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I use a variant of the "43 folders". Suppose I send out an email where I need a reaction by December 1st. I have an Outlook folder (of course, this also works on Thunderbird) called "2014-12-01", where I drag the sent mail. Every day, I go through the folder for the corresponding day, and I'll find my email there and can follow up. When I've gone through all ...
In Outlook you can use "Follow Up" flags to mark the email, this will add a task to your Outlook task list to follow up the mail at a later time. I'm sure similar functionality does exist in Thunderbird, either native or via a plugin. Several solutions have been posted in a Super User thread.
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