If you're swamped by email in your Outlook inbox, you have to try ClearContext, an Outlook add-in that helps analyze and organize your mail. The company has just launched a new product called ClearContext Personal, available as a free download that everyone can use (currently in private beta according to their product page, but a sign up list is available).
You may remember some of our earlier coverage of ClearContext (click here for 7 Outlook Tips). Now the company is rebranding their product naming conventions a bit along with the launch of several new features. The previous professional (paid) version of the software was called ClearContext IMS v4. Now, it's a much more understandable "ClearContext Professional." Registered users of IMS can upgrade and get access to the new features for free.
For everyone else, ClearContext Personal edition is offering some great tools which include the ability to see attachments and contacts from emails in each folder, the ability to save, sort, and forward those attachments, the ability to create distribution lists, meeting requests, etc. from those contacts, and more.
Back when I was a regular ClearContext user at my I.T. job, one of my favorite features were the buttons that let me instantly file either individual emails or entire conversations with one click. Once I had everything set up properly, email came in already categorized, so I wouldn't even need to tell it what folder it belonged in. Of course, for the times I did need to categorize the email, it was only a matter of typing the first letter of the folder's name and hitting "Enter" to assign the category. (Love keyboard shortcuts!)
However, it looks like the next version of ClearContext Personal is offering a feature that can even trump that - the ability to explore and preview your attachments within Outlook just like you were browsing a folder on your desktop. (You have to see the screenshot). That looks extremely useful.
Other ClearContext Personal features include threaded conversations, highlighting of the most important messages in your inbox, and "Notifications Managers" that automatically move what we fondly refer to as "bacn" out of your inbox. (What's bacn? click here to find out. Short answer is "email you want, but not right now").
The new features should certainly help heavy Outlook users get a better reign on their inboxes if they can take a break from their email long enough to install and configure the add-in!