Thunderbird messages management with filters

I’m usually pretty relaxed with my emails. I don’t get too many personal ones so can manage those quite easily.The other ones I sort through daily and either delete or mark as read. If there are persistent emails from services I no longer use, or find annoying I send to junk.

I use emails to send content to myself between devices. I’m on my phone and I see an article of interest and I email it so that when I’m on my PC I can explore that content further. As this is from myself to myself I’m going to have to find some method to clean these out when I’ve finished with them. I think I’ll have to find them and send them to a folder to review, and maybe in the future use a star or something

Of late, with a lot of testing that I’ve done, I’ve had to sign up for a lot of services so that I can play with their toys. Signing up gives them your email address so they then bombard you with lots of emails.

A lot of times I don’t want to close the account, as I find another article about their service and have another look at it from a different standpoint.

So, as I’m on an automation theme, I thought I’d explore the email filters for relocating emails to a different folder from my Inbox and then managing those in another manner.

I have Hotmail, Gmail and also my own server accounts.

Thunderbird Email Manager- Filtering emails

I use Thunderbird as its great for managing emails offline. It downloads multiple accounts and has them stored.

I have, recently, been playing with my Gmail accounts but as you have to be online to use them I prefer Thunderbird as its accessible all the time.

Here is a good article on the process of setting up filters in Thunderbird.

The video below describes how to use Thunderbird Message filtering to relocate files from a specific address or by other filter options and relocate them in another folder. A good clear presentation.

I’ve decided that for my first test I will create a folder on one account and divert all the emails, based on “FROM”  “Contains” some of the items below.

It started to bring over a massive amount of emails that did not have these criteria in the  “FROM” that I surmised to be the email address that it was reading, it wasn’t. It seems to be reading the whole of the content, so I have just moved the files back to the inbox and will now be a bit more judicious with the process and test each one first.

On inspecting the code I had it too loose. I thought it was only looking at the “FROM” but it was looking though even the content of the emails, and I just used “NZIOB” instead of  “” which  works as I intended. Also, instead of selecting them all and testing them, I am testing one Filter at a time, to see that I have it right.

So I’m making the criteria for selection a bit more specific now and it works great.

The top Filter of the list below has got me a bit nervous.

I’m a bit lax with cleaning out my “Deleted/Trash/BIN” folder  and thought I’d create a filter that aims at cleaning that out when I want it to.

The structure of the filter seems to be that it is associated with an individual account. So filters that I create for my Hotmail account, I have to re-write for my Gmail account, even though the same filter may work across several accounts.

Also the filter, although associated with a specific account, does not associate with a specific folder. To run the filter, you choose the filter, then choose which folder you run it against.

That is why I’m a bit nervous about the delete all emails filter above. If I forget to select the “Deleted” account it may just delete all the emails in my “Inbox” account which would be a bit disastrous.

no not exactly flexible.

Enable /Disable filters on

Also once you set up the filters you can either ENABLE them in the tick box to the right (image below) or else untick the enable button and run when you you click the button at the bottom.

I’ve set up some filters, some just take general marketing and info emails and send the to a catchall folder called “TestAccount” in a Gmail account from, currently my Hotmail account, but will include my other accounts too. I have put a “T-” in front of these filters, so I can, at a glance, see where they are going.

I have another Folder “Invoices” that I’m sending all my online paid emails too that have the invoice attached. I have marked these with an “I-” prefix. I have not got these enabled, as I want to see them in my inbox, so I know that I need to pay them, then send them to an “Invoice folder” where I can use them for my accounts.

Filter Add-ons

There are a few filter addons that can be used in Thunderbird. I was looking at copying filters to another PC and came across this article on the subject and it seemed pretty crude copying individual ImapMail/ msgFilterRules.dat files across from one computer to another.  I have since come across this addon Thunderbird Message Filter Import/Export 

That seems to take care of that issue.

Also,  there is quickFilters add on that I’m just testing at the moment, but seems to do the job with a lot less effort. You click a quick filter button, then you do an action on an email , say, move it to another folder, then it will create a filter that does this for all subsequent emails. See the video below:

I have downloaded a few filter add-ons that I will test and add a comment on these either at the bottom of this post (these add-ons to the post do not show up on LinkedIn shares) or if its interesting enough , then in a new post.

AutoReply to Emails

I don’t do this , but I should on occasions. I’m usually rushing out the door, think about doing it, then recall that I got confused last time I did try to do it, so dont.I should set up some autoReply processes just so I become familiar with it.

Video below, quality is a bit poor but it steps through the process.

End comment

I thought I’d better start looking at some of the email automation processes as they link in with other automation’s I’m looking at such as the “Quote” process using Google forms and sheets and sheet add-ins.

I personally try and keep my non-relevant emails to a minimum or manage them swiftly so they do not bother me.

As I’m freelance I usually do not get vast amounts of “OFFICE” emails as staff members tend to, especially in large organizations.

I will hopefully do a post soon on Gmail as that is part of the Google Forms automation flow.

This is my 199th post, so I want to get this and the 200th post out in the next day or so.

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