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Personal Experiences with an Inbox Manager

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  • Personal Experiences with an Inbox Manager

    For one month, I had my inbox down to empty on a daily basis and all incoming mail was properly and efficiently processed and organized in just a few seconds. During this month, I actually enjoyed and looked forward to opening my Outlook to check email, schedule appointments, and stay organized. How did this come to be? It all began during my trial period for an amazing add-on for Microsoft Outlook.

    During my trial period of an add-on called ClearContext Information Management System, I discovered a whole new way approaching email. I spent approximately half the time I required in the past, and was still much more organized.

    In recent weeks, my trial expired and this is when I realized the power of this super-productivity boosting tool called ClearContext. Having to resort back to my old ways of reading and sorting through email, it sprung upon me how incredibly slow and inefficient this old way truly was. I was spending much more time and not getting nearly as much done. Now, I am not sure if I can do the add-on justice by writing about my own experiences, but I will give it a try.

    Within one day of installing ClearContext Information Management System, I got my three email inboxes (from Hotmail and Gmail) that had accumulated over 1000 unread emails to zero... and it was actually fun! How? By Categorizing my emails by topic and filing them away. ClearContext makes this exceptionally easy with a click of the 'file' button. It is like having a secretary file all your important emails away for you in a filing cabinet for easy reference later. ClearContext makes the process of filing so automated and intuitive in fact that it literally only takes a second. Also, the Defer button has been a blessing. Sometimes, there are those emails that you just have no idea what to do with? It could be an invitation to a party or a Facebook friend request that you don't quite know what to do with. In any case, this defer button allows you to make the email disappear from your inbox and reappear at a later time as if it were a new email. The beauty with this is that you have accurate precision down to the minute on when you would like the email to reappear. Now you can defer that three month early party invitation to a more appropriate time when you know your schedule.

    The next challenge I had was to keep my inbox at empty. This was also easy with ClearContext Information Management System. What I did with any new incoming email was convert it to a scheduled appointment/task with the ClearContext add-on, unsubscribe it, or perform any of the above filing or deferring functions. What I have learnt about Outlook is that it is a powerful program if you can unlock its full potential. ClearContext Information Management System does just that in an instant and makes it all intuitive.

    Further, the changes and improvements made to my inbox, such as folders, categories, and other things, synchronized perfectly with my Windows Mobile device in both directions with no problems. In my experience, the application has been flawless to date!

    Among all the things I have elaborated on, there is a wealth of other top-notch tools included in this add-on that I have barely begun to experience! Further, the development team is highly active and responsive to customer feedback.

    The only downside I can think of is the hefty price tag on the full professional edition. While I can vouch for the fact that this price is actually a bargain for what you get, and is not very much to pay for all the time and headaches you save, it is actually out of my budget currently as a 'starving' student. Nevertheless, the team at ClearContext probably is well aware of this and were kind enough to offer their personal edition of the product for free! While it is missing some of the features such as the 'defer' button, it has many of the essentials in the full feature-rich edition. It is safe to say that the personal edition is better than nothing. However, after trying both, I can honestly say that I cannot wait to upgrade to the professional edition. I have even started saving up for it already!


  • #2
    I have to agree with the above post
    I was using the GTD netcentrics plug in for about a year and was really happy with it. I have no idea why I changed. It was a sad day to say goodbye to the GTD plug-in. It was such a heart breaking moment as we went through the hard knock at that start of my great transformation of person organization.

    I decided to download the trial version and got started.
    Nothing great really happened as I started using over time I started to see all the great benefits.

    The syncing with my HTC PDA was the greatest feature as I could view my tasks by project or by categories. This was the big win for me.
    The email tracking and IMS related view make it easier to find related emails
    Filing of emails into projects making finding project information easier.
    I found that my outlook did not stall as much.

    The support on their forum was amazing and they had answer for every question I had and were upfront where issue were not possible at that stage
    They have even produced a white paper about how to use GTD methodology with Clearcontext, There down side there was a bit of tweaking needed to get the views that you would with the GTD Plug-in. I found it easy but then I know outlook well.

    Cause I can use my PDA and look at projects. I did my weekly review on my PDA. It was more of a challenge than something I would do all the time. But it was nice to know it was possible.

    Unsubscribe to emails is an amazing feature and has saved me heaps of time and once I got into the flow of using Clearcontext. I was thinking to myself. Gee my inbox is pretty light these days my mail server must be on the blink but in fact the way clear context works it make my emails extremely manageable and I get to focus on just the important emails.

    If you only have few projects to manage then I would stick with GTD as it simpler to learn and stick 100% to the GTD methodology

    IF you really into emails and have the patience to make a few change to outlook then do yourself a favor and get onto Clearcontext


    • #3
      RE: Personal Experiences with an Inbox Manager

      I have to agree with the other folks on this thread... I recently switched to ClearContext and for the first time I have a tool that is able to tie together emails, tasks, and appointments into a true "project" view. I posted some tips for using the tool along with some screen shots here:

      BTW, I have not tried the NetCentrics Add-In because of complaints I heard in various forums related to bugs and stability of the tool. I haven't seen these first hand, but I can say that ClearContext has been rock solid so far.


      • #4
        If you are going to spam the forum, at least try to make it sound a little more believable.

        Why would I pay for that if GMail does it all, better, and for free?


        • #5
          Originally posted by MarinaMartin View Post
          If you are going to spam the forum, at least try to make it sound a little more believable.

          Why would I pay for that if GMail does it all, better, and for free?
          Marina Martin

          Owner, TypeAs, Inc. Efficiency Consulting

          We help other Type A personalities be even more efficient!

          Filing system not working? Need 20 less pounds and $20,000 more dollars? Whatever your problem, get a solution for one flat fee.

          We also offer efficiency consulting by the hour or on retainer.
          Marina -

          I have no association with the folks that make ClearContext, and I doubt that the other posters on this thread do either. Before accusing other users of spamming the forum, please compare this link with the four links that are in your signature block.

          I agree that GMail is a great tool. Many folks, myself included, do not have that option. Corporate IT departments are hooked on Microsoft Outlook, so we need to find ways to augment that tool to meet our GTD needs.

          Last edited by carlc; 07-25-2008, 06:26 AM.


          • #6
            Originally posted by carlc View Post
            Marina -

            I have no association with the folks that make ClearContext...


            I was referring to the original post in this forum, which certainly sounds like spam to me, particularly because it's the only post they ever made.