I have been using two plugins at work with Microsoft Outlook called ClearContext and Xobni. Both are great plugins that have and have different strengths and weaknesses. Xobni has recieved a lot of press of recent and is probably more better known.
I found Xobni great for providing email analysis and for search. The search functionality being the most valuable feature for me. I have not installed Desktop Search on my XP machine and I refuse to do so. I find it extreamly slow and an overkill to install it just for email indexing. Perhaps if it worked as well as Spotlight on the OS X version 10.5, I would use it but thats really another topic. Xobini is my answer for improved search on Outlook. It also makes it easy to find attachments from a particular contact. So Xobini has really improved my productivity. Xobni has social networking features as well including support for LinkedIn, however I do not really use these features. For the most time I have Xobni minimized as a side bar.
ClearContext on the other hand is a plugin I use all the time on a daily basis. The major feature that I like of ClearContext is how easy it makes it for me to categorize and file emails that land in my Inbox. If you have read David Allen’s book “Getting Things Done“, you will understand the concept of emptying your Inbox. ClearContext is a tool that really helps you to achieve this and its easy to use. Clear Context also provides “Inbox Views” which color code emails based on importance and relevance. I use the Threaded View which provides with a threaded look to my emails like I have with Gmail.
Both tools are in beta and are currently available at free of charge. I definitely recommend trying both these plugins out for yourself!
Originally Posted on myDezigns