“ClearContext Personal… actually works in a similar manner to Smart Labels, filing unimportant emails, like social network notifications, newsletters, e-commerce emails and other bacn into categorized groups, taking it out of your inbox. It’s all done completely automatically, with no need to set up complex inbox rules.”
“Conventional email programs and newer cloud-based services such as Gmail let users organise incoming email using folders and filters. But most people cannot be bothered or do not know how to set up the filters, says Sara Radicati, CEO of analyst firm Radicati Group.
That has spurred the development of “inbox management solutions” that automate the filtering.
For example, ClearContext offers a plug-in for Microsoft Exchange that highlights important email and automatically files unimportant email from automated senders. In similar vein, Google recently added a “priority intray” feature to Gmail that tries to guess which emails are most important.
The Contra Costa Times ran a story by Laura Casey on the supposed death of e-mail. ClearContext CEO Deva Hazarika is quoted:
In fact, e-mail is only becoming more important for working professionals, says Deva Hazarika of ClearContext of San Francisco, a software company that helps people organize all the information that flows through e-mail.
"People need information to be traceable. They need to look back at information. That’s why all of important conversations are pretty much staying with e-mail right now," Hazarika says. "E-mail is really not only sticking around, but it’s getting entrenched. It’s really the one place where I can reliably send (information like receipts from Amazon or business) communication to you."
GigaOm reports that Microsoft is opening up the Outlook PST format to give external access to mail, calendar and contacts. ClearContext CEO Deva Hazarika is quoted:
The announcement makes it sound like this opens up a wide range of ways to extend what people can do with Outlook data. However, if people are actually using Outlook, those files are locked by Outlook and can’t be accessed without using the Microsoft APIs. And even if they could be accessed, I’m not sure what the value prop is in trying to write a better set of access methods than the APIs already in place. So, I don’t think this means very much for “live” instances of Outlook usage.
“With some 55 billion e-mails being sent daily (not including spam), according to e-mail archiving company The Radicati Group, misdirected e-mails have become the online equivalent of a wrong number. They’re unavoidable, annoying — and often embarrassing.”
“The biggest impact, by far, is on business e-mail users," says Deva Hazarika, vice president of IORG and CEO of ClearContext, a maker of organizing software for Microsoft Outlook.
"Quite simply, the volume of e-mail people are getting is increasing and is more time consuming," Hazarika says. "On average, over the last few years it has doubled, to 100 to 200, a day. And the content of each mail has evolved from a simple note to a project-oriented task that requires a detailed response."
“Another of my favorites is ClearContext, which identifies your most valued contacts — people you reply to quickly and frequently — and flags their incoming messages. It also endows you with superpowered sorting. If a work-related thread goes off the rails — like when colleagues hijack a project discussion to argue about Lost — you can zap it. From that point on, new messages in the thread are filtered out and deleted automatically.”
When Outlook Gets Personal, It Get Clear Context – May 19, 2008 Om Malik – GigaOm “One really good reason to download this app: it automatically sort emails from a wide variety of applications and websites into nice little folders. You can quickly see how many Facebook messages or Evite invitations you got.”
ClearContext tames Outlook – May 19, 2008 Rafe Needleman – Webware “On Monday, ClearContext, which has had a paid, enterprise-level e-mail organizer for a while now, is releasing ClearContext Personal, a free, de-featured version of the product”
Some additional information about the new release, along with a sign up for the Personal Beta, can be found here. All of the features in Personal are being incorporated into the Professional product. The Pro production release will be a free upgrade for all registered IMS v4 customers. If you’re interested in signing up for the upcoming Beta of the Professional product, go to ClearContext > About from within Outlook, press Email Support and send that email along with the words BETA INFO in the body. We’ll add you to the Pro beta list and let you know when a download is available. Thanks!
All of us at ClearContext are really excited to announce the start of the beta program for ClearContext Personal. This free Outlook add-in helps people organize their email and make their inbox (and email experience) just plain better. At ClearContext, we have years of experience solving information overload challenges for email power users who deal with incredible amounts of email while managing multiple concurrent projects within Outlook. In talking to lots of individuals and companies about those problems, we’ve found that it’s not just those users that are overwhelmed with email; it seems like just about all business email users are frustrated with email and feel stressed trying to keep up with it. With ClearContext Personal, we expand the reach of our solutions to all Outlook email users who want a better answer to dealing with email overload. Here’s a demo:
Our goal with ClearContext Personal is to identify the most common problems with email faced by users of all types and provide solutions that work without requiring any effort or behavior change on their part. We want to help people figure out which email they need to deal with, put it in context with the information related to it so they have what they need to take action, and then automatically file it in the right place so all related information is neatly organized for them. And all those huge reply-to-all threads, automated notification emails, and other unimportant messages clogging the inbox? Yeah, put that to the side so they don’t keep getting interrupted. Doesn’t that sound better already?
I’ve written a lot about how email needs to improve. With this release of ClearContext Personal we’re taking some big steps towards addressing some of the key challenges I’ve discussed involving volume and context. And that’s just the start. TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and GigaOm have already written about this launch – we really appreciate the great coverage from those writers and are really excited that improving email has become one of the hottest topics of discussion and innovation lately.
We’re all pretty tired around here and we still have a few finishing touches to put on some of the new web pages, so for now I’ll send you over to check out the ClearContext Personal product pages. Later today or tomorrow I’ll make a post that goes into more detail about the functionality of this release, what to expect in upcoming releases (including ClearContext Professional – a free upgrade for registered IMS v4 customers that incorporates all the new features in ClearContext Personal), and all sorts of other information about this launch.
I’ll end this post with a big THANK YOU to everyone who helped make this launch possible – everyone at ClearContext, the journalists/bloggers, and all of our incredible users who have given us such great feedback and assistance in developing a product we are sure you’ll love.