Posts from August 2009.

ClearContext Email Statistics: Percentiles, Sharing & Groups

We have rolled out a few new features in ClearContext Online over the last few weeks – Percentiles, Sharing and new Groups.


Want to see how your email usage compares with the rest of the ClearContext community?  Percentiles have been added to your home and group pages, giving a clearer context for average received, average sent, and response time.  Check out my user page to see this feature in action.  While there, compare your stats to mine.


image Sharing

Quickly share your individual stats with others via email, facebook or twitter.  Share from the upper right hand corner of your home page in ClearContext Online.  If you haven’t previously logged in, click Compare Your Stats Online from the Scorecard in Outlook.  See more information on getting started with ClearContext Online.


image New Groups

We have added several new corporate groups to ClearContext Online.  Follow instructions here to join new ClearContext Online groups.  If you don’t see the group that you want, send us a note at support at clearcontext dot com.

Lifehacker’s Guide to outlook Performance

For those looking to squeeze more performance out of Outlook, the How-To Geek has published a comprehensive guide to making Outlook faster on Lifehacker.   This is right in line with our own performance improvement recommendations.

Prioritization & Views Poll: Customized Views

Per this post, we would love your feedback:

Thanks!  Please take our conversation priority poll if you haven’t already.

Prioritization & Views Poll: Conversation Priority

Per this post, we would love your feedback:

Thanks!  Also see our views poll here.

ClearContext v5: Prioritization & Views

We’re making ClearContext simpler, faster and smarter.  Last week we discussed v5 single-click filing.  This week we’re writing about message prioritization.

Email prioritization has been a core feature of ClearContext.  For v5, we are reworking message prioritization to make it easier to understand with less setup and processing overhead.  Our goal is simple – automatically separate the wheat from the chaff for busy email users.  From our perspective, the “wheat” in your Inbox consists of the following:

  • Messages from people you know
  • Conversations you have participated in
  • Email related to your active projects

In v5, we will analyze incoming messages and automatically apply a color-coded categories to the following types of messages:

  • from people in your address book
  • from Important “VIP” contacts, automatically identified during setup or designated by you
  • in threads you’re active in

This represents a fairly significant change from previous releases:

  • imageColor-coded categories are being used in place of our current custom views.  This will take better advantage of Outlook’s category coloring and minimize current infrastructure costs when scoring messages.
  • Contact priority will be simplified to one setting – either the contact is designated as a VIP or not.
  • We will no longer provide views that order messages by priority and/or thread – use Outlook’s native views for this functionality.
  • The Topic name, when there is one, will appear in the category field, but will not be written to a special Topic field.  This will minimize instances of message conflicts.

The bottom line:

                      v4 Inbox                       v5 Inbox
image image

We want to hear from you

As before, we have some questions:

UPDATE: we can only use one poll per post.  Please take our conversation priority and customized views polls.

We welcome any additional feedback you have on these changes.  Subscribe to this blog for future updates regarding ClearContext v5.

All v4 purchases made after August 1, 2009 and all ClearContext Connect subscribers will receive a complimentary upgrade to v5.  If you haven’t already signed up for the v5 beta, send an email to beta at clearcontext dot com.  The beta schedule isn’t finalized yet, but we will let you know when a download is available.

Calmly Productive

This review of ClearContext in the calmly productive blog brings a smile to my face:

image“After spending a week with ClearContext, I can honestly say that I am quite impressed.  Those that don’t live in an Outlook world might not see the value ClearContext offers, but I think that the ultimate tribute to it is the fact that since I have installed it, I have reduced my inbox size by 1/3.  More importantly, the number of new messages sitting in my inbox that have arrived since installing ClearContext is……drum roll…..ZERO.”

THAT’S what I’m talking about!  Have a great weekend.

ClearContext v5: Single-Click Filing

Last month we shared our plans for making ClearContext v5 simpler, faster and smarter.  This month we’re going to post additional detail on what’s coming.  We want your feedback as we finalize v5 features, so please post your thoughts in the comments on this post.

