With Thunderbird 3 rapidly approaching, I figured now would be a great time to give it another try — especially since I’m trying to find ways to get better organized with my email. In particular, I want to start tagging messages to keep track of items that require follow-up, or that have been followed-up on already.
I installed Thunderbird 3 beta 2, and almost immediately ran into my first hiccup. I prefer to read every message in its own window. Thunderbird does support this. However, clicking the delete button to delete the message you’re reading doesn’t delete the message and close the window, the way you’d expect. Instead, it deletes the message and loads up another one into the same window.
I don’t want this behavior. To me, it’s counterintuitive. Fortunately, I found that there’s a bug filed on this, and that bug has a patch even — which works even today, despite being a very old patch. So I built myself my own copy of Thunderbird (Shredder, actually) with this patch applied. Awesome.
Now I’m left with two problems:
First, it appears that when you apply tags to messages, those tags don’t get stored onto the IMAP server so that you can see them from other computers. This severely limits their usefulness.
Second, there continues to be no way that I can find to view all my unread messages in a single list, instead of having to flip from one inbox to another. I find this very frustrating.
Those are the two reasons why I guess I’m watching back (once again) to Apple Mail, despite it also not having integrated tagging support. I may try the MailTags add-on for Mail, to see if it does the job for me.
There are other minor quibbles I have — things that would certainly not drive me away from Thunderbird, but don’t help either. These include things like not having any obvious way to get rid of the tab bar (I don’t personally have any interest in tabbed mail, although I see the value for others).
Thunderbird keeps getting closer to being what I want in mail, but there’s still stuff left to do, so I’ll just be patient and keep trying it now and then.