Thunderbird 2 Message Tags

A new feature with Thunderbird 2.0 is the ability to Tag messages. You can assign one of these five color-coded ‘default’ tags to a message by selecting the message(s) from the folder’s message list and right-clicking and selecting ‘Tag’ from the context menu:

  1. To Do
  2. Important
  3. Later
  4. Personal
  5. Work

But what if these five ‘default’ tags are not what you are looking for? At the bottom of tag sub-menu is the option ‘New Tag…’. A popup box will allow you to create your own custom tag and pick the associated color.

Once a message is ‘tagged’, the text as displayed in the message list will turn the color of the assigned tag. When you click on that message in the message list, the text turns white and is highlighted in the assigned tag’s color. At first I wasn’t too sure how I was going to use this but I am already seeing potential. I tend to send myself e-mails from work from schedule changes, to events and other items. Plus I leave other e-mails in my Inbox which I will follow-up on later. After a while I have several e-mails sitting in my Inbox which I have to go through one-by-one to see what exactly they are. With the Tags (once I start remembering what each color represents) I’ll quickly be able to see why I am still holding these messages in my Inbox. Can also be useful for organizing saved or archived messages, especially when combined with custom made tags.


Couple notes as mentioned above, you can only assign ONE tag per message. In addition, you can not CHANGE the five ‘default’ tags or their colors. If you want to change the assigned tab just repeat the process and select the new tag which you want to assign or to remove the tag select ‘0 Removal All Tags’.

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