After reading Michael Gartenberg’s blog at Jupiter Research, we’d like to revisit the ClearContext vs. Outlook rules discussion. At
first blush it could appear that ClearContext simply repackages some
basic Outlook rules. This understates ClearContext’s
prioritization algorithm and email management
functionality. Outlook rules are effective at doing fixed,
pre-defined actions on individual message criteria, such as flagging
email from your boss. In contrast, ClearContext scores all
incoming messages on multiple priority levels; based on criteria
developed from your email history and contacts, accounting for
individual preferences and exceptions. In addition,
ClearContext’s conversation management functionality
makes it easy to organize, categorize, and archive email threads once you receive
them, greatly reducing the time required to process email.
For a more detailed analysis, please see our weblog post ClearContext vs. Outlook Rules.
The irony is that I have been trying to get through this article for a couple of days, but I keep getting interrupted…
The New York Times published Meet the Life Hackers this weekend; detailing the plethora of distractions in the modern workplace and people’s tricks for avoiding them. Using multiple monitors, turning off email notifications, and putting prioritization technology in place were included as tips. It’s worth a read if you can get yourself a few minutes, distraction free.
Hat tip to Robert Scoble for the link to this article. BTW – Robert took his email from 500 to 5 using our product and Omar is on the verge of achieving email Zen with ClearContext’s help. With all the ClearContext love going around, we’re gushing like proud parents today!
Update: There’s a good NPR interview of the author, Clive Thompson, posted at NPR.org.
We had the pleasure of dining with productivity guru David Allen last night. I have not been to a Getting Things Done seminar (yet), so it was fascinating to see exactly how passionate David is in his mission to help people get a handle on their information overloaded lives. I now understand exactly why legions of people rave about the GTD experience.
I was curious to hear how David felt about our inbox prioritization engine. In GTD, one of the key concepts is to get your inbox to empty. IMO, that doesn’t negate the need for our product, as many of us experience times when there is more email to review than time to process it, making prioritization a useful concept. Apparently, David sees the value.
As we continue to develop ClearContext, I think you will find that our product becomes increasingly applicable to the GTD way of doing things. In the meantime, here’s a link to a post I wrote several months ago on implementing a GTD-like structure in Outlook using ClearContext. Enjoy!
Buzz’s interview with John Furrier inspired the creation of the ActiveWords ClearContext flash demonstration. The demo shows how to use the ActiveWords/ClearContext combo to manage Microsoft Outlook. Check it out and let me know what you think!
Phil Sassen posted a review of ClearContext on his blog Tales from the Geekside:
"Der ClearContext Inbox Manager schafft Abhilfe im Kampf gegen die Mailflut."
Now, I don’t speak German, but according to Google, this translates to:
"The ClearContext Inbox manager creates remedy in the fight against the Mailflut."
I think that remedying the fight against the Mailflut is exactly what we expect Inbox Manager to do!
We were happy to send Phil a ClearContext registration key as part of our free license program. Dankeschön, Phil!