Things I Use: Email Management

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In our last installment of Things I Use, we shared CTO Marcus Bluestein’s desktop setup. Marcus picks his technology, such as his dual monitors, carefully, with a focus on productivity and efficiency. Along these lines, he’s found an email management solution that he relies on to deal with the daily deluge in his inbox.

An Outlook plugin that files messages into folders, TechHit’s SimplyFile saves Marcus “at least fifteen minutes a day,” he said.

“I consider myself a typical Outlook user. I have a many folders for clients, vendors, projects, etc.,” Marcus said.  Several years ago Marcus and Kraft Kennedy co-Founder Pete Kennedy had a conversation in which they lamented the amount of time that it takes to file an email. When you have, say, 100 folders for vendors and clients, it takes 1-20 seconds to find the correct folder before filing the message. For the average busy professional, the time adds up. “I get a lot of email,” Marcus said.

Pete and Marcus developed a program that they called ezFile; it simplified and streamlined the process of filing an email in a folder, saving minutes of frustration. Eventually though, they stopped supporting it and needed something else.

Marcus came across SimplyFile, which had taken the same idea and gone further with it. Following its initial installation, the program analyzes your existing folders and its subject lines, attachments, and contents and “learns” where you store them. Marcus now clicks a button in Outlook and the program autopicks a folder. It is right about 90% of the time. This can also be done for sent emails (Marcus points out that  he doesn’t use this feature, however, preferring the plain single “sent” folder).

“It has other powerful features that I don’t even use,” he said.

Marcus’s apparent low levels of stress and good mood around the office might be a testament to SimplyFile’s powers.

What about privacy? “I don’t think there are concerns,” Marcus said. “SimplyFile doesn’t upload to a cloud service–it’s just a local index. Outlook already stores emails in the local cache, so this is not too different. If a firm doesn’t trust Outlook cache mode though–and many don’t–it might not feel comfortable with this either.”

For Marcus, this $50 plug-in has proven itself to be worth it.