Combine Web Reading & Email And Get CC:To Me

Some people like their readers. Some people prefer their inboxes. I use my inbox as a sort of “to do” list, by keeping messages that require action in the active inbox, moving those that I have completed to a certain file within the inbox and organizing the rest according to type.

If you are the type of person who relies on their inbox and prefers email subscriptions to blogs to RSS, then CC:To Me might be for you. This bookmarklet will allow you to catch any web page you are browsing and send it to your email. You can send a note containing text and images or the entire article. You get a reader friendly version of your selection in your inbox, where you can read, sort, file, and resend at your leisure. And the sent post includes the original URL, so you can go back and get more.

Do you use labels or filters? I do – I can’t live without them. With some tweaking of those filters or labels, you can use CC:To Me to turn your inbox into a reference library – add dedicated topic “hashtags” to your CC:To Me posts and your filters will do the rest. You can even have CC:To Me and your filters auto-send on certain notes to a different email address. You can add more emails to your CC:To Me account and then have options within the bookmarklet as to where to send. This works beautifully for me, as I have dedicated email accounts for my blogs, personal and business – I can forward mobile app articles to my MobileAppOfTheDay email, personal articles to my personal email and business articles to my business email.No need to log in and navigate a separate site to get your goods – most people are in and out of their email all the time and your saves will be waiting for you, right there in your inbox (or filters / labels).

That is a lot for nothing! And it appears CC:To Me will be developing pro accounts with more features. Such as sending items to different email users (great for enterprise) or to other services, like DropBox. All in all, the free version seems very solid and perfectly capable of helping you sort, save and share via your inbox.

A Visual Relevance Map

Still trying to grok relevance in our current Internet state of affairs? Simply put, relevance is the degree of value and importance that a particular item of data holds for you. Filters and tools help us sift through the irrelevant to find the relevant. Different tools fit different needs – relevance is directly related to how particular information is uncovered, how it is intended to be used and its degree of implicit veracity and support.

Skeptic Geek Mahendra Palsule has put some brain cells into mapping relevance with a visual representation that sorts the tools in different need quadrants.  While I believe the purpose of Mr. Palsule’s exercise was to determine the front runners in the battle for our attention raging among startup tech companies. I think the mapping also serves as a decent primer for any web user to get a sense of what tools will yield which result. Check out his map below:

Just to clarify, search vs. serendipity addresses the range of behavior from actively looking for something specific to simply happening upon something of value. Popular vs. personalized reflects the range between data that is hot across the masses compared to info that is ranking high within your own social circle.

The tools noted above are not an all-inclusive list – I can think of at least ten more right now off the top of my head that should fit on this x y axis chart. Nonetheless, the chart provides a great overview of where the different types of tools fit in the overall scheme of how to find, filter and interact with the information most valuable to you.

I strongly urge you to hit the jump to Mr. Palsule’s original article, where he provides a more detailed explanation of what he was trying to accomplish with the table and his FORMAT method of categorizing the tools. If you understand how the tools fit in the bigger picture, you can more readily figure out which tool to use for a given purpose.

Any Excuse to Avoid the Inbox

I admit it. I really am beginning to seriously dislike email inboxes. I have been avoiding my desktop Outlook inbox like the plague. I am better about monitoring my Gmail accounts, but even that can get tedious.

Information overload? I already employ filters on my computer and phone to strain the best news, social status updates, tweets and blog posts. Why can’t I have a similar filtering system for my overburdoned inbox?

Well, I know I already can from within the inbox itself. But that requires you to actually go to your inbox and open your folders.  

Check this out. The current version of application AwayFind (ver. 2.0) (link here), allows you to install filters on your email (no biggie) and to designate “urgent” email that will follow you by phone call, instant message,  text message or even tweet (way cool)! Never visit your inbox again!

Apparently, filtering set up is strikingly similar to the tools you probably already are using in your own inbox. Filter by person, by keyword (e.g. “urgent”), subject, receiving email address, etc. Then, here is the genius part, tell AwayFind how to alert you when an email falls into one of your filter categories: all the major IM clients, Twitter, text message or even a phone call. You can also set up an auto-response and exclude specific persons from the auto-response. You can probably figure out where to take this last feature.

If you are a Firefox user, there is a plug-in that lets you manage AwayFind from within your inbox. Apparently a Chrome plug-in is coming soon. Google and IMAP are supported, as are hosted Exchange-based 2003, 2007 and 2010.

Unfortunately for us regular folk, this application is currently in private beta, invite only. Hat tip to ReadWriteWeb – head over there now and see if you can score one of their invitations! (link here)