Outlook-vs-Thunderbird, the never ending email wars…


Because I was sick of Outlook 2000, I dumped it a couple of years ago and gave the free and open source Mozilla Thunderbird a try. I got used to it quickly and never looked back, until earlier this year. Earlier this year I got a free copy of Windows Vista Business and Office 2007 Professional. I eventually installed Office and started toying with the idea of switching to Outlook 2007. I liked the interface and felt like Microsoft had made enough changes and updates to warrant giving it a try. One thing to note, I was also using Open Office at the time and was not terribly happy with th state of the package. So far I have really been enjoying Office 2007 including Outlook except for one small, but really annoying thing. All of my old work email was “stuck” in Thunderbird.

Thunderbird has yet to impliment an export function to allow users to pull their email and import it into a different email client. This is not a problem for IMAP users, which is how I get my personal mail, but my POP mail for work has been hanging out in Thunderbird with no easy escape. Today I finally got tired of firing up TBird to look for old email and decided that there HAD to be a way to get it moved to Outlook 2007. I did some digging and found one way that involved third party software and a big ole’ pile of steps that were less than detailed. Not willing to dive into that method, I kept looking. I managed to find a comment on Neowin.net that simply said to put the email in an IMAP account and then retrieve it in Outlook via POP. I liked the simplicity and thought it might be just the thing to do. I setup a new IMAP account on my domain and copied all of my work email to that folder in Thunderbird. After the long upload, I setup the same account in Outlook and watched in glee as it quickly downloaded. The last step was to move all of the mail to the proper folder in Outlook, which is nothing more than a “select all” and a “drag and drop”. A few minutes later ALL of my precious work email was in one place. Had I known it was going to be that easy I would have done it a long time ago.

I wonder if that was enough of an accomplishment to take the rest of the day off…?