Like many business people I use Microsoft Outlook. In fact I’ve been using Outlook for a very long time – since before Outlook was Outlook and it was just called Microsoft Mail. I’m also a bit of a hoarder. As a consequence, I now have well over 80,000 emails. I know, sad isn’t it?
Because of the size limitations of the old ‘PST’ format under Office 2003, those emails are spread across 10 different PST files. And to help me find those emails (otherwise why file them in the first place), I have a fairly complex set of folders and sub folders. 3,500 of them.
I therefore have all kinds of problems trying to find emails (but that is for another post). With that many folders I have problems filing messages in the first place.
I’m not sure if you’ve used Outlook’s filing capabilities very much, but they leave a lot to be desired. Basically you can move a message to a folder or copy it there. In either case you need to manually navigate to the destination folder. Even with Outlook 2010’s improvements the process is still very cumbersome.
That is where ‘SimplyFile‘ comes in. There’s a little company called TechHit based out of San Francisco that I came across a couple of years ago that develops cool add-ins for Outlook. My favourite is SimplyFile, but TwinBox (which routes your Twitter feed to one or more Outlook folders) is also great.
SimplyFile allows ‘one click’ (literally!) filing of email messages. It either learns or you train it where you file messages. As time goes on it gets smarter and smarter to the extent that (in my case) over 90% of the time it knows exactly which one of my 3,500 folders I want to file something in. In the example to the right it is suggesting a folder called ‘FY10 Investment Plan. I can accept the suggestion and just push the button, or I can choose from a list of five suggestions (which moves the probability to about 98%), or I can select any file using autosuggest as I type the folder name.
It will also let me file all the messages in the thread with a single click, or create an appointment from the message. If I need to go to one of the 3,500 folders I can do that too: I start typing the name and it autosuggests the folder.
Version 3.0 has just been released and includes enhanced support for the Ribbon on Outlook 2010.
At $49.95 it isn’t cheap, but it is worth it. You can download a free 30 day trial here and I’ll guarantee that once you’ve used it for a couple of weeks there’ll be no going back.