Tag Archives: Poco Systems

This week’s column – Get a Grip On Your Inbox

This week’s Loose Wire column looks at email and offers some tips on blowing off the cobwebs on your inbox and getting organized.

GIVEN THE AMOUNT of time we spend handling our e-mail–checking it, reading it, writing it, occasionally clicking on attachments we suspect we probably shouldn’t–you’d think we would do a better job of organizing it.

If you’re anything like the rest of the world, nearly every e-mail you’ve ever received sits in your inbox, gathering dust, cobwebs and the digital equivalent of bedsores. Some of them appear to date back to the Magna Carta. Your basic attitude towards e-mail is to read it when it comes in, and then, if you work for the government or any company with more than 10 employees, forward it to as many colleagues as possible in the hope that you won’t actually have to do anything more about it. The same applies to outgoing e-mail: You write it, usually with a revealing and helpful subject title like “Meeting” or “Proposal” and then send it, retaining only the haziest idea of whether you still have a copy of it and, if so, where it might be.

Full text at the Far Eastern Economic Review (subscription required, trial available) or at WSJ.com (subscription required). Old columns at feer.com here.

For the column I took a look at some newish products on the market, including a new version of Bloomba, a new email/organizer from Poco Systems called Barca and Thunderbird, the free email sister of browser Firefox.

A Beautiful Challenger To Outlook

Out today, here’s something for those of you who like the idea of Outlook, but can’t stand the reality: Barca, a new PIM/email program.

From Canada-based Poco Systems, the makers of the excellent PocoMail, Barca has the makings of a great program. Easy to install, graceful and light in feel, it starts working for you very quickly. There’s a feature list that makes your mouth water and your tears well up at the effort and ingenuity that has gone into this product. It’s truly wonderful to see people really care about the software they create.

But. Sadly there’s a but. Maybe I’m wrong, but at $60 a pop (I’m assuming it’s US$ here), I’m not convinced it’s going to sweep the board. The main problem: Poor synchronisation with your PDA and/or cellphone. While you can sync some calendar items, it’s fiddly and not the kind of thing you can do while you’re running out the door to lunch. I suspect most people really need this feature, and, at least, in this spanking new release, it’s not there. That’s a shame. Otherwise I think Poco could really give Outlook and others a run for their money.

Still, give it a shot. You might be tempted.