Software Inc., go
to the web site
Requires: Any Windows version of Microsoft Outlook
97, 98, 2000 or 2002(XP); compatible with Windows 95/98/Me/WinNT/Win2000
and WinXP; NEO also works with Exchange Server. If using Exchange
2000 Server, Exchange Service Pack 2 must be installed; not
compatible with Microsoft Outlook Express or any other email
MSRP: US$29.95 (site licensing available)
the giant monster that consumes us all, without mercy and
without end. E-mail. It's a joy, it's a bane, it annoys, it's
insane. However you consider e-mail, one thing is sure - there's
a lot of it, and it has to be organized. The problem is that
manually moving messages and replies into categorized folders
can be a bigger pain than the e-mail itself. Outlook's Rules
Wizard works well enough but takes a technical approach. Ditto
for Outlook's highly manual Junk E-mail filtering. So what's
a person to do? Well, you can try the Nelson Email Organizer
(NEO) for starters.
beat Outlook at its own game, you have to present e-mail in
a way that is unique and useful. NEO does it by presenting
your e-mail organized into categories such as Hot, Bulk Mail,
Correspondents, Date and Attachment. There's no InBox in NEO.
The program automatically organizes your e-mail according
to the ways most of us think about it: by date, by correspondent,
by mailing list, by attachment, highest priority and so on.
Your messages automatically appear in more than one location
at the same time.
installation, NEO scans all your Outlook e-mail and e-mail
folders, then sorts everything using an indexing system. Actual
Outlook files are not touched - path indexing allows NEO to
point to the same pieced of e-mail from a variety of NEO categories
without physically moving or copying the e-mail. Receiving,
sending and replying to e-mail within NEO still requires Outlook
- NEO is a semi-automatic organizer and search tool, not a
total Outlook e-mail client replacement. That means all the
same security rules still apply and you should continue to
check Windows Updates for Outlook patches and hotfixes on
a regular basis.
might be asking yourself if NEO simply trades one average
organizing system for another. While its true that NEO demands
about a week of steady use in order to fully understand it,
the effort required to change over from Outlook alone is worthwhile.
That's especially true for people in home office and business
environments which demand regular morning or afternoon e-mail
sessions in order to read and answer medium to large volumes
took us a while (about a day of poking around and reading
online help) to truly understand NEO's value and design paradigm.
NEO presents e-mail within different tabbed views. Initially,
everybody in your address book is classified as a Correspondent.
Click the Correspondent tab in NEO to see all Correspondents.
Click a Correspondent in the left pane and all associated
e-mails are instantly listed in the viewer pane. The Bulk
mail sorting and view is based on how e-mail is addressed
to you. If an e-mail arrived addressed to a list rather than
your specific e-mail address, it will be listed as Bulk and
only be available in the Bulk view. The Hot view initially
consists of unread e-mail in your InBox, NEO's estimate of
your most frequent Correspondents and unread e-mail from past
weeks. Because NEO uses indexing rather than physical copies
of each e-mail, the program can economically display any e-mail
in any number of different views. Nice. You can even create
additional sub-folders within Bulk, Hot and Correspondents
and tell NEO to automatically toss newsletters and other subscriptions
into the proper place. Outlook folders are displayed in a
separate pane for handy access within NEO. Also nice.
approach to spam and other junk e-mail is interesting. Rather
than creating a Junk list which requires that you manually
add individual e-mail addresses, NEO assumes three things:
a) e-mail addressed directly to you is always valid, b) e-mail
addressed to you indirectly (e.g., as part of a mailing list)
is sometimes valid, and c) all indirect e-mail is Bulk and
therefore lower priority (which means that Bulk mail doesn't
automatically appear in the Hot tab). The assumptions are
sensible and certainly work to cull about two-thirds of all
junk without deleting anything until you say so. It's not
a perfect system, but it appears to be very usable and (more
important) safe. It's certainly a gentler approach than SpamKiller
and the like, and accidental deletion of a good e-mail is
A lot of people may have some initial adjustment pains and
Outlook withdrawal symptoms. NEO work only with Outlook and
Microsoft Exchange Server. You have to read the online help
system to understand the differences between Bulk and Correspondent
mail. NEO does not work with IMAP protocols, Exchange Public
Folders or Multiple message stores (only one PST file at a
time, in other words).
The online help system is thorough and will get you over any
conceptual humps. The program becomes easy to use - almost
second nature - quite quickly. Caelo has come up with a smart,
useful product. NEO's indexed e-mail catalog is completely
independent of the Outlook PST file so installation and uninstallation
of NEO has no effect on Outlook. The built-in Search function
is very fast and can scan very large PST files in seconds.
Outlook is still available to you and can run concurrently
with NEO. For $29.95 you can't go wrong. Recommended.
to the Editor are welcome and occasionally abused in public.
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