I'm currently using Outlook 2007 (under windows 7), but I much prefer free software (open source being the best of course), so I thought I'd ask for expert advice here.

I thought it might be easier if I included a small "wanted list":

  • I receive about 15 to 30 e-mails every day, but I have large archives (>10'000 emails), which I frequently need to access.
  • I usually open and close my mail program many times, so I'd like it to start pretty fast
  • I cannot use an online mailbox, because I have too many email addresses (about 5: 1 for work, 1 for home, 1 semi-private, 1 for specific emails, and 1 for newletters

By order of importance, the things I'd like my mail client to be able to:

  1. Efficiently categorize e-mails. Until now, I've mostly been using Outlook folders, because filtering by tags was not easy, but I'd rather one large list of mails, neatly tagged so I can easily filter. I'd love being able to select mails by tags (eg in a click or too (could be a tab) show all mails tagged with "software")
  2. Create "tagging rules", such as "if the mail was sent to this address, add this tag", or "if the body contains ..., add that tag"
  3. Sync contacts with Gmail, handle tasks (syncing with toodledo would be awesome), possibly provide a calendar
  4. Create e-mail templates, signatures...

Other ideas: A timeline, scripting support, being able to import MS Outlook emails, provide a nice backup format...

Thanks for sharing ideas and suggestions!

  • All of the things above are easily done with Outlook 2007 except, perhaps 3, which I've never tried to do. but anyhow. Check out Thunderbird IMHO.
    – Jeff F.
    Feb 1 '11 at 14:39
  • 3 is fine, but I can't filter by tags with outlook (did I miss something?)
    – Clément
    Feb 1 '11 at 14:53
  • You sure can, I do this all the time, it's great. I use Tags= 1-high 2- med 3 - low. Right click up in the top bar (where it is sorted by date) and select categories. You can even go into custom and sort different ways. I have it Grouped By Categories then sorted by Flag status then by date.
    – Jeff F.
    Feb 1 '11 at 15:19
  • Sure, but I was searching for an easy way to show only messages having the tags "software" and "feature requests" for example, and just after that switch to the ones with "travel", and finally show everything again.
    – Clément
    Feb 1 '11 at 16:10

Correct state would be: "There is Thunderbird, and others."

All of those features you stated I am using on a regular basis, apart from templates, which should be present anyways. Also, there is a huge amount of absolutely free add-ons.

  • Thunderbird has tasks? And tag filters?
    – Clément
    Feb 1 '11 at 14:53
  • 3
    Thunderbird has tasks/todos, quite flexible message filters, and a calendar as a separate add-on, called Lightning: mozilla.org/projects/calendar/lightning Feb 1 '11 at 14:56
  • I use Thunderbird on my Windows laptop, and it's much better than Outlook. Far quicker, and I think is easier to use. Except I had a lot of trouble setting up SMTP setting. Thunderbird will try to do this automatically (which it can't do). Be aware of this :) Feb 2 '11 at 16:48

Opera has a built-in mail client. It will not make todo and tasks but it does tag filters and runs very fast. I have like 5000 e-mails in my box and searching goes INSTANTLY.

If you just choose the top folder it will show ALL e-mails and in which tag filter they were sorted into, just like you said.


Tagging, processing rules, tasks, etc. are all available in TrulyMail. I switched over from Thunderbird a while ago and really prefer it.

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