Get Productive: Email? Meet Networking.
Posted on 07.03.2008
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While most Web professionals will spend their holiday relaxing, there will be those that engage in a little work to get a head start on next week's road to success. If you're one of those "rise early, work late, strike oil" folks like me then I encourage you to spend an hour or two this weekend with two solutions to help you get productive when it comes to building your professional network and maximizing the use of email in the future.
A few weeks ago I came across Xobni, an Outlook plugin that helps its users organize their inbox. In reality, it's so much more than that. Xobni (which is inbox spelled backwards) is a game changer in the world of social networking. In fact, Bill Gates called Xobni "the next generation of social networking" - that's quite an endorsement.
The premise behind Xobni is that people spend far too much time searching for specific conversations, old attachments, and essential information in their inbox. Essentially just a new way to organize and search your Outlook email, what is unique about Xobni is that it creates profiles for each person that emails you. These profiles contain relationship statistics (who emails me most often and when?), contact information (extract phone numbers), social connections (who else does this person email), threaded conversations, and shared attachments. If you've ever searched your email archives for a specific message and been unable to find it quickly, then Xobni can make you much more productive.
But this week Xobni got even more useful with the integration of LinkedIn - the networking site for professionals. Xobni's integration with LinkedIn incorporates key contact information from public profiles. By leveraging these public profiles of LinkedIn users, Xobni provides important context and utility for the inbox, particularly for those who receive emails from many new contacts on a regular basis. Additionally, for those times when you can't put a face to a name, the profile photo is a great reminder and makes those first face-to-face meetings much less awkward.
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