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Wise Tech Tips

Free Outlook Add-In Xobni

By James Wise
web posted July 20, 2009
TECH TIPS – Email is an important part of my personal, and especially professional, life. I love the fact that I can have “documented” conversations with people that I can refer to afterwards if I need to. However, sometimes looking back and finding the mail I’m after can be difficult. The good news is that since I use Microsoft Outlook as my email program, there is a free add-in called Xobni which helps makes my life easier.

You can read more about Xobni and get it from their website: http://www.xobni.com/.

Xobni creates an index of all of your mails. When you click on a mail, the Xobni sidebar shows you a variety of information related to the person who sent you the mail. This includes other people related to this person, a list of other mails (conversations) with this person, and a list of attachments exchanged with this person. If you click on a mail in the “conversations” section where you’ve exchanged several mails back and forth about that subject, Xobni shows a “threaded conversation” window showing each of the related mails.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a contact, just click the actions button and select “schedule time with.” Xobni then checks your Outlook calendar and creates a mail to the contact in question which includes when you are available.   

Xobni automatically gathers phone numbers (where available) from mails and includes this. A picture of the contact and other information like job title is also shown if one is available from your Outlook contact list or from social networking sites such as www.linkedin.com or www.facebook.com. You can also see status updates from Facebook for the person selected.

Xobni can even show analytical information and graphs including mail traffic over time and mail traffic for a contact by time of day. Xobni also ranks people you’ve exchanged mails with.

One of the most powerful aspects of Xobni is the search tool. Just start typing something you want to search for in the Xobni search box and mails related to that are found in an instant. According to Xobni, their search for a single keyword is 50 times faster than Outlook’s built in search.

Recently, Xobni also released a paid version of their program called Xobni Plus with additional features (like more advanced search options) that you might want to check out if you are a power user. The free version is still available though so check it out if you’re an Outlook user.

I’ve been using Xobni for quite some time so if you have any questions about it, just send me an email (EdgefieldTechHelp@gmail.com). There’s also a forum where you can ask questions and find information (http://community.xobni.com/xobni).

By the way, if you’re wondering about the name Xobni, it just comes from inbox spelled backwards!

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