’ve actually moved my domains to the free Google Apps for Domains. Although there are a few disadvantages, the advantages seem to outweigh them. Definitely good filtering and searching, it would probably do what you want above.


— Graham Toal on April 23, 2007

Thanks. By coincidence I was looking at Google Apps for Domains just the other day, so it is interesting to have the recommendation.

My existing e-mail configuration is way too complicated, and needs to be trimmed back. Unfortunately, I use the offline abilities of Thunderbird a fair bit, so unless my work habits change I probably need to stick with a desktop client for a while yet.

— Ian Young on April 23, 2007