Although I prefer and primarily use Gmail for the majority of my email needs, I do connect it via IMAP to Microsoft Outlook as well. And while there are many options available to extend the functionality of Microsoft Outlook including taglocity and Clear Context, Xobni is the one that I seem to come back to.
I’ve detailed my week with Xobni experience in the past and continue to find Xobni a nice addition to my Outlook experience. Recently they added LinkedIn integration and today they are announcing a whole slew of additional connections.
Each of these services is opt-in and are neatly integrated into the Xobni Sidebar upon activation.
The capabilities introduced vary but highlights include:
Yahoo!Mail : Message previews are availabe from within Outlook and are fully searchable using Xobni. Contacts and attachments from your Yahoo! Mail accounts appear in the Xobni sidebar.
Facebook: View status messages, profile pictures and other recent updates your contacts have made via Facebook
Skype: Big improvements here as you can now view status, send messages and initiate Skype to Skype calls all from the Xobni sidebar.
Hoovers: Pulls company information like description and size based upon the email domain of your contacts.
I am seeing a big increase in the number of aggregators and universal inbox applications like Gist, which seeks out more information about your contacts, or Fuser which brings all of your communications together in one place.
As we connect with people through so many various channels, having a way to tie these communications together and connected to your contacts is becoming more critical. If you’re an Outlook user, these Xobni improvements look to be a step in the right direction.
Xobni is a free download and is available for computers running Windows and Microsoft Outlook 2003 / 2007
Can tools like Xobni turn Outlook into the ultimate communication interface?