Along with many others, the first item on my agenda when I get to work is checking my email. Not surprisingly, it’s rarely something I look forward to. Clearing out sneaky junk mail, sifting through automatic messages and weekly blasts, and finally, not overlooking a note of importance all add up to quite a task first thing in the morning.
Robert Scoble, tech guru for Fast Company, insists it doesn’t have to be that tedious. In his column this month, he writes about ways to rekindle your friendship with your email using programs that organize and manage your message flow.
He lauds the perks of ClearContext, a program that’s free for personal use and costs $90/head for project management. The add-on to Outlook prioritizes messages based on who you’re writing to and how often, as well as graying out mass emails.
Another suggestion is ActiveWords, which at $30/year per person (though it offers a free trial option), lets you create boilerplates for typical customer answers.
Two other programs, Gist and Xobni (another Outlook plug-in), are both free and provide Web-based handy information about the contacts that you email, such as a phone number if you ever received it. Gist also searches news feeds and blogs for any information on contacts.
Looks like email is good to go for a few more years, at least until the brain telecommunication microchips go into beta mode.