Thunderbird vs. Outlook 2007

If you are planning a move from Outlook 2007, or if you just want to “soup-up” your open-source Mozilla Thunderbird product, I’ll share some tips, some links and some add-ons that I found particularly useful during my own MS to open-source migration.

Get Thunderbird

Mozilla’s Thunderbird is an opensource email handling program available for free download from the Mozilla site: Download Thunderbird 1.5

Download Lightning

This calendar plugin for Thunderbird isn’t feature-rich, but it’s a nice, solid option to have your calendar and email program in a single place and it mods nicely with most Thunderbird themes. It’s based on the stand-alone Sunbird program. Get yours: Download Lightning for Thunderbird.

Make it pretty:

I’ve downloaded several themes to test and these are the best I’ve found so far.

For the simple lover, or those who want minimum look-and-feel changes from Outlook:

VistaMail – as described, it’s a Windows look-alike theme. Thankfully you can change the progress icon from the windows to the standard version.

Modern Modiki – this is the one I’m using right now because it’s simple and clean, but I’m probably going to switch around a bit more soon, once I get settled in with the TB layout.

Some Like it Dark:

BlackJapan – nice simple black mod that has a matching FireFox theme.

PitchDark – dark mod — just a bit too dark for my tastes (and I like the darker themes, as a rule). I wish I could find one to match my FireFox RedShift Theme.

Something a little different

Walnut – This wooden-look skin is not one I downloaded this time, but this is the one I used for ages when I originally had Thunderbird a couple years ago.

GlowyGreen (Update: link removed, no longer maintained) – a Malachite or Green Marble inspired dark, artsy skin.

You can pick up other themes and extensions by visiting the Mozilla Thunderbird site, but these are the ones I consider “essential” or particularly cool. I’ll probably give the security/email encryption program Enigmail a test drive once things settle in and I have everything else working.

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