Advanced Message Filtering: Best Email Client? Best Practices?

I currently use Thunderbird. I’d like to use Boolean message filtering. An example follows:

If recipient address is AND sender is THEN send to WorkPriority Folder.

If recipient address is AND sender contains THEN send to WaterSports Folder

If recipient address is AND sender contains @promotionalFitnessClub THEN send to Fitness folder

Thunderbird doesn’t allow this, as far as I can tell. Maybe it shouldn’t. Or maybe there’s a client that handles this well. Discuss.

I could set up an inbox for each recipient email address but… well I’m actually sending all my email aliases on to my gmail account to take advantage of their anti-spam filtering. So I’d like to do this with a filter option.

I could also try to find an appropriate plugin. I did that. No luck. The closest one is here, but it doesn’t work with recent versions of Thunderbird and isn’t under active development. It’s also marked as experimental.

Discussion of email filtering best practices is also welcome.

More details of my email struggles are in this thread: Upgrading email, best email, fleeing ISP email

If gmail is already in the loop, take advantage of gmail filters. You can use boolean logic on filters, and it’s reasonably flexible after some trial and error and learning, and you can do rules like you suggest.

Gmail doesn’t do folders, though, so you need to do it all with labels instead of folders.

As far as integrating it with a client like Thunderbird, I can’t really chime in, because I just use the web interface. You CAN archive or delete before it hits your inbox, so that will translate through, but in terms of how/if the labels are communicated to T-bird and whether you can use those to direct mail to folders, I think you’d have to do some trial and error with T-bird.

If it works for your situation, Popfile (free software) worked great for me in the past. It hasn’t been updated in a long time, so there are cases for which it doesn’t work, but if you happen to not be one of those cases, it does what you want - plus is a spam filter.

Details for it are on

Or… Does Claws Mail have the kind of filters you need to sort your messages?

(Would mean switching away from Thunderbird)

You can have multiple gmail accounts.

You can do filtering at gmail:

You can do filtering with Thunderbird

I think the combination of these three will get you want you want but I am not fluent enough computer-wise to give specifics.

I would certainly be exploring Thunderbird and making absolutely sure that it isn’t already capable of doing what you want, because if it is, why waste transition time.

I use Claws Mail on Linux (used Claws on Windows too but it’s been years). It can certainly do that kind of filtering plus much more. You can specify any number of conditions either ANDed or ORed together, i.e. “Message must match [ all | at least one ] of above rules.”

How often do you use Boolean rules? How often do fellow Claws users use Boolean rules? Is there something about Boolean message filters that I should be aware of? It’s odd that this isn’t available in Thunderbird, which is a mature product in active development. With plugins.

There is a workaround in Thunderbird. Here are some pics of the dialog box:

I could create a single filter using the match all radio button. But then I’d need one message filter for each email address I’m filtering. That would make for a long and unwieldy list of message filters.
To be honest, my current inclination is pile all emails into a single inbox and filter on content alone. But I might make the jump to Windows Claws.

Thanks to all for the feedback.

Ok, I have a possible workaround. Message filters only run on inboxes, not subfolders. But that can be changed with a little tinkering:

So you could send messages to subfolders categorized by work/play, then run another set of message filters on those subfolders. The twist is that subfolder filters only run once you’ve clicked on the subfolder. Also I haven’t tried this yet.

According to my T-bird, one message filter option is TO and another is sender so I don’t see why it doesn’t work for you. I keep my in box accounts separate so maybe I am missing something.

I used it ages ago to filter out some spam, but I get next to zero spam nowadays. It worked as advertised. Otherwise it’s not my style to automatically move incoming emails, I don’t get that many and move them manually afterwards.

If you’re curious about Claws and have a separate mailbox that gets unimportant mail, I’d suggest you install it and give it a spin with that one separate address. Keep in mind, their primary platform is Linux and they’re just porting it to 64-bit Windows. I like it because it has a lot of keyboard shortcuts similar to vi (it’s a Unix thing).

Oh sure. You can do one or the other. Just not both at the same time.

Or rather, you can’t move a message if it is sent to workaccount@gmail, AND is FROM Unless that is the only filter you are using in the dialog box.