Gtriage – Your Inbox Can be Tamed
The Problem: E-mail Overload
The Solution: That depends …
Finding too many new messages in our in-boxes is a stubborn, universal problem for lawyers: an occupational hazard if you will. I’ve examined various solutions to this problem, including as Outlook plug-ins ClearContext and Xobni, but was never satisfied with their performance.
Take ClearContext for example. It produces excellent coordination between contacts, attachments, tasks, and appointments, but requires way too much work. Basically for CC to work well, the user must do all the classification and draw the connections. By the time I’m done advising the program of what’s important, I’m already exhausted.
Xobni on the other hand, magically organizes e-mail and attachments by contact without the need for any input at all. It really is impressive at showing you who is who, and the history of your communication with them; but it cannot help me make sense of the 100+ new messages I get every day. And without visual clues as to what is worth reading I can’t even find the important messages, much less put them in context.
Finally, these applications and others like them are designed exclusively for use with Outlook; a notorious memory hog that can single-handedly slow down and crash my system. No thank you.
Then I read about Gtriage in a FriendFeed post a few months ago. Gtriage works with Gmail or Google Apps to identify important messages and give you visual cues with which to find them. Just sign up and within minutes Gtriage learns your e-mail habits, applies its machine-learning algorithms, then identifies and labels messages so you know which ones to attack first. Amount of work required on the user’s end: none. That’s more like it.
Gtriage takes less than 3 minutes to set up. Since it learns automatically there is nothing to do or worry about once you have signed up; but if you are the creative type you might want to see how it can be combined with Gmail plug-ins like Multiple Inboxes for spectacular results (see this example).
Special Offer for Practicehackers: At the moment Gtriage remains in invitation-only beta, but Unblab was good enough to provide the invite code for 10 new accounts. Simply go to http://gtriage.com and be one fo the first 10 readers to sign up using practicehacker as your invite code.
Let me know what you think of Gtriage by posting your feedback, compliments, or hacks right here on Practicehacker.com, send your thoughts by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, join our Friendfeed Group, or sound off on Twitter.