We get a lot of technical support e-mails from clients, and sometimes the going back and forth to fix the issue can take several e-mails, and during that time, I'll get other e-mails that are unrelated to the first issue. So this means that if I sort my e-mails by Date, I'll get something like...
ISSUE #1 email ISSUE #1 email ISSUE #2 email ISSUE #1 email ISSUE #2 email ISSUE #2 email ISSUE #1 email
What I need to do, in one sentence, is group these e-mails together based on their content, not any kind of quantifier like a Date or From field. First thing that comes to mind is, Thunderbird tags. Except, the default functionality that Thunderbird has built in simply isn't made for what I have in mind. I'm talking about a separate tag for each and every issue that comes up with clients. If we say we have two issues per day for a year, we're looking at over 700 tags. So yeah, that's not going to work.
What I really need to be able to do is create custom threads of e-mails manually, so that I can take all related e-mails and build my own thread, then label the thread and give it a date. That way when I want to see all the "issues", I can get a list of the issues (custom threads), and then expand the issue to see the individual e-mails as well. BUT, by creating the custom threads, I can't eliminate each individual e-mail from other means of filtering/searching. Basically, I need two views for my e-mails: 1) show everything, unrelated to issue, and 2) show issues only, compacting the related e-mails into the issue thread.
I'm 110% open to alternatives to Thunderbird. I am aware that what I'm describing is more of like a ticketing system like OTRS, but given our environment, something on that scale isn't really possible, and I need this specifically just for me, on my PC, to manage my own e-mail.