Sometimes Outlook is a necessary evil. Personally I prefer Thunderbird if I’m going to be using a desktop client, because it’s less cluttered, not to mention free. Still, when I’m at the office working as a contractor for a professional services firm, Outlook 2007 on Windows XP is the standard email client, so I have to make do.
Making do just got a lot easier thanks to Taglocity 2.0, a plugin which brings some much needed functionality to Microsoft’s Office-based desktop email program.
For freelance and personal purposes, I use MobileMe and Gmail, and I rarely have reason to complain about either (excluding the web-based iteration of MobileMe, which is about as consistent as West Coast weather). Gmail’s labels, recent conversations, and filtering options are especially useful. Taglocity brings that kind of functionality and more to your Outlook inbox, at the cost of a little added weight to an already resource-heavy program.
By default, Taglocity installs a pane to the far right of your Outlook browser, and and additional toolbar.
Through the toolbar you can search filter results, and tag individual emails, which works like Gmail’s labels. There will always be people on both sides of the folder/label fence. I use folders at work and labels at home, and I’m comfortable with both, but I like having the option Taglocity provides to label across and between folders.
Threaded conversations is another feature Outlook lacks that Taglocity enables.
By default, the right pane displays conversations with the sender of the email you currently have selected, along with their contact information, if you have them in your Outlook contacts database. You can switch to attachments view to quickly access all files sent between you and that person, and, at the bottom of the pane, view basic analytics including number of messages sent, received, and CC’d to and from that contact or address.
A key feature Taglocity brings to the table in terms of working with a wider group is Group creation and support. User can create, manage, and subscribe to Groups to manage multi-user announcements and FYI notices. A huge chunk of my inbox clutter is due to staff landing/departure notices, non-essential updates regarding other lines of business, and other distracting material that I can check in my downtime. With Groups this is not longer a problem, as I can choose to “pull” this kind of info when I can review it without disrupting my regular workflow. Groups also lets you share tags and set up semantic subscriptions, so that people who need to know something always get the right info, even if they’re just joining the team and without needing to be CC’d.
Even after only a couple of days, I can’t really see myself using Outlook without the added functionality of Taglocity. And since Taglocity Standard is free, I have no reason to stop. Taglocity Professional is $99, but most users will likely find the feature differences not worth the added expense.
Get Taglocity 2.0 for Outlook now and start streamlining your email workflow.