I have been playing around with Thunderbird a lot recently and looking at features and extensions to improve daily work productivity. I already started using Lightning and ThreadVis
One issue that had troubled me for many years was that every morning when I read through my hundreds of daily emails, I wanted to mark some of them to follow up on later on. These were emails that I did want to respond to, but not right now. What I wanted was a feature where I could keep these emails somewhere and get back to them easily. One feature that I do love of Thunderbird was to open emails in multiple tabs. But this is only good if you are working on them right now. If you think they will remain open when you start your computer after a weekend, well they wont.

So the next thing I thought I would use were the tags, since intuitively they already had put in a TO DO tag there. Problem was that the TO DO tag was not clickable, so there was no easy way to see all messages tagged TO DO. Also the notion of searching messages with TO DO tags every time I wanted to review my to do list was not a good way of doing things. You may argue that I could have used the “Convert to -> Task” feature, but the issue with that is it does not link it to the original email, which loses much needed information not to mention attachments.

I stumbled upon a nice little feature in Thunderbird called “Saved Searches”. Using this, I can create a virtual folder in my Local Folders that says TO DO Emails and has all my mails marked TODO. All you need to do is

  1. Edit -> Find -> Search Messages
  2. Select “Search for messages in = Local Folders” (or your desired folders, I did this because I use tags on my sent emails as well)
  3. In filters select “Tags” “Contains” “To Do”
  4. Hit Search (check if the right messages show up)
  5. On the bottom, click on “Save as Search Folder”
  6. In the popup give it a name “To Do Emails”

That is it! Now you have a new folder that has all your To Do tagged emails at easy access. You can create any number of custom tags for your need and create folder to view them instantly.

For more details please see
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Saved_Search
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Tags

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