A faceted classification scheme allows one to assign multiple classes to an object rather then a single predefined taxonomic class. Facets are more commonly used by web pages in navigation. Take an example of computer monitors. When you visit a website that sell monitors, you will usually see them classified by ‘Company’, ‘Screen size’, ‘Color’, Price’ etc. rather then a long list of monitors. All these are facets or dimensions of the product. One person may search by ‘Company’, another by ‘Price’.
In a nutshell this is what faceted classification is all about.
The Seek addin for Thunderbird does something similar. It classifies email according to various email facets; like, ‘Recency’, ‘Domain’, ‘From’, ‘Priority’ etc. So rather then wade through a long list of emails to find something, Seek will help you find what you want by presenting the email through various facets which allows you to breakdown the long list by a particular dimension for e.g by ‘Domain’.
Seek also display the emails in a timeline, which can help you look for various patterns in you email traffic.
Seek is a wonderful tool to ease your life especially as it is free. As it is still a work in progress it leaves a lot to be desired, but this is the start. Whatever makes your life easier when working with emails or other data is always welcome.
You can read more about Faceted classification here.