Robert Scoble on 6 Tools to Help Tackle Overflowing Email

Robert Scoble recently wrote a column for Fast Company Magazine with 6 tools he uses and teaches others to use to help simplify email. Let’s face it, email is necessary these days. You might say it’s a necessary evil, but I don’t consider it evil. I consider email a tool, as I consider many other things tools. (Considering a person a tool is a different matter smile_tongue). As a tool, email can be used properly or misused. I have my personal email to a decent level of filtering, although I’m starting to build up a lot of Facebook and Twitter notifications, so I’m going to have to create a filter for those. I used to use Outlook rules, but I’ve found it’s much easier to filter my email on Gmail’s end.

I’ve posted entries on my blog about how to manage email before. I’ve been through several tools and systems over the years. One service that Robert Scoble mentions is Xobni. I’ve used Xobni in the past (It’s Inbox spelled backwards). When I first used it, Xobni was in closed beta, but it’s now in open beta. You can download and use it by giving your email address. One of the most useful features of Xobni is the ability to get a phone number from a contact if that person has ever included a number in an email to you. I also like the capability to get the address of another person that has been emailed by a contact. At one point, I needed a current email address for somebody at my church. I only had to click on one of the daily church emails and search in Xobni, and I got the current address. It was faster than emailing the church for the address.

I have dealt with ways to reduce your email frustration in the following posts. I’ve touched on email in others, but these specifically deal with the subject:

Two other services that Robert Scoble mentions are Clear Context and Gist. I’m currently configuring Clear Context, and I’m waiting for my download link for Gist. If either stands out to me as a useful tool, I’ll write a post about it.

Check out Scoble’s post if you find yourself drowning in email with no Coast Guard boat in sight.


2 Responses

  1. The single most useful tool I’ve found for gaining control of my email (and my life) is a book titled “Never Check Email in the Morning” by Julie Morgenstern. One of those books with LOTS of tips for gaining control, and you can easily pick out the 3 or 4 that apply to your own situation and make them work.
    Also check out Merlin Mann’s “Inbox Zero” series at

  2. Joe, thanks for the comment. I’ll have to add “Never Check Email…” to my book list. I was never sure if it was worth the read or not. I’ve read Getting Things Done, 4 Hour Work Week, and a few of the other popular productivity books, as well as many blogs devoted to them. I have read Merlin’s series. I’ve been following his blog for years.

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