I am neither a Xobni user nor a BlackBerry user (I know, heresy this close to Research in Motion’s HQ) but if you are, you should be adding the new Xobni app to your BlackBerry. Microsoft Outlook users probably already know about Xobni (inbox backwards), either their free version or Xobni Plus. It meshes with the concept I discuss in the text, which is that add-ons are going to change e-mail clients the same way they have impacted Web browsers. Xobni looks at your e-mail information – contacts, message content, attachments – and aggregates it and gives you information about it.
Now you can have that power on your BlackBerry. The Web Worker Daily blog has a great overview of what the app will do. For BlackBerry users who might not be feeling much love since Mozilla isn’t developing a version of Firefox for you, this is a nice improvement for e-mail management on the go.
Mashable’s recent post on an inbox cleanse is a great reminder that your interaction with your e-mail client is an ongoing one. They focus on your inbox and that is a great place to start. Managing your inbox is one of the biggest challenges some lawyers face in their practice communications. When you see how many lawyers are disciplined for poor client communication, you can understand why this should be a priority.
E-mail is like a garden. You subscribe to discussion lists and current awareness tools, interact with current clients and other lawyers and the court. Then someone you e-mailed copies you in on a new discussion, or sends you a joke or something else. You make an online purchase for office supplies or some new tunes, and you get the purchase acknowledgement, and perhaps follow up messages giving you the status and precise location of your purchase as it wends its way to you through meatspace.
This accretion of e-mail starts to fill out your inbox like weeds growing between the flowers you originally planted. Even when you go through an inbox cleanse, you need to be prepared to repeat the process on a periodic basis as your inbox gets overgrown.
At the same time, you may want to go through your other folders and clear out some of the detritus that has accumulated there. Identify current awareness discussions you’ve stashed away and unsubscribe from them, look for where you have filtered content out of your inbox, and clean it out of these other folders. Unsubscribe from lists that are no longer providing you with good information or discussions, and archive out your old online purchase information.
I talk in the text about search folders, and this is a great way to spontaneously get your Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird e-mail client to round up messages that may be ideal candidates for deletion. The search folder can aggregate them from across all your folders.