22 Comments

Summary:

I spend what seems like my whole life in Outlook and as one who gets 200- 300 emails a day without fail I’m always finding myself looking for not just an email from months ago but the entire email conversation.  The search feature in Outlook is […]

I spend what seems like my whole life in Outlook and as one who gets 200- 300 emails a day without fail I’m always finding myself looking for not just an email from months ago but the entire email conversation.  The search feature in Outlook is good but the way I work I can usually remember who the conversation was with and I need to see the whole thread in context.  I first heard of Xobni (what’s that spell backwards?) back in January but like most things I hear about I quickly "filed and forgot" it as just more fluff.  Today I got an invite to the Xobni closed beta from good friend Steven Hughes and decided to give it a shot.  Boy am I glad I did as it has already made a big impact on my productivity.  Xobni has come under the scrutiny of Microsoft as Techcrunch was reporting a month ago that Microsoft might be looking to buy them.

Xobni

The Xobni sidebar to the right.

The beauty of Xobni is the type of information it presents to you when you click on any email in your folders.  The Xobni sidebar shows everything related to email about the person who sent you that email and makes accessing that information, including any threaded email conversation, just one click away.  There is a degree of social networking (a phrase I have come to hate) to this information as you also see everyone who has participated in any of that contact’s email conversations.  I can’t overstate how powerful this is for those times when you are looking for that nugget of information that was sent to you oh so long ago.  You also get a pane that shows you every file attachment that a given contact has ever sent you which is also one click away from opening.  Rarely have I run across a utility like Xobni that started doing its magic mere minutes after installing and then impacted my work so greatly.  That is why Xobni is our Freeware of the Moment.  It is currently in a closed beta but you can put your email address on their waiting list to get an invite.  I have used all my invites already so don’t ask, they’re gone.  Maybe the folks at Xobni will see this and give us a bunch of invites to share.

Xobni_threads

Threaded conversation- just click one and the whole email is previewed in the window.

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  1. Jose R. Ortiz Tuesday, April 22, 2008

    This looks like the solution to so many of those “where is that e-mail” problems. I’ve added my name to the list. Hopefully I can get a copy soon as this would be incredibly useful at work.

  2. Matthew Miller (aka palmsolo) Tuesday, April 22, 2008

    I signed up with an invite from James and have 6 invites available. Ping me at palmsoloATgmailDOTcom if you need one.

  3. This is really useful to have sitting next to your inbox.

    What would be even better is if you could hook it up to a CRM system and have your whole company’s emails included…

    By the way, theres a facebook group here if you are interested in speaking to the developers:

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Xobni/30867760600

  4. just sent you an email Matt.

    Steve

  5. What’s the difference between this and the built in “Find all related messages” function in Outlook?

  6. James Kendrick Tuesday, April 22, 2008

    Jake, xobni is instant and these are already displayed in the sidebar. You don’t have to do anything to see them, they’re always there.

  7. I’m guessing Gmail doesn’t have some of the features you need? It obviously has great search, and emails are written out like a forum thread, very nice. I’m sure you’ve probably given it a try before but I suppose some aspects of it don’t quite cover your needs (offline access?)

  8. Ah, I see. Thanks James.

  9. Matthew Miller (aka palmsolo) Tuesday, April 22, 2008

    That was quick. All my invites have been taken now by jkOnTheRun readers.

  10. My first question, now that you’ve turned my head, can you say if you think this is a better idea than MailStore (which can manage several mail apps at once), but more importantly, do you think this will tax outlook in anyway that might add sync problems with Active sync and pocket outlook, etc. Just curious what you’ve seen so far. Thanx.

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