The next version of my favourite Outlook plug-in for helping to make a huge incoming stream of email manageable is being released tomorrow. The 2.0 version of ClearContext comes with a raft of new features, tons of fit and finish, and effectively turns Outlook into the email management solution it should already have been.
The new software is called ClearContext Information Management System Professional, or IMS Pro for short. (If ever there was a product Microsoft should purchase, it’s this one; both for the awesome functionality and also the Microsoft-inspired mouthful of a name… )
I’ve been a ClearContext user since the 1.0 days, and had the good fortune to act as a beta tester for IMS Pro for the past few months. It’s clear that ClearContext have noticed the popularity of David Allen’s Getting Things Done system, in particular amongst technical people, and much of the functionality in IMS Pro is in service of supporting a GTD system. In fact, I used to use the official Getting Things Done Outlook Add-In, and found that after using IMS Pro for a short while I was able to remove the GTD Outlook Add-In and retain all of the functionality I needed (and more).
I should also mention that the team at ClearContext is one of the most approachable and easy-to-communicate-with teams I’ve ever dealt with for a consumer software product. In fact, one of the new views in IMS Pro is the direct result of a question I sent to them when trying to build a view in Outlook that it simply can’t do natively. That view (it’s called “Threaded” if you’re curious) is now of vital importance to me in my work-flow, and I bet you’ll like it too.
Let me put it this way: if you find your email difficult to manage, and don’t feel that Outlook does enough to help you, give ClearContext a try. There is a short adaptation period, but because it’s very cleverly designed to work within Outlook’s framework, you are free to use as many or as few of the new features and work-flows that ClearContext adds. Of course, I suspect you’ll find you like almost all of them.
IMS Pro will retail for $69.95 USD. Luckily, ClearContext will also soon be releasing a free offering based on the same technology: ClearContext Inbox Manager 2.0 Personal Edition (yet another mouthful). The free version doesn’t have the GTD work-flow functionality, but will still go a long way towards helping you get a handle on your inbox.
Heh – I just re-read this post, and I sound like a commercial. But I don’t mind; I really love this software and if you’re an Outlook user I think you should try it.
[tag] email, Outlook, ClearContext, ClearContext 2.0 [/tag]