It's important to know who you're talking to. But in our e-mail in-boxes, we're deluged with messages from people we don't know, companies we're not familiar with. Even messages from our friends and coworkers could be better handled if we had social or business context with the message.
To see what I mean, try at least one of the these three good tools: Xobni, Rapportive, and a new kid on the block, WhoSent.It. These tools all give you dossiers on the people e-mailing you by using data gleaned from around the Web, including Facebook profiles, Twitter postings, and, for business users, data from apps like Salesforce.com.
Of these apps, Xobni is for Outlook users. Rapportive works nicely with Gmail and Google Apps. WhoSent.It has a clever twist that makes it work with anything.
If you're an Outlook user, get Xobni. Like the other apps, it pulls personal data from Facebook, Twitter, and Linked in, and company data from Hoovers. Xobni also gives you relevant data from within your own e-mail archive: It gives you links to e-mails you've exchanged with the sender, and also shows you which other people the sender communicates with (taken from multi-addressed to: and cc: fields). Xobni's sidebar data panel looks great and is the front-end for a ton of additional info, though on a crowded notebook's screen it can be a little intrusive. … Read more