More than a year back, Aibek wrote a great list of 35 must-have thunderbird addons. Since then, a lot of great addons have been created and some of the older addons have also evolved to become better ones.
As such, it is time for us to re-visit the list of Thunderbird addons and update our readers with the latest list of must-have Thunderbird addons. (If you never heard of Thunderbird before, it’s an email client from Mozilla, just like Microsoft’s Outlook but a lot more customizable.)
1. Lightning and its related addons
If you are looking to use Thunderbird to replace your Outlook (or Evolution in Linux), then Lightning is a must-have extension. It adds calendar and task management capabilities to Thunderbird and allows you to manage your daily schedule all within Thunderbird.
At the same time, there are also several Lightning-related extensions that further enhances the functionality and capabilities of Lightning.
- ThunderBirthday and MoreFunctionsForAddressBook: MoreFunctionsForAddressBook is an extension that increases the number of fields that you can include in your address book. You now have the option to include the birthday, photo ID, spouse name etc. ThunderBirthday, on the other hand, extracts birthday information from your address book and updates it to the Lightning. With this, you don’t have to manually enter the birthday entry in your Lightning and you won’t ever forget your best friend’s birthday again.
.vcs support: This extension allows you to export your Lightning entries to .vcs format. Currently it only supports .ics, .csv and .htm format.
Remember The Milk Integration: This is still an experiemental addon, but it is in no way inferior than the rest. If you love Remember The Milk, then you are going to love this extension as well. As its name implies, this extension will integrate and sync RTM with Lightning.
When someone sends you a link, wouldn’t it be great if you can open the link and browse the Web right within your Thunderbird? Thunderbrowse is here just to serve that purpose. After you have installed this extension, whenever you click on a link within your mail, the message pane will become a full-fledged browser and allow you to view the website without having to open up a browser window.
If you are like me who always corresponds with partners all around the world, you will appreciate the usefulness of Foxclock. Foxclock is an extension that lets you keep watch of the time around the world by putting small clocks in your statusbar. Next time when you send an email to your partner, you will know why he doesn’t reply to you instantly. He could most probably be sleeping in his country.
In addition, Foxclocks also integrates well with Google Earth. If you don’t know where Budapest is, simply right click and choose ‘Google Earth…’. It will bring you to where it is.
Quicktext is useful for several purposes:
1. It allows you to create templates so that you don’t have to spend lot of time replying repetitive emails.
2. It allows you to create multiple signatures and insert them accordingly to the person you are sending to.
3. It allows you to substitute specific text with a predefined variable, such as [[TO=firstname]]
If you are one who has to send repetitive emails all the time, this extension is the one that you must have.
Thunderbird Biff checks your email in the background and notifies you (in Firefox or Sunbird) when new mail has arrived. To get this extension to work, you will need to install the Thunderbird Biff server version of Thunderbird and the client version in Firefox/Sunbird. Once it is installed, it will display an icon at the status bar. Whenever a new mail has arrived, the icon will pop up and notify you.
6. Sync Kolab
Sync Kolab uses the Kolab technology to synchronize your address book and calendar (Lightning) with several other computers and platform. Basically, it makes use of an IMAP server to do the synchronization. It supports vCard/iCal/xml format and is compatible with a lot of other mail/calendar clients.
Auto Address Cleaner cleans up your address field and eliminates any chances of offending the recipients by using wrong (possibly mistyped in the address book) names in the To/Cc fields. Instead of displaying the name of the recipient, it will only show their email address.
8. Google-related addons
For those who are fans of Google apps or you simply can’t live without Google, here are some of the extensions that integrates Google apps into Thunderbird.
- Gmail IMAP setup – enables you to setup Gmail IMAP account with almost zero configuration.
Google Contact – synchronizes Thunderbird with Google contacts.
Provider for Google Calendar – allows bi-directional sync between Lightning and Google Calendar.
Have you ever sent an email and realized that you didn’t attach a file to it? The Check and Send extension checks your message content, subject and address before you send the message. You can define a specified keyword for it to look out for (such as ‘attachment’, ‘attached files’) and inform you when no attachment was found. You can also use it to check if certain words exist in the message or if the recipient is in the address book.
10. Tags Toolbar
Are you missing your favorite tags in Gmail? You can have it now. Tag Toolbar allows you to add tags for your email. You can define your own tags, specify the color and there is a nice toolbar that makes it easy for you to tag your emails.
Do check out Aibek’s article for the other 35 must have Thunderbird addons.
Also, don’t forget to download the Thunderbird cheat sheet that contains plenty of excellent shortcuts for Thunderbird users. Highly recommended.
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