Lookeen Versus Xobni

In keeping with our review of Microsoft Outlook Plug-In solutions, we decided to conduct a little experiment to compare one of the brightest stars in the industry, Xobni, and another product we had looked at once before, Lookeen. At the heart of both products is Outlook productivity through search. We set up 3 test sets with emails, attachments, contacts, appointments, and tasks. One thing we did not try was multiple .pst files; perhaps we will try that experiment at a later date. The results were interesting, but not surprising: both products index your email folders, keeping track of what you receive and send. Our expectations were that both plug-ins would perform equally well.  The two products presented basically the same information, and the speed was almost identical, so this required us to look at more subjective matters such as aesthetics and personal opinions. We stayed away from price but the two products are only separated by about $10.

Xobni - Its integrated model with Outlook and fashionable user interface wins a lot of points amongst the staff here.  Xobni has nice features such as analytics and a well-organized information window that quickly displays contact information, conversations, and files exchanged.  On the downside, Xobni did miss one email in our tests that Lookeen caught, and the integration does take up a bit of room in an already busy Outlook window.

Lookeen - This plug-in seems to find the emails, appointments, and tasks as fast as Xobni, and the results are displayed in a separate window that can easily be displayed alongside Outlook or on a second monitor. Lookeen is not as pretty as Xobni, and it is missing some nice features (like analytics), but if you are just looking for search capability, it is a good product.

At the end of the day we have mixed reviews internally, but the majority of people are currently using the free version or pro version of Xobni. Lookeen hasn’t disappeared, but with the pricing being similar, Xobni is the preferred tool we use.

Posted by Jeff Bishop at 7:41 AM       1 Comments       Share

Lookeen Outlook Add-In

Lookeen is advertised as an easier and faster alternative to Microsoft Oulook's built-in search, combing through emails, conversations, and attachments. After reviewing the feature set, I decided to give the 14-day demo a try.

So how does Lookeen fare against the existing Microsoft Outlook 2007 search? Lookeen did a great job of finding every email, appointment, and attachment with the related search terms I tested. Outlook was able to find the same files at the same speed, but without the appointments. Additionally, Lookeen separated out the appointments, emails, and attachments into separate tabs while Outlook could only manage them in one view. Outlook does, however, highlight the text in the email that matched my search term; this allowed me to quickly identify if that item was of interest to me or not. Lookeen also had a few other nice features:

  • You can search for activities over the past day, week, or month, and Lookeen will sort those into appropriate categories. It was even able to pull up tasks and Microsoft Live messages I sent to colleagues during the search period. However, the messages were in a .xml file format that took a bit of time to parse.
  • You can search conversations with a sender or contact by clicking on an email from that person or their contact information in your contacts list. This was helpful when I tried finding some email conversations with a customer that I knew were only a week or two old.
  • It has a find similar "stuff" function that looks for email content that is similar to the highlighted email. It appears to pull similarity from words in the subject line and not the content body, but still a reasonably quick and useful tool.

Overall, like most Microsoft Outlook add-in applications, the majority of the solution is mirrored from functionality already in Outlook that may not be as user-friendly, quick to access, or aesthetically pleasing. But the search by contact function and the ability to sort out items in the Lookeen result window were very helpful and made reviewing the information easy. From what I can tell after a few days of playing with it, Lookeen seems to be a pleasant addition to my life inside of Outlook and worth a try for anyone who could use a little help managing those hundreds of emails sent and received every day.

Posted by Jeff Bishop at 4:44 AM       1 Comments       Share