5 time-saving Outlook add-ons

Your Microsoft Outlook 2007 in-box is one of those apps that's underappreciated and easily overlooked, yet for business professionals and home users alike, it often bears the brunt of most e-mail exchange.

It's time to give Outlook--and yourself--a hand with some free, and free-to-try, add-ons that could very well smooth out your workflow. We've rounded up five time-saving Outlook add-ons for you to take on a spin. Just don't get too add-on-happy, since, as with browser extensions, a surplus of running Outlook extras can drag down the pace.

Gwabbit's handy contact slurper gets cloud sync

PALM DESERT, Calif.--Gwabbit, the contact-slurping tool that launched at last year's Demo conference has made the much-needed shift to the cloud.

The new tool offering, which the company is calling the "gwab-o-sphere," takes the contact information gathered from incoming e-mails and syncs it with updated information from places like Twitter, Facebook, and If changes are made by these users in any of these locations, the updated information is ferried back over to Gwabbit, where it's synced back out to all the clients with the Gwabbit plug-in installed.

The need for services like … Read more

Free Gwabbit for BlackBerry on the horizon

Good news for BlackBerry business users who are pinching pennies: a free version of the Gwabbit contact manager for BlackBerry is expected to surface in the BlackBerry App World--and only in the App World--on Tuesday, December 8. The current version of Gwabbit for BlackBerry costs $9.99 for a yearlong subscription.

Gwabbit (formerly Technicopia) came out with Gwabbit the BlackBerry app back in May 2009, as the mobile version of its Outlook e-mail add-on. Gwabbit scans incoming e-mail for a signature block. If it finds one, the software compares the contents to your address book contacts. If there's no previous match, or if it looks like there's been a change, Gwabbit will prompt you to add or update the contact.

We were impressed with the convenience Gwabbit gives business users who build up their contact lists from their smartphones. Moreover, we noted how effectively and quickly Gwabbit processed the e-mails, but only so long as the sender's contact details are conveniently organized in the signature block. Gwabbit lacks the sensitivity to pull possibly relevant details from elsewhere in the e-mail.

How could Gwabbit's publisher give away its $10-a-year product for free?… Read more

Gwab business contacts on BlackBerry: First Look

We were struck by Gwabbit for BlackBerry's utility for the business set. Few could fail to miss the significance on your typing fingers of a program that scans your incoming e-mail for new contacts and automatically adds them to your phone book.

So, now we're back with a video that shows off the handy contact manager in real life, including what to do those times when the application doesn't quite work as promised.

Save time and stop typing

The last thing you need if you're a busy professional on the go is to waste your time typing the names of your new contacts into your BlackBerry address book. Especially when software can do it for you. Gwabbit's BlackBerry application helps business professionals get the names, numbers, and e-mail addresses from a contact's e-mail into their address book without all the tedious typing.

Gwabbit works its trade by automatically searching the signature block at the end of an e-mail and comparing that to your address book entries. If there are discrepancies or omissions between the two, … Read more

Gwabbit for BlackBerry: A great timesaving tool

Gwabbit is a Microsoft Outlook add-on, and now a BlackBerry application, that helps business professionals who get the names, numbers, and e-mail addresses from a contact's e-mail into their address book without all the tedious typing.

Gwabbit works its trade by automatically searching the signature block at the end of an e-mail and comparing that to the entries in your Outlook or BlackBerry address book. If there are discrepancies or omissions between the two, Gwabbit will launch and ask if you'd like to create a new address book entry or overwrite an existing one. Gwabbit's edge over Outlook and BlackBerry's native contact management systems is its proficiency in almost instantly grabbing e-mail, phone numbers, and title to create more information-rich entries than either technology's contact-builder does alone.… Read more

Needs a better algorithm

At the end of the day, Gwabbit's Outlook add-on application is a good idea that doesn't work as well as it should. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't try it. When in top form, Gwabbit added contacts' names, titles, phone numbers, and Web sites to the Outlook address book using information gleaned from an incoming e-mail. When it failed, Gwabbit didn't recognize anything apart from the contact's name and e-mail address, which Outlook can also do. It then prompted us to fill in the rest by scrolling through the e-mail in a separate window … Read more

Gwabbit Outlook add-on is pwetty wame

Gwabbit (covered here and here) is one of those programs I sincerely want to like. The Microsoft Outlook add-on that can populate an Outlook contact field in a click has a catchy name invoking all manner of iconic "wabbit" images, and a concept applicable to the breadth of office employees. However, it also has a finicky algorithm, at least in my case. It required too much manual labor to finish populating an incomplete contact record, and a $20 price tag for a version 1.0 application that may only work half the time.

In Gwabbit's defense, when … Read more

Looking back on Demo 09: Hope springs eternal

Last week's Demo 09 conference in Palm Desert, Calif., reminded me of my high-school reunions. The people were familiar but the energy level wasn't quite what it used to be. And like those reunions, there were lots of people who didn't show up.

Demo, which has been around since 1991, is a place for companies large and small--but mostly small--to announce new products. While some products this year were from established companies like Qualcomm and Symantec, most came from start-ups or very small companies that have been laboring in obscurity.

They come to Demo hoping to be … Read more