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Summary:

Thunderbird, Mozilla’s email client, is a favorite of many web workers because it’s free, open source and feels faster, lighter and more efficient than Microsoft Outlook. But did you know that, like Firefox, Thunderbird has a wide range of free add-ons available that can enhance your […]

Thunderbird, Mozilla’s email client, is a favorite of many web workers because it’s free, open source and feels faster, lighter and more efficient than Microsoft Outlook. But did you know that, like Firefox, Thunderbird has a wide range of free add-ons available that can enhance your email experience by customizing the app to your liking?

I recently moved to a new computer, which compelled me to revisit my Thunderbird add-ons. Here’s a list of my favorites. I’ve put them into a WebWorkerDaily Thunderbird Collection to make it easy for you to find them all.

AttachmentExtractor: Adds more power to Thunderbird’s attachment management feature. With AttachmentExtractor, you can save all of the attachments to an email to frequently-used folders. You can also save all, delete all and detach all files, rather than having to do it one-by-one.

Attachment Extractor

Enhance attachment management with Attachment Extractor

Attachment Reminder: Most of us will have sent an email from where we have forgotten to include an attachment. Attachment Reminder looks for the presence or certain keywords (attachment, attach, etc.) in the text of your email. If the keyword is present but no file is attached when you go to send the email,  a window will pop up, asking if you need to attach a file.

Check and Send: Checks for keywords in the message body before sending, so can perform the same role as Attachment Reminder; which one you use is a matter of preference.

Contacts Sidebar: Adds a sidebar containing your contacts list for faster access.

Disable Drag and Drop: This genius feature stops you from accidentally moving one folder into another. I’ve had this happen to me before. If you need to move your folders around, disable the feature and then enable it again (you’ll need restart Thunderbird after disabling and enabling).

eMarks: This add-on enables you to bookmark important emails for later reading.

Lightning: Adds a calendar feature to Thunderbird. If you use Google Calendar, Lightning can sync with it, with a little help from Provider for Google Calendar.

Lightning Calendar for Thunderbird

Lightning adds a calendar to Thunderbird

LookOut: Have you ever received an email that has an attachment called “winmail.dat” or “body_part”? Sometimes Outlook sends an email and puts the contents in an attached file. LookOut opens up the contents so you can read it rather than go through the complicated process of trying to convert the encoded file into English.

Nostalgy: Improved productivity by creating keyboard shortcuts to instantly change folders, move messages into a specific folder, change between the To, CC and BCC fields, use folder name auto-completion, and more.

Quote Collapse: If you’re bothered by excessive quoting in emails or newsgroup posts, this add-on can help you by automatically collapsing them. You can expand them again by clicking on them.

Signature Switch: An icon appears on the toolbar instant switching between email signatures. You can also set up auto-switching by recipient.

I install new add-ons one at a time rather than a bunch in one sitting. This way I can test each add-on to ensure it works before adding another. Also, before downloading an add-on, remember to verify its compatibility with your version of Thunderbird.

What are your favorite Thunderbird add-ons?

  1. [...] 10 Useful Thunderbird Add-ons for Almost Everybody [...]

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  2. Marcus Bostleton Monday, August 3, 2009

    I use the Zindus addon to sync Google contacts with Thunderbird: http://www.zindus.com/faq-thunderbird-google/

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  3. [...] Worker Daily: 10 Useful Thunderbird Add-ons for Almost Everybody – a lot of things I yet did not know about (but so far have not looked for as [...]

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  4. I used Thunderbird and like very much but I must say that I am trapped on using MS Outlook because I really need the spell and grammar checking tools of MS Word in my email client.

    I would love to see a Thunderbird extension that had grammar functionality.

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  5. You can also sync. Thunderbird with Plaxo. http://www.plaxo.com/downloads/thunderbird

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  6. I’d also recommend Quicktext. That’s very handy for all kinds of things, even if you’re just scratching the surface and using it for greetings.

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  7. You don’t need Provider for sync Google calendar with Lightning anymore since Gcalendar supports caldav now. here is tutorial:
    http://www.google.com/support/calendar/bin/answer.py?answer=99358#sunbird

    This is for sunbird(stand alone calendar app from Mozilla), but process is same on Lightning.

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