Thinking

If you could create any Outlook plugin you wanted – which features would you include?

That is the question that I have been mulling over for the last few months. (Yes that is me mulling in the picture!)

To give you some background, I’ve been building Outlook plugins for more than 10 years, but up to now I (and my team) have been mainly building bespoke plugins for other people.

So earlier this year I decided it was time to put my experience to work and build the ultimate Outlook productivity plugin….

But the question I was asking myself was which features would….

  • Add most value?
  • Save most time?
  • Help users become most successful?

I didn’t want to duplicate the work that other companies have already done in building plugins (which limited the ideas for me to work with), but that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to overlap a bit with some products.

I am pleased to announce that I made my decisions, and the new plugin is ready. You can see which feature sets I chose below.

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The New Corporate Contacts Outlook Plugin.

The New Corporate Contacts Outlook Plugin.

Feature #1: Project Management

Tracking communications for a project is not straight forward in Outlook. I wanted to be able to tag items as belonging to a project, and then have a dashboard where I could see all my items.

Feature #2: Mail Merge and Email Templates

Outlook doesn’t let you send a mail merge email very easily, or create and load standard template emails.

Feature #3: Tracking Callbacks

If you have ever had to manage calling back customers and prospects on a regular basis with anything more than a handful of customers, this is really not easy. I wanted a dashboard where I could see all the callbacks I need to make, and make notes when I call as to what the outcome was (in my experience – 75% of calls ended in either leaving a message or not reaching the intended recipient.)

Feature #4: Dashboards and Search Panels

I know people who organise all their emails into folders, and others who just have one big inbox. But finding emails buried in either can be time consuming. I wanted to speed up the process with dashboards.

 

So what do you think?

The plugin I created is free. You can signup to download and install the plugin below.

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If you have the time, I would love to know if I got the features right or if I missed some obvious wins. You can comment on this post, or if you have downloaded the plugin, you will have an email from me which you can reply to.