Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tech Tools That I Use Part 1: Email, Calendar & Contacts

While I am relatively new to the whole world of blogging and social-networking I consider that I am pretty good at using technology to increase my effectiveness. Here are a few things that I do:

1. I simply love Microsoft Outlook - it is one of the reasons of marital bliss. I ensure that all Birthdates, Anniversaries (not mine but the in-Laws) are setup, and reminders for a day before the events. The Calendaring & Contact function is phenomenal - yes I would want more features but I haven't seen anything that works so well and does not need an internet connection.

(And Yes I have tried Apple's email client, Thunderbird, Outlook Express, all kinds of web email - Gmail, Hotmail etc. - nothing in my opinion comes close to Outlook at least for what I use it for other than email!)

2. Having them on your Outlook is of course not enough - so whenever I have used any cellphone I have made sure that I can "sync" (using Cables or Bluetooth etc.) the calendars & contacts with the PC/Outlook. That, of course, allows you to be reminded when the laptop is NOT ON or at the office.

3. Another thing that I did (I say - "I did" because now I have automated the process) when using Outlook file messages. I rarely use an excuse that I have tons of email, I can dispatch and/or categorize emails very effectively. Of course it also helps that I am a BlackBerry addict since 2003!

4. I started using ClearContext a couple of months back and it has certainly helped me automate the task of keeping corporate email box limits. ClearContext allows me to setup "Topics" and any emails that are in the same thread get classified automatically. I can then file them away in separate folders as a single message or entire thread. (I must admit that the Apple MAC OS email client has this feature where it will show emails as "Threads" or "Conversations").

5. I am going to attempt to use Xobni (Inbox spelled in reverse) which boasts many features plus ability to connect to the social networks.

I will continue this post to follow up on Browsing and RSS tools to keep me updated on everything that is going on...

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