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Thunderbird Calendar Options and Task Management

written by: •edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 9/15/2010

Learn about the different Thunderbird calendar options and task management features. Better manage your time and productivity through implementing these useful Thunderbird tips.

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    Thunderbird Doesn't Have a Calendar - Now What?

    If you have recently downloaded Mozilla's Thunderbird, you may have noticed that the program does not come with a calendar. If you have become used to the functionality and features of Microsoft's Outlook, this can be jarring. However, you are not without a calendar for long - you can download a variety of addons for Mozilla Thunderbird, including Mozilla Lightning, a calendar and task management addon. This addon contains many features that allow you to plan your schedule and compile a useful task list. Learn about the Mozilla Thunderbird calendar below.

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    Mozilla Thunderbird Calendar

    Mozilla Lightning has received some criticism for having a clunky calendar interface. Even so, without the high cost of Outlook, and the ability to download a variety of addon programs, you may still find the Mozilla Thunderbird calendar preferable to Outlook. Lightning allows you to view your tasks and your calendar items in different tabs. If need be, you can have your computer sound an alarm when it is time to switch tasks.

    It is possible to save your Mozilla Thunderbird calendar on an FTP server for use of every computer on a network. Likewise, you can create a calendar for your entire family, by using a different calendar file for each person.

    Entries in the Mozilla Thunderbird calendar are called "events." Events include items that fall on a particular day (or days) and at particular times. Event examples include birthdays, meetings, or vacations.

    Alternatively, there are tasks. Tasks are items that you have to take action on. These may or may not be linked to a specific time period. For example, writing an article would be considered a "task."

    Even without the color-coding, you can associate different tasks with different labels. For instance, if you are familiar with the Getting Things Done productivity methods, you could create labels such as "waiting for," "defer," "action required," etc.

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    Using Color in Microsoft Thunderbird Calendar Events

    You can color-coordinate your Thunderbird events to represent different types of items. For example, if there are four people in your family, each person's events could be a different color. Likewise, you could color-code work, personal, social, religious etc. events to gain an at-a glance perspective. Chromatask allows you to similarly color-code your tasks.

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    Sharing Mozilla Thunderbird's Calendar

    You can share your Mozilla Thunderbird calendar much the same way you can share and subscribe to other iCalendars through other programs. You can also print the calendar out so that you have a hard copy to keep for yourself or distribute to others.

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    Thunderbird Calendar Addons

    Finally, as previously mentioned, one of the great things about Thunderbird is the availability of addons for the program. You can customize Mozilla Thunderbird's calendar through some of these addons. For example, if you enjoy using Google Calendar for the ability to access your events and tasks from any location, you may wish to use the Provider for Google Calendar, which will help you to create Google Calendar items from Thunderbird. Another helpful addon is the Birthday Reminder that coordinates birthdays entered in your contacts information with the days the birthdays fall on.