Thunderbird offers some great additions to help you interface with your Google account a bit easier.
The Google Calendar Tab is one option bringing Google user’s calendars into the Thunderbird program. It opens the application in a separate tab for easy organization and maneuverability. However, users are complaining it doesn’t offer task management. The fact that it doesn’t yet offer that feature makes it hard for the Google Calendar to compete with an add-on like Lightening. This app offers all in one support to its users. Lightning includes a calendar as well as task management and even has available add-ons to expand its functions to Remember the Milk – which allows users to access their to do lists from anywhere – and MoreFunctionsforAddressbook – which lets users add fields to their contacts, like birthdays, photos, the name of their spouse, things like that.
The Google Contacts add-on allows connectivity across all your address books. If you have more than one Gmail account, separate address books are automatically created. Entries within each book coincide with everyone in your Google contact list. Some people who’ve tried the application though are complaining about losing their contacts in the transfer. Most say it’s best for simply viewing your contact lists.
The Gmail IMAP wizard helps you set up your account within Thunderbird. IMAP allows access to your Gmail account from programs like Thunderbird, and unlike a POP (like Yahoo) it allows access to your inbox without internet access. The Gmail IMAP app offers synchronization of all folders, including your inbox, sent folder and trash can. It does come with a warning that synchronizing special folders take some extra steps, so use caution.
One add-on all Thunderbird users – regardless of whether or not they have a Google account – can benefit from is the Check and Send function. Oftentimes, I forget to attach a file to a message before I send it, and then have to send another message to the poor recipient, thus bombarding their inbox with messages. Check and Send scans outgoing messages for attachments and content and notifies you if it senses a discrepancy.
These apps are among the few Thunderbird add-ons that can help you maximize your Thunderbird experience, and increase your productivity.