Three Thunderbird Add-ons that will Boost Your Productivity

First off, I’d like to thank Marcio, AKA Starboy, for suggesting a few of these add-ons, and for suggesting the topic of add-ons, sometimes called extensions, for Firefox and Thunderbird. As promised, today we’ll dive into three Thunderbird add-ons that will help make your tech life easier.

As I did for the Firefox add-ons article, I will link directly to the add to Thunderbird option for you.

Send Later

The Send Later Thunderbird extension allows you to write an email message and then tell Thunderbird when you want it to be sent. The message is then saved back into your Drafts folder, and delivered at approximately the specified time. Once you add Send Later to Thunderbird, you can send an email at a specified time by going into the file menu, then clicking or entering on the send later option. You can also just hit CONTROL+SHIFT+ENTER. A dialog box will spring to life asking you when you would like to send the email. You can either enter a time to send the email in a text box, such as “tomorrow”, or “the day after tomorrow”, or use the drop-down boxes to do the same thing. Once the data is entered correctly, you can just press the ENTER key or press CONTROL+ENTER to schedule the great sendoff!

There are also several preset buttons that will automatically select to send your email 15 minutes, 30 minutes, or two hours from now. Note that these presets can be accessed via the keyboard by pressing CONTROL+1, CONTROL+2, and CONTROL+3 respectively. You also have the option of sending an email as a recurring email message.

Lastly, this dialog box will allow you to set scheduling options as a default so that you don’t have to change settings if you know that you are always likely to need to send an email at a specific time, say, between 9 AM and 2 PM on Mondays. Something like this can be done by using the word “Now” in the text box, then checking the appropriate options. You can then save that as the default, and whenever you bring up the scheduling dialog box, you have the option of running your pre-built scheduling options.

Note that some email servers discard the headers that indicate your scheduling preferences. If this happens, you will need to tell Thunderbird to use the drafts folder under the local folders tree. To do this, you will need to edit your Thunderbird email account settings to select a different drafts folder under the Copies Folder options.

Quick Folder Key Navigation

This add-on is another set and forget extension. It simply allows you to navigate through your email folders by pressing the first letter or two of the folder you want to jump to. This is great because Thunderbird does not provide this functionality out of the box. This is also a source of frustration for some screen reader users, me included. Add Quick Folder Key Navigation to Thunderbird to enable this functionality.

Quick Folder Move

This extension is also a nice set and forget option that allows you to quickly move or copy emails to specific folders. This is also an area that Thunderbird lacks. Add Quick Folder Move to Thunderbird to get this functionality. The following keyboard commands are available:

  • SHIFT+M opens a context menu that allows you to move the currently selected messages to another folder
  • SHIFT+Y opens a context menu that allows you to copy the currently selected messages to another folder
  • SHIFT+G opens a context menu that allows you to navigate to the folder you’ve entered

Then enter parts of the folder you want to move/copy the message to. Pressing ENTER will move the message to the first entry in the search results. If you’d rather use the context menus, the Move To/Copy To context menus have also been modified to include the quick folder move menu.

Now Upgrade Your Thunderbird!

I hope this has helped you make Thunderbird work better for you. These extensions scratch an itch that many people have expressed while using the Thunderbird email client.

Until next time… Qapla!

1 thought on “Three Thunderbird Add-ons that will Boost Your Productivity”

  1. This is the kind of web-friendly awesomeness that keeps me coming back! I’m totally loving the quick folder navigation (and yes it works on my Linux laptop, lol). And I haven’t looked at the others yet, but I’m sure your instructions will be a big help as always! 🙂

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