Outlook Addons – 6 Ways to Get Social with Outlook

outlook addons   Outlook Addons   6 Ways to Get Social with Outlook Let’s face it, the 2 main constants in the working world are Blackberries when it comes to mobile and Microsoft Outlook when it comes to stationary. With Flock taking over the Social world for the browsers, Outlook support is getting rather social too. Here I want to go over a bunch of useful Outlook add-ons and toolbars that can make it more social and add to overall experience.

FBLook (for FaceBook)

One of the two new products (still in alpha) from Outlook extension developer TechHit. FBLook (Facebook + Outlook) is a simple toolbar add-on that integrates two key factors, (1) changing your “Status” and (2) notifications for friend requests, messages, pokes and more.

outlook facebook   Outlook Addons   6 Ways to Get Social with Outlook

OutTwit (for Twitter)

OutTwit (Outlook + Twitter) is a little more robust than FBLook. With OutTwit you can update your Twitter status, receive friend updates, check messages, assign categories to messages, shorten URLs with [NO LONGER WORKS] TinyURL and archive/search your messages.

outlook twitter addon   Outlook Addons   6 Ways to Get Social with Outlook

Next, let’s move onto the the little more robust and advanced Outlook add-ons.

LinkedIn – Outlook Toolbar

The first from LinkedIn is a toolbar, but it heavily integrates with Outlook. The simple and advanced features include; updating your Outlook contacts with LinkedIn profile information, receive notifications of profile changes, one click invites, mini-profiles in the emails, updates for your “network” and more. If you really use LinkedIn and have Outlook this is a must have.

linkedin toolbar   Outlook Addons   6 Ways to Get Social with Outlook

Plaxo – Outlook Add-on

Similar Outlook add-on comes from Plaxo. Plaxo actually has slight integration with LinkedIn and you are easily able to add your LinkedIn friends to Plaxo, so it’s all a matter of which you prefer (or both). With Plaxo’s new Outlook add-on with Pulse, the new “social stream”, which integrates your “Connection’s” streams from Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Digg, etc., makes Outlook your ultimate source for following your friends and news. Like LinkedIn’s add-on, it keeps your address book up to date, but Plaxo’s also syncs your calendar, tasks and notes. This could come in handy to synchronize multiple Outlooks or even multiple calendars, like Yahoo or Google.

Xobni

Xobni, which is still in private beta, but has released plenty of more invites, is a social Outlook add-on without a social network behind it. I’ve been using Xobni for several months now and I love the integration and search functions. Any email I click on, Xobni will bring up:

  • nr.of emails that were sent and received from the email address (which determines their rank)
  • list of all email conversations (better than Gmail)
  • a list of all the attachments for the person
  • broken down timelines of when I usually send/receive emails to/from that person
  • automatically pulls the phone number from an email
  • and the best feature is the almost instantaneous search function.

You can sign up now for an invite here.

FreeConference

Finally, I have to schedule conference calls several times a week. FreeConference, is the simplest and quickest way to setup a free conference call. There are paid options, but I’ve never used them. Just recently they updated their offerings with an Outlook add-on that is literally 3 clicks away from within Outlook to setup a conference call. Clicking “Schedule a Conference” brings up a Calendar Appointment with all the details, select your invitees, and hit send. All the information is automatically included with the calendar appointment.

conference manager   Outlook Addons   6 Ways to Get Social with Outlook

I love Outlook and I love integration, is there something else out there for free I should be using?

(By) Adam Hirsch, Community Director of Mashable

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11 Comments -

0 votes

Linda Martin-Peoples

Thanks for the great post Adam!
You’ve provided so much good info, I’m not sure what to check out first…
(but Xobni sounds the most intriguing…think I’ll just head there now!) Thanks!

0 votes

Aibek

Xobni is pretty good but I am going with OutTwit. ;-)

0 votes

Adam Hirsch

Actually, I just discovered a new one today. A better version of the Skype Toolbar just came out yesterday. So much better and definitely amazingly useful if you use Skype and Outlook.
http://www.skype.com/download/skypeemailtoolbar/

So, let’s make that 7 ways!

0 votes

Aibek

Even better ;-)

0 votes

Vaibhav

I wrote a plugin for Facebook and Outlook a long time ago for some fun… It’s here:http://blog.gadodia.net/facebook-eventsync-for-outlook-2007/

Also, this one is not a social networking plugin, however it is still a social plugin: http://www.syncmycal.com

0 votes

OggSync

OggSync has a plugin for sharing calendars via Google Calendar.

0 votes

Aibek

Just checked it out, looks pretty good. By the way, it also allows syncing of multiple Outlook calendars.

0 votes

thinkfloyd

Quite disappointed with Plaxo’s Outlook add-on with Pulse, (the “social stream”)
It just adds a button to Outlook toolbar… clicking on which opens the plaxo pulse website in a browser.
Not sure how this can be termed as “Outlook integration”?!

0 votes

bacarli

Thanks for taking the time to write this up. While searching, I found a cool add-in for outlook. Outlook Track-It gave me a toolbar on outlook that expanded the built-in followup functionality of the program. I had a little trouble before, but Track-It put things into perspective. Great add-on!!

0 votes

Lia

Does anyone know of an add-on that lets you add tags to contacts? I’d like to be able to group them without assigning them to categories or, worse, outlook groups.

0 votes

jsat

Hi i have about 2500 contacts between my outlook 2007, facebook(two accts), and blackberry. i do a yearly mailout and would liker to mange/consolidate my clients from these three places. does any software or addins do this??