Yes, there are still some of us who love to use Outlook as their home base for all things digital. Calendars, tasks, contacts, mail and now even Tweets! If you find yourself far more comfortable with the Outlook interface but are interested in delving into the world of Twitter, check out Twinbox (link here) – a free application that allows you to Tweet from within Outlook.
The relatively small application file adds a few buttons to the Outlook bar that allow you to interact with the microblogging site. The app also supports multiple Twitter accounts. There are some simple preference selections to be made, including a clever option to use a keyboard shortcut to bring up a Tweet window. I also like that the service uses bit.ly for shortening links – my link shortener of choice.
Some of the benefits of Outlook are borne out with Twinbox as well – you can leverage Outlook’s foldering, filtering, archiving and search functions to keep track of and locate Tweets, which are now stored within Outlook. Incoming Tweets show in a very Outlook-like window as well, keeping the experience well within the bounds of familiarity. All the usual Twitter conventions, such as RTs, @ mentions, tags and DMs, are supported, and attaching pictures to Tweets is relatively easy – highlight an email that attaches and image or load one up from your computer’s hard drive.
And Twinbox has some great analytics features built right into it – you can easily view top Tweeters compared to total Tweets over a designated time frame.
While Twinbox does not give you all of the possible panoply of Tweeting options, it does a credible job of making Twitter manageable for the Outlook-obssessed set (which includes many professional and business-types). Not a bad way to get an introduction to realtime, social banter in a familiar environment.