Outlook is the most used and most hated application on my desktop. I can’t think of a single application that I can’t do without but would most like to get rid of (please, no emails about Outlook substitutes, they just won’t work on SAP’s network against our Exchange infrastructure).
When Lookout introduced their search plugin for Outlook the utility of email jumped up exponentially, in fact it was always a mystery to me that nobody at Microsoft created this application. With the eventual introduction of desktop search products like Copernic (my favorite) and Spotlight (rocks) actually finding emails and other stuff was eliminated as an issue.
Ross would say the problem isn’t organizing your email it is reducing it, and there is truth to that statement. When we started using Socialtext’s wikis for our project work the amount of email that was generated fell off by about 30%. That’s not a solid statistical analysis, but it’s a qualified anecdotal observation. However, email is here to stay and it’s also likely to continue to grow so finding ways to deal with the inbound stream and the archive is going to be an issue.
The Speedfiler add-on for Outlook has a couple of features that I think are pretty useful. The first is that it files sent messages inline as threads rather than dumping them in the sent mail (which always ends up getting archived as I run out of quota). The information that is in my sent mail is often as important to me as the information that I receive, so being able to append it to threads is valuable.
As much as I would have thought that good search eliminated the need to file messages, I was wrong. As I stare at the 2,645 messages in my Outlook inbox, and observe the 50-60 retained messages that get tacked on every day I realize I’m just never going to catch up. What filing messages achieves is a compartmentalized view of your inbox that then enables you to cull out the stuff that is of little value to retain.
I wish more companies would come out with products that help Outlook users get control of this beast, the tools that MS provides are pretty weak and I don’t hold much confidence that future versions of Outlook will get any better.
Lastly, don’t forget Mac users who are using Microsoft’s Entourage product to connect to Exchange.
SpeedFiler is an add-on for Microsoft Outlook that helps you keep your email organized by speeding up the process of filing your incoming and outgoing messages, without requiring you to change the way you work or organize your mail. If you send and receive lots of email, like to keep it filed, and have many folders in a hierarchical structure, SpeedFiler will save you time. via download squad.
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