In Valid Logic

Endlessly expanding technology

ClearContext 3: Well worth it!

Mike Gunderloy just posted a review of ClearContext 3.0 over at Larkware News, which reminded me, I've been meaning to post about ClearContext 3!

I've been using 3.0 for about a month now and absolutely love it!  Before Vista RTM'd, I was using their beta version with Office 2007 B2TR.  I was impressed with the beta, and I'm even more impressed with the final version (though some of my pains before were probably also from the Office 2007 beta).

If support for Office 2007 isn't reason enough for you to take the plunge and upgrade, then rest assured that there are several new features to make it definitely worth while.

First, topics in ClearContext are now linked to categories within Outlook, making it far easier to have a Getting Things Done style setup by having calendar items and tasks more easily linked to your topics.  Very happy to have this!

Second, the message view within Outlook now has a small pane at the bottom of the message for the RelatedView within ClearContext.  This shows a collection of information that is instantly available for the thread.  Need to jump back to an earlier message in the thread, but already filed it?  Scroll down the Related tab a bit and see the entire list of messages in the thread, as well as any appointments or tasks created from it.  Also can get access to the ActionView (list of action items you created from the thread) and the History (see when messages were received, when you replied, when topics were assigned, etc).  I've been using this feature more and more, as we regularly have long ongoing threads that I might need to browse though, and I like to regularly keep my inbox sorted so it is nice and slim.

And finally, with threads, you now have the ability to unsubscribe from a thread.  Often, there can be long threads that don't pertain to you, or you aren't interested in and don't want to hear the Outlook chime every time you get a new message from it.  Simply click the Unsubscribe button and ClearContext will automatically move all the messages to the "ClearContext Unsubscribed" folder, keeping them out of the way from you main inbox view.  Then later on, you can go to the unsubscribed folder and browse through the messages, delete them, or simply file them to an actual category.  The one thing I'd love added to this feature, but haven't seen yet, is the ability to specify when you should re-subscribe.  It would be nice if you could set come keywords to that when they showed in the message body, it would resubscribe you.  IE, it someone mentions my name in the thread, I would want to be resubscribed to see if it is now something I need to pay attention to.

There is probably much much more in 3.0, but these three are kind of the biggies to me.  Overall, the upgrade is well worth it, and definitely a huge addition to 2.x.  Now, I'm curious what might be in store for 4.0...

Friday, December 01, 2006

 
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