Xobni outlook add-in for your inboxXobni is one of the most fantastic applications I have seen in goodness knows how many years of looking at computer software. Never before have I reviewed a piece of software either for myself or for a computer magazine and have been so bowled over so instantly.

Xobni is actually the word “inbox” spelt backwards. It is an add-in for Microsoft Outlook, but revolutionises the way you deal with e-mail. For instance, it tells you the best time of day to e- mail individual people so that you’re most likely to get a response from them. It knows by looking at the history of when people have e-mailed you the best time of day to e-mail them. As an example Xobni tells me that one of my contacts only ever replies to e-mails between 8 p.m. and midnight. There is absolutely no point in me writing to that person at 9 a.m. as I’m not going to get a reply for another 12 hours. I may as well use my time on something more productive.

Xobni does more than that: it provides me with instant threaded e-mail conversations. So rather than having to search I can see in an instant all the various e-mail conversations I’ve had with particular individual. If I’m previewing a particular e-mail, it shows me automatically all the previous e-mails for that particular conversation with that specific individual. It also automatically extracts telephone numbers out of e-mails and highlights them to you in the corner of your screen. Instead of having to search for a particular phone number or scroll through the e- mail. or switch and look at your contacts list, you can phone or even Skype people direct from Xobni.

As if that weren’t enough, it also produces a list of all the attachments that you’ve ever has swapped between yourself and each individual. Plus, it tells you which individuals are connected to each other. There is also a statistical analysis telling you when you last contacted a specific individual – this helps make sure your business keeps in regular contact with key people.

The result is a massive shift in productivity. I only installed Xobni an hour ago and I can see already the dramatic improvement it is going to make to my business. Anyone, like me, who is running an online business spends a great deal of time using e-mail. However, current estimates suggest that we are spending around two hours every day dealing with e-mail. I’m pretty confident that Xobni will be able to slash that time in half, if not more, providing my online business with more time to make more money. At the moment Xobni is only a beta product. But if you’re willing to test it — and I suggest you do — you can get it for free. I cannot recommend Xobni, highly enough.

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