Since the very beginning the web has taken off, email has been an integral part of that experience. Starting from the old terminal based editors coming from UNIX roots, to the rich and dynamic experience of neatly formatted text, colorful graphics and even animated contents.
Humble email has come a long way. While everyone has an email address, along with more recent Twitter, Facebook & Whatsapp applications, communication has skyrocketed. This brings an urgent need to find tools to organize, file and in general make sense of the huge corpus of text now being composed, read and replied to.
Some essential email utilities are as follows
- Spam Filter – Still a must have for every road warrior to avoid being taken for a ride on fake pills, instant money or identity theft. A good spam filter requires that any genuine email be not flagged as spam (NO false positive) as well as keeping the volume of spam still sneaking through to your inbox at manageable levels (low false negative). While both Outlook and Gmail employ sophisticated filter (the latter being more advanced). It still makes sense to use a common filter, especially in corporate networks.
- Organizer – Will all Email clients allow you to sort mail by recipient type as well as chronological order, what if you want to sort by size of attachments? There are tools (like Mailstrom or Sanebox) available which for a fee, can do just that, and much more.Aggregate by files sent to an email group? No problem, the tools will do just that. Automatically delete emails quickly from a sender at regular intervals? Ditto. How about finding the heaviest email to delete when running out of space? Tools like FindBigmail will work like a charm on those.
- Single Pane – Like everyone, you have a work email address, a primary email address, a backup address in case primary gets locked out, one for sending all promotions, another jocular one opened in college. Want to use single pane to read all those? Use Connectors like Hotmail connector to read all your Hotmail accounts right there in Outlook.
- Backup – Want the account number you have mailed yourself years back but can’t because of crashed hard drive. You need an email backup service which will automatically CC your emails to another account in the cloud, plus save all your incoming mails. With email being used as a reminder, to do list, meeting minutes and in general a dumping ground for all important information, it is just bad business sense not to use backup tools.
- Reminders – How many times would you wish for a tool to remind you of an important meeting for which an email invite was sent? No problem, tools like Taskforce are there just for that. How about a To-Do list with email notifications? No problem, they will do that for you.
- Spell Checker – Every email program since the very beginning of the mail had this feature. But how many times one has come across an impressive resume hampered by bad choice of words and worse, their spellings? So, this is a must.
With so many utilities available, one can look forward to achieving email nirvana of zero pending messages as well as boosting productivity many-folds. Of course care has to be taken with such tools as they require you to hand over your email credentials, so please use your discretion.