One of the great things about the Mozilla Thunderbird mail client is that it has an extension system much like it’s browser counterpart Firefox. Because of this Thunderbird users can really benefit from features created by developers around the world, and a great example of this is with the Seek extension.
Seek actually capitalizes on an idea that has been around for ages, but it’s typically found only on websites. A prime example would be eBay where you can filter results according to the product type, and then by manufacturer, and so on. With Seek you’re able to filter through your emails using a faceted browsing system, which is essentially performing searches using multiple criteria. For example, you can have Thunderbird show only the emails from a specific person that were sent in the last week directly to you.
A screenshot doesn’t really capture just how great this feature is, and so here’s a quick screencast put together by the developers:
Seek is a great idea, but I’ve moved my email management over to Gmail so that they are easily accessible from anywhere. The good news is that Gmail has a similar system setup except that it is classified as an “advanced search” (located next to the search box). It doesn’t have an interface quite as sharp as Seek’s, but it serves a similar purpose for those of you not wanting to use a desktop email client. With it you can filter your emails based on multiple criteria including when the emails were sent.