The announcement of Google‘s Gmail Priority Inbox likely made more than a few enterprise knowledge workers stuck with Microsoft Outlook and drowning in e-mail quite envious of Gmail. That is, if they weren’t envious already. Marshall also took a look at a few plugins and services that are turning e-mail into a platform, including the incredible Rapportive.
Lucky for Outlook users, there are actually several plugins to extend Outlook’s functionality and ease that Gmail envy. E-mail addons have been heating up for a while now. Here are five plugins you should check out, whether you have Gmail envy or not.
If you’re looking for something similar to Priority Inbox, give ClearContext a shot. ClearContext analyzes your e-mail and searches for patterns of behavior. It then prioritizes incoming e-mail and can offer suggestions on where to file particular e-mails. It’s not perfect – I wouldn’t rely on it to never miss important e-mails – but it can help cut through the clutter.
It’s designed to work well with the Getting Things Done workflow and uses folders as “projects” and enables you to create tasks easily from any e-mail.
And if you’re suffering from Rapportive envy, Xobni also brings social network profiles right into your inbox.
And for those really interested in “e-mail as a platform” Xobni has a development platform for both Outlook and Gmail.
Outlook Social Connector
On the other hand, if you’re only interested in search and don’t want the social networking features, Xobni competitor Lookeen is worth a look.
Baydin has its own quirky search ideas, which we’ve covered here. Its flagship “unsearch” product is still forthcoming. In the meantime, some might find its Boomberang tool useful: you can specify a time you want an e-mail to be sent to you. (Baydin also has a Gmail version is beta.)