Will it make you breakfast?
Along with the web browser, the email applications are one of the most recognisable components of the desktop. What started as a means to easily communicate with your contacts have now expanded to behemoth projects with a vast feature set. Not all users would want their email client to set up reminders and double up as a calendar. But if these are things that you use daily, it’s probably best to use just the one tool, rather than several.
Evolution, Gnome’s official Personal Information Manager (PIM), provides a calendar, address book and a task manager. You can get the same features with KMail, provided you run it on top of the KDE desktop, where it can connect with other well-known KDE components such as Kontact and Korganizer.
If you frequently collaborate with non-English speakers over email, you’ll appreciate Mailspring’s ability to translate messages written in English into Spanish, Russian, simplified Chinese, French, and German. It can auto-detect your language and performs spell-check without changing the language settings. It’s also especially tailored for touch devices and supports many configurable gestures such as swipe left or right.
Unlike the other tools, Thunderbird can also connect with chat accounts on various services so that a single application keeps record of all your communications with your contacts. The advantage of its multiple-channel chat support is that you can use the search feature to go through past conversations and emails exchanged with all your contacts. Should you ever have the need to perform a search on the web, you can do so from the search bar within the application itself, instead of switching over to a web browser, and can even choose the search engine you wish to use.
Claws doesn’t provide as many features out of the box but you can get almost all the same functionality with the use of plug-ins. It can easily double as a news aggregator, manage appointments, and more. Evolution and Thunderbird are more resource hungry than the others. Something to consider if you decide to use these applications for more than just email.
As many services block email messages based on size, you can configure Thunderbird to connect with your account on Box.