Because I get so much email (300-400 per day), I had to use technology to keep up. I use Outlook as my email client and a hosted version of Exchange as my server. I have switched a couple of times to other solutions, such as MobileMe and Gmail, but I always end up coming back to this configuration. I think it works best for me because I use a lot of computers (6 PCs and 2 Macs) to work with my email and Exchange seems to be the best server to do this.
That being said, I could never process this much email with Outlook alone. I have written several blog articles about my favorite Outlook Add-ins, but I thought I would put together a full list. I just added one to the list called Liaise that I am going to review later this week.
This is the list:
- Franklin Covey for Outlook: Long-term goals and weekly planning
- GTD for Outlook: Turn emails request into Tasks and Meetings
- Speedfiler: Quickly file emails in a long list of folders
- Xobni: Statistics and valuable information about my contacts
- Gist: Great information aggregation about my contacts
- Salesforce.com Toolbar: Sync Outlook activity with CRM
- Linked-In Toolbar: Sync Outlook Acitivity with Linked in and snag addresses in email
- Plaxo Toolbar: Sync all my contacts with Gmail, MobileMe, Yahoo, and others
- Liaise: Automatically create Tasks from my emails
- Reqall: Converts voice from my iPhone to Tasks in Outlook
- Ribbit: Converts voice mail to text emails in Outlook
I have 4 PCs that are always pointing at Exchange, so all my configurations have GTD, Speedfiler, and Xobni and then I have 2 of the sync solutions on each of the other computers. I like Liaise, so I am probably going to include it in my common configuration as well.
For my Macs, I use Snow Leopard, so they can connect directly to the Exchange Server and sync email, contacts, and meetings. I have not found that the addons for MacMail nearly as good, so I use a pretty plain system there. I have reviewed several GTD solutions, but not taken the leap yet.
Anyway, using this system, I can bang through 300-400 emails in about 1 hour. I am one of those "In-box Zero" guys, so my inbox is completely cleared at least once per day.
Let me know if you have any tips on Outlook add-ons.