A number of our users have asked for additional information on the
"behind the scenes" functionality of ClearContext. This is part 2 in a
series of posts summarizing ClearContext design concepts. For more
detailed information, see our whitepaper Designing a More Effective Inbox.
Once contact analysis has been completed, Inbox Manager has the data it needs to complete inbox message prioritization. ClearContext’s patent pending email prioritization process analyzes email and assesses a cumulative score for each individual message based on four factors:
- Known Addresses – ClearContext looks at the author of the email and assesses a score that is based on:
- The priority assigned to the author of the message
- The domain address of the author (in particular, whether or not the domain has been identified in ClearContext’s options)
- Message & Thread Priority – This score is assessed by looking at the priority manually assigned by the user to this email thread (if any), and by giving consideration to individual message priority set within native Outlook.
- Thread Participation – This factor is based on the number of responses the user has made within this email thread and whether or not the user is the originator of the thread.
- Message Directness – The score is based on whether the author’s name is included in the To: or CC: field and whether the message is addressed to the user only or to several recipients.
A composite score, made of these four factors’ sub-scores, is then assigned to an individual message. Using these scores, ClearContext automatically prioritizes the inbox, placing those messages with the highest score at the top of the message list. ClearContext color codes the messages to further show priority. The default view places the most important email at the top of the inbox in red, medium importance in blue, low importance in green, and low priority/junk mail at the bottom of the inbox in grey.
The weight given to each of these factors is configurable within the ClearContext options window; allowing individual users to adjust the scoring algorithm to suit his/her preferences. Within the inbox the user may adjust the priority of individual email threads, further enhancing the priority set by the application. In this way, the inbox can be treated as a To Do list, with the user increasing or decreasing the prominence of an email message depending on action required.
Next Up: Thread Organization & Automated Filing