I'm currently using Gmail through Thunderbird with IMAP so that I can digitally sign and encrypt my emails as well as work with emails that are digitally signed and encrypted. I like how, with IMAP, labeling can be done through the email client. I want to make some emails available locally (I honestly haven't decided on a policy yet, but I would like to be able to select certain emails, either individually or by tags) while having others only reside on the server (and if that means I have to go into Gmail to get them, I'm fine with that).
Can this be done? If so, how?
I don't think it can be done with IMAP, unless Tbird allows you to only synch certain tags. The nature of IMAP is that it keeps your client in synch with the server in real time, which precludes having some emails on the server but not on the client.
You could do this with POP and the setting to "keep copy on the server" then delete the local copy, but you would lose your encryption and labeling functionality.
I believe there is an option that you can only download e-mail to your hard drive if they have a certain label. You might wanna look into that.
That does mean however that those e-mails must have the label attached already.
I would like to check/send emails from my desktop using Thunderbird. How do I set it up to pull down my Gmail emails, and send out emails through my Gmail account?
Here's how to do it for IMAP and POP access.
Also, if you select to create a new account in the latest Thunderbird, it will have a "Gmail" option that automates a lot of it for you. I think it's POP though.
Lifehacker had a very nice article on doing this.
Turn Thunderbird into the Ultimate Gmail IMAP Client
Be very sure to understand how the Gmail Trash works, and how to use its SMTP server. When in doubt, see some more details at Greyed out emails in Mail.app.