The BlackBerry smartphone is the one of the premier mobile devices for e-mail management with its "Push" e-mail service. The Thunderbird e-mail client was created by the Mozilla Group to be used as a third-party desktop client for popular e-mail services. While IMAP for BlackBerry is not officially supported by e-mail services, users using both Thunderbird and a BlackBerry need an alternative means to ensure their e-mail is constantly in sync across all platforms.
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Choose an e-mail address (i.e., firstname.lastname@example.org) that you will give out as your main address. If you do not have one or wish to create a new one, you can do so using Gmail, Yahoo! or Hotmail.
Create dedicated e-mail addresses for your BlackBerry (i.e., email@example.com) and your Thunderbird client (i.e., firstname.lastname@example.org), which can also be done using a free e-mail service. Your BlackBerry service may already come with a free e-mail address through your mobile phone service that you can use.
Forward all mail that comes to your main e-mail address (email@example.com) to both your BlackBerry (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Thunderbird (email@example.com) e-mail accounts. Depending on the service you chose to create your e-mail accounts, forwarding will be a little different. All forward options can be accessed using the "Settings" link when logged into your e-mail account. See the support page of your e-mail provider for more specific instructions.
Change the BlackBerry's e-mail account so that the "Reply To" address is your main e-mail address and the "Auto BCC" is set to the dedicated Thunderbird account. Any replies to e-mail sent from your BlackBerry will automatically be sent to your main e-mail address and will automatically be sent to the dedicated Thunderbird account to keep things in sync.
Set up Thunderbird to gather e-mail from the dedicated Thunderbird e-mail. Because forwarding was set from your main e-mail address, it will gather that e-mail as well as your Blackberry's e-mail, since you set that up in "Auto BCC."
Set up Thunderbird so that the "Reply To" address for the dedicated Thunderbird e-mail is your main e-mail address. Also set up the "Auto BCC" to be your BlackBerry's dedicated e-mail address.
Set a Thunderbird rule that automatically marks any e-mail from your main e-mail address as "Read" and moves it to the "Sent items" folder. With this set-up, all e-mail sent to your main e-mail address will automatically be synced with both your BlackBerry and Thunderbird mail client. If you compose an e-mail from either platform, it will reply to your main address since it was set as the "Reply To" address in all clients. Setting up "Auto BCC" ensures that all clients have a copy of an e-mail at any one time.
Tips and warnings
- If you choose to use a Gmail address as your main e-mail address, you can set up IMAP in your user settings and set up your BlackBerry and Thunderbird to access the same account also using IMAP. This way, changes made on any device or platform will automatically be reflected in another and you only need to use one e-mail address. However, IMAP is not officially supported on the BlackBerry and may cause issues (see Resources).
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