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