Faster Filing

This release heavily emphasizes single-click filing.   Our design goal here is very simple.  The vast majority of the time, file your email in the right place with one click.  In almost all other cases, file with just two clicks.  In place of the Suggested Topics dropdown, v5’s File Msg: button includes a folder suggestion.:


  • If you have previously filed a message from the current conversation to a folder, that folder name is displayed
  • If you have not previously filed messages in this conversation, the button suggests a folder based on filing history

If you would like to file to a different folder than the first suggestion, click the down arrow clip_image004to launch our new folder selector:


Additional single-click suggestion buttons are at the top of the dialog.  To file anywhere else, quickly select the folder you want by typing or navigating the folder tree:


File Thread works exactly the same way, filing the whole conversation instead of just the current message.

Additional Changes

We have eliminated the old Topic dropdown in favor of this new scheme throughout the product.  When sending an email or saving a task or appointment, the folder selector is launched directly, eliminating several clicks previously required to find the correct folder or assign the desired Topic.

We have also simplified Original Message options when replying to a message or creating a task or appointment from a message.  The Original Message drop down has been replaced by the File Original toggle button:


When selected, ClearContext will automatically file the original message to a folder.  If you haven’t previously filed messages in this conversation to a folder, the folder selector asks where you want it to be moved to.

Filing has never been easier than it is in ClearContext v5.  It’s simpler, faster & smarter

We Want to Hear From You

We have a few questions for you to help us finalize these changes:

  1. How many folder suggestions would you like to see in the selector dialog?
  2. Should ClearContext file sent messages to related folders by default?
  3. By default, should ClearContext ask for a folder assignment as new messages are sent and new tasks and appointments are created?

Thanks in advance for your feedback!  Subscribe to this blog for future updates regarding ClearContext v5.

All v4 purchases made after August 1, 2009 and all ClearContext Connect subscribers will receive a complimentary upgrade to v5.  If you haven’t already signed up for the v5 beta, send an email to beta at clearcontext dot com.  The beta schedule isn’t finalized yet, but we will let you know when a download is available.

ClearContext Wins a “Basey”!

As part of the Information Overload Awareness Day Inaugural Event, ClearContext was presented with a Basex Excellence Award; recognizing “companies with industry-leading products or services that focus on the problem of Information Overload.”  From the press release:

“’These companies and offerings exemplify the types of products breaking new ground in the fight against Information Overload,’ said Jonathan B. Spira, Basex' CEO and Chief Analyst, who will present the awards.”

We received the award for providing innovative tools that control the Inbox, aggregate project information and reduce information overload.  Other recipients include Microsoft, Nordic River, Xerox and Xobni.

It is extremely rewarding to see our hard work recognized!

Information Overload Awareness Day Web Event 8/12 – free guest pass!

Did you know August 12th is Information Overload Awareness Day?  Our friends at Basex are putting on a web event focusing on ways to decrease the impact of  Information Overload. 
I'll be speaking on a Visionary Vendor Panel representing ClearContext along with speakers from Microsoft, Xerox, Xobni, and Nordic River. 

Thanks to Basex and conference sponsors, we're able to provide you with a free pass ($50 value) to attend the event!   Please come as our guest on August 12 – use the code "DevaGuest" for your guest ticket.  The web event begins at 8am PST and the Visionary Vendor Panel is at 11:15am PST.  You can see the full agenda here.

The keynote
presentation will feature Nathan Zeldes, Intel's former Information Overload
czar, speaking about his work at Intel and will coincide with the release of
the forthcoming  Basex report, Intel's War Against Information Overload.
 All attendees will receive a complimentary executive summary of this

Additional speakers include:

  • Noted authors Maggie Jackson
    (“Distracted”) and Mike Song (“The Hamster Revolution”)
  • Edward Stern, Occupational
    Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Dept. of Labor
  • Mark Hurst, Creative Good
    and author of "Bit Literacy"
  • John Hagel, co-chairman, the
    Deloitte Center for Edge Innovation
  • Seth Earley, CEO, Earley
    & Associates
  • Anne-Katrin Neyer, School of
    Business and Economics, University of Erlangen-Nürnberg
  • Peter Marksteiner, Colonel, Air
  • Paul Silverman, Integra
  • Christina Randle, The Effective
  • Jonathan Spira, chief analyst
    at Basex

Over 500 people are
expected to attend worldwide.  I hope you're able to join us.  C
lick here to register now – and use the code
"DevaGuest" for free admission!