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snarf.png It’s not often these days that I find a Microsoft tool that impresses me – especially one that is free – but I have to admit that I was quite taken with SNARF – the Social Network and Relationship Finder.

In a nutshell, SNARF is an MSI add-on for Microsoft Outlook (but not Outlook Express) and its purpose is to scan your email inbox and put new emails from your most important contacts at the top. In other words, it turns Outlook into more of a social network – it remembers your friends and places their emails more prominently at the top while strangers or unimportant mails go to the bottom.

The program gives you a range of options on how it can organise the ordering of your emails, such as whether the email was sent directly to you or as part of a mailing list. You can also have your emails organised depending on how many emails a certain contact sent to you within a specified time frame such as the past week or the past month.

But again I have to stress that Outlook Express users are out of luck. This only seems to work with recent versions of Outlook such as Outlook 2003 or 2007.

Do you know of any other that helps you to keep on top of your emails? Let us know about it!

Posted by makeuseof writer Mark O’Neill


  1. duncan
    June 30, 2008 at 11:43 am

    I use NEO (formerly called Nelson's Email Organizer). It runs on top of Outlook and changes nothing but filters out Bulk (mailing lists, cc: ME, To: Me& more) vs. Correspondent (To: Me Only). Also indexes so I can look at email by any subfolder within the above, do a global search, find emails that have attachements, are flagged, are ToDo's. Automatically catagorizes, makes "Hot", "Protects", "Flags", "Makes Important", and notes "Unread" based on "rules" it learns. My favorite feature is "Active Mail", which is a staging ground from which I can read, reply, make ToDo, file, fwd...basically take action on my important emails. Hitting the backspace key when I'm done, removes the message from the Active Mail folder.

    The product is Free and can be found at They just released their latest version. There is a Pro version that one can buy, but the only major difference from what I can tell is that the Pro version allows Neo to work with an Outlook that has multiple message stores (PSTs) and treats them as one.

    In short, Neo takes Outlook messages and automatically sorts "virtual copies" of them into a multi-dimensional database "folders" allowing one to filter, slice, dice, combine, recategorize, find conversations, search keywords, etc. at will.

    I'd love to see a review of this in Make Use Of and was surprised when I searched and didn't find one.

    Finally, I want to disclose and make clear that I have NO connection or relationship whatsoever with the company that makes NEO, NOR its backers (if any), etc.. I don't own stock in the company (if it is even public, I don't know), nor will I benefit in any way--directly or indirectly--from this product's success or failure.

    I've just been using it for about 5 years and wanted to share what I found. If there are similar, or even better products out there, I'd like to know about them too!

  2. mark
    October 8, 2007 at 2:40 pm

    I have, but I keep a copy of Outlook 2003 on the computer for testing purposes.

  3. Aibek
    October 8, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    I thought you switched to Mozilla ThunderBird. Changed your mind ?

    • mark
      October 8, 2007 at 2:42 pm

      I have switched to Thunderbird but I keep a copy of Outlook 2003 on the computer for testing purposes.

      I posted this same comment a moment ago and it doesn't seem as if MUO accepted it. So here it is again (just in case the other comment eventually turns up, don't think I am going senile, posting twice!)

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