I am one of the worst when it comes to keeping my email address book up to date. I never add in new people I meet or get emails from. This means my auto-complete never works, and I always forget who is who. I’m sure I’m not the first one with this problem, and I’m sure I won’t be the last.
I have found a solution to the problem, and it comes in the form of a Thunderbird extension called Email Address Crawler. It will crawl your inbox, outbox or any other folder you have for emails that aren’t in your address book. This way you can make sure to add all of your new contacts quickly.
After you install Email Address Crawler, all you have to do is right click on the folder you want to look through. There will be an option to in your menu to crawl through the email addresses in that folder.
After clicking this option, a window will pop up that gives you options for the search parameters. This helps you refine the search of, in this case, your inbox.
As you can see, I elected to search the To and From fields in order to maximize my results. You can also choose the CC options, but I decided not to since I don’t get very many emails with anyone CCed. You’ll also want to set the number of occurrences you are looking for. If you set it too low, you might bring back spam emails or emails from people you don’t care about. I went with three occurrences, because I thought that if I had interacted with someone that much they are worthy of being in my address book.
You’ll also want to select which address book these new contacts will go to. I selected a new address book that I called ‘Crawled Contacts’. The reason behind this is that you aren’t given the choice of adding certain contacts. This will allow me to go through the contacts before I add them to my main address book.
Clicking OK will just about immediately add whatever contacts it found to your address book. I tend to delete a lot of my emails, so I didn’t come up with very many contacts. Really, the only contacts that showed up were just another of my own emails.
This is a prime example of why you would want to have an intermediate folder to add the new contacts to.
Email Address Crawler is a great extension for Thunderbird, but it is only as good as how many emails you have in your folders. If you are like me and delete most of your emails, you may not get lots of value from it. However, if you have an overflowing inbox, this could be a great tool that will beef up your address book very quickly.
If you know of any other tools that extracts email addresses like Address Crawler does, please let us know about them in the comments.
As a Thunderbird user you might be also iterested in recently published 10 Great ThunderBird Addons You Must Have.