One feature I like very much about Opera Mail is that you can have learnable filters for any purpose. So not only can you filter spam messages but also messages that your friends sent you or info mails from web platforms without having to enter each and every mail address you want to filter. It actually works quite satisfying and you can combine it with string filtering, too. It does a few mistakes in the beginning but then improves quickly after you have removed some of the false positives.

However, there are a couple of drawbacks with the Opera Mail module.

The filters are only ‘virtual’. So, with IMAP there is no easy way of mirroring the filtered structure back on the server and when I’m using webmail I’ll see the whole unfiltered mess in the inbox folder.

Opera’s not using the OS X address book — and neither does it use ldap (which is not too important for me at the moment).

So, I’m not specifically looking for a Thunderbird solution here, a way to fix things in Opera or Apple Mail should do as well. Or some other E-Mail program I don’t even know about yet. (So, to be clear, I’d like to have: OS X Address Book integration, Learnable filters for any type of filtering, Ability to push filtered folder structure to the IMAP server) But I thought like, if it is possible then most probably there would be an add-on for Thunderbird available.

Any ideas?


There's the (experimental) TaQuilla extension: http://mesquilla.com/extensions/taquilla/

It requires a nightly/beta version of Thunderbird 3.0.

It seems to operate similar to your description of how Opera Mail works. However, if your IMAP server supports storing tags properly it might get you some way towards what you're looking for.

There's a related discussion here: http://mesquilla.com/forum/taquilla/storing-tags-on-the-server/

It might be worth leaving a message explaining your use case there to see what the author thinks about it.

  • Ah. That one sounds quite interesting. Too bad it doesn’t work with the latest beta yet either. But I’ll have a further look at it. – Debilski Oct 13 '09 at 17:54
  • I must say, the plugin looks quite good. It’s not exactly what I’ve been looking for but it’s usable when you have not too many categories. It’s just that Thunderbird has still some serious UI flaws that prevent me from switching. If they only had these Add-Ons for Mail.app. – Debilski Mar 4 '10 at 19:52

From An introduction to Thunderbird, part 5 :

One of the best features about Thunderbird is the spam (junk) mail filter. Thunderbird has a built-in filter which can be adjusted and tuned in for your own pleasure. You may need to spend a week or two training it what's spam and what's not spam, but it will be worth it. :)

  • Yeah, that’s what a spam filter is about. But I’m looking for an automatic, learnable filter which can distinguish between mails from friends and mails from work and so on. As far as I know, Thunderbird’s original filter only does the spam part. – Debilski Oct 13 '09 at 13:57

If you're willing to use a third-party tool, POPFile can probably handle the filtering options you're looking for. However, it won't help you with keeping your local email client's folder structure in synch with that of your webmail client, and I don't know of anything that can. If there is such a tool, I'd like to know about it also.

  • Hmm. That one seems to only work with POP3 and not with IMAP. – Debilski Oct 13 '09 at 17:48

For Mail.app in Snow Leopard there is MailHub which also uses some heuristics to classify items.

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