Sean Feeney
Architect of the digital age

The OpenSource Mail Alternative: Thunderbird, Lightning, Plaxo and Google Calendar

27 November 2008

Tired of Microsoft Outlook hogging all your system resources? Don’t want to pay for 2007 in order to remove mailbox size limits? I’ve set several of my clients up with Mozilla Thunderbird in recent years, and it gets the job done when it comes to e-mail.

But what about your calendar? Contacts? Plaxo integration is important to me since it keeps an off-site backup of my contacts, as is Google Calendar since I don’t run on an Apple so I don’t have access to the ever-popular iCal.

As it turns out, Thunderbird supports both Plaxo and Google Calendar with a few add-ins:

  1. If you haven’t already, download and install Thunderbird.
  2. Download and install Lightning , Mozilla’s calendar add-in for Thunderbird. Instructions on-site.
  3. Use CalDAV to sync Lightning with Google Calendar. The instructions are for Mozilla Sunbird, but it works all the same - you can find the “New Calendar” option in Thunderbird by clicking Calendar (bottom of left pane) and choose Calendar-New Calendar from the top file menu.
  4. Finally, download and install the Plaxo Thunderbird Toolbar to sync your contacts. Instructions on-site.

Posted in calendar systems, e-mail systems, google, Microsoft, mozilla, open source, Plaxo

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