Thursday, April 20, 2006

SpeedFiler review

I've been trying out SpeedFiler from Claritude after reading Omar Shahine's review. I myself am a big user of Ctrl-Shift-V to move messages to folders in Outlook, and I type the name of the folder (assuming it's open in that view e.g. I've already opened its parent folder), and thought that an enhancement to that practice would be very helpful for me. However, I didn't like SpeedFiler at all and after a few days I stopped using it. Here were my issues:

1) Speed: it takes over a second to pop up when I press Ctrl-Shift-V.

2) Functionality:
2a) It doesn't let me file non-email items in email folders like Outlook does. So when I wanted to file a response to an appointment I sent that contained some useful information, it wouldn't let me do it. And, because I'd allowed it to replace the Move to Folder function altogether, I had to go to Folder view in Outlook to drag the thing in.
2b) Worse, I can't file a message into the Calendar to make an appointment (keyboard shortcut that I know by heart: Ctrl-Shift-V, "Cal", Enter), something I do pretty regularly. It just sticks it into the calendar at the moment you filed it, so you have to go back and change the date and time, invite people, whatever.
2c) No integration with the "Recently used folders" or whatever the folders under the folder pulldown are called. So when you file something with SpeedFiler, it doesn't update the folders you see on the Outlook menu. I know you can type the folder name quickly with SpeedFiler but if you file in arrears you find "hotspots" where you had a few active email threads going and so you keep filing things into the same few places.

3) Bugginess:
3a) It seems to not want to pop up sometimes, like if I'm filing a lot of email. It seems to "exhaust" itself so that I have to close the email and reopen it to file it.
3b) OneNote (known issue according to the readme:3c) I turned on the option to let it file into Public Folders, but it doesn't see all the branches of our public folders. As in, my choices are only half of my firm's public folders.

4) Little Annoyances:
4a) I started evaluating this product because I like to use keyboard shortcuts for everything and thought this would save me the "hassle" of opening every folder in the Move to Folder hierarchy before I could use typedown. However, it has stolen Alt-N from me, which I use to invite people to appointments. That's annoying.
4b) I am finding the file on send option annoying because it always picks Sent Items as the default. I guess I thought this product would remember where I filed things and offer to file them there. So like if I'm emailing back and forth with an individual that works for me, I probably want to store that correspondence in his file. And if I'm filing stuff in my inbox, it offers the last place I filed something as my first choice, so I just do a Ctrl-Shift-V followed by Enter. However, I have to type out the folder name every time. Yeah, I could just turn that off and periodically file my sent items like I do now, but then what's the point of a $20 utility for which that's one of its selling points?

I guess I was hoping that it would somehow intelligently figure out that messages to me from certain people were likely to be filed in certain folders. But mostly I'd hoped that the program would be more useful than it is. That plus the little errors and annoyances just made me satisfied with regular Outlook.

--sbreck

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