Easy email-tagging with EmailTags?

During the last weeks, I’ve been testing a new program recently released by StandSS called EmailTags. It looked like a great little Outlook Addon for tagging your emails swiftly instead of moving them into folders. It’s actually amazing that no one else actually came up with this kind of solution long ago! But unfortunately I was quite disappointed by the product (just like with the other StandSS products that I’ve tested before, i.e. EmailNotes and QuickFile (Actually, I am still kindo of using EmailNotes but it’s very unreliable as it sometimes doesn’t display the note attached to an email in the reading pane, which means that it misses the whole idea of reminding you what you wanted to include in the reply to that email. – Quickfile just messed up my whole Outlook and didn’t work properly so that I uninstalled it shortly after installing it).

But let’s get back to EmailTags: This product really has the potential of giving you a Gmail like tagging system on Outlook, but the problem is: it doesn’t. At least I found that it’s not working for me. It is not good at guessing the tags that it suggests because it uses only the sender(s) rather than the subject line and even the guessing of tags based on the email-addresses is not working consistently for me. Sometimes I don’t get a suggested tag even though I just filed an email to or from the same person a minute ago.

And adding tags manually, which you inevitably will always have to do at least at the beginning of a conversation requires quite a lot of clicks and keyboard strokes so that I often found it easier to drag the mail into a designated folder as I did before.

I still have some hope that StandSS will gradually improve EmailTags and so I was going to by the subscription for 7 US$ per year (at least for a year) now that my trial version has expired, but when I went to the website, there was no more cheap subscription but only expensive (20 US$) purchase. Apparently they changed their business model during the trial period. While it is of course their right to decide that, I am pretty annoyed since there is no way I’m going to spend 20 bucks on that immature product. 7 would have been ok, but 20?? And they are even threatening of increasing the price to 30 US$ soon.

It’s a pity, because these guys are really trying hard to make live easier with f***ng Outlook and their support is very helpful, but unfortunately, all in all, they are not succeeding quite yet (see also this post). I’m uninstalling EmailTags and going back to my folder based system. 😦

Another reason to reconsider using email-Tags as opposed to folders is that the tags will not show up on your phone and this has also cost me some time recently. In the folder system, I have all emails related to a certain project in one folder and I can access that folder from anywhere, whereas EmailTags requires an email client that reads the outlook “categories” (and even that will only work if you are on an Exchange server as opposed to IMAP).

SugarSync sucks

Just a quick update on SugarSync: it sucks! I wrote a more ambivalent blog post about it earlier, then I wrote about some serious synching problems (that seem to be fixed by now), but I have been annoyed again and again by this service that I just want to air my discontent here once again and say that I just think that the only reason that I have still not uninstalled it is its ability to sync whichever folder you chose, rather having to move everything to a designated folder like in dropbox and google drive. There is really no other reason (perhaps some laziness to change stuff on various computers).

To be a bit more precise,here is what annoyed me today: firstly, there is the android app, which is rather buggy or at least it often does not react to me tapping on some button. But secondly, and more importantly, I just found out that I can see neither my mobile phone nor my iPad on my PC. I added both of those devices to Sugarsync some weeks or even months ago and they do show up on the sugarsync website, but for some reason I cannot see or access them through the SugarSync client on my PC. This thread in the SygarSync User forum indicates that there is some bug, but apparently they have not managed to find it since more than a month…

Well, as I said: if you are wondering if you should try SugarSync: don’t bother. Try out Google Drive instead and tell us your experiences below (I havn’t really used it yet).

SugarSync has serious crashing problems

It looks like the competition between dropbox and SugarSync is pretty much decided. At least from my perspective. As I have commented elsewhere, there are serious problems with synching in sugarsync. I was hoping that this would be resolved soon, but it looks like SugarSync does not even intend to solve the problem (at least not generally), as these instructions from the sugarsync FAQ indicate:

Files can get stuck in the upload or download queue if there is any sort of confusion between data in your account and data on the SugarSync servers.

The easiest possible solution is to exit from SugarSync Manager (choose File > Exit) and then restart it.

Hello? That might be a pragmatic thing to do, but why does it happen in the first place?

If that doesn’t work, open a “stuck” file, make a trivial edit, and then save it to trigger a new upload.

Oh, so what kind of “trivial edit” would you suggest I make to my favourite mp3 song or journal-article in pdf format??

If that doesn’t work, you can reset the local database:

  1. Open SugarSync Manager.
  2. For Windows computers, press and hold Ctrl + Shift + R. For Mac computers, press and hold Cmd + Shift + R.
  3. Select Yes when asked “You are about to reset SugarSync Manager on this computer. Your local configuration information will be erased and the client will restart as a fresh install. Your files will not be affected. Are you sure you want to continue?”
  4. Launch SugarSync Manager.
  5. Enter your SugarSync email and password when prompted to login. Important: When asked if you want to restore your sync folders that were selected in the previous installation, select Yes. (This option is checked by default.)

So, in a nutshell: we have no clue what is causing this serious failure of the central function of our service, so we recommend you just spend some of your time fiddling around a bit, maybe you can get it to work on your computer, but we can’t fix it for everyone. Oh, and of course we can assist you if you send us your logfiles which conatains the file names of all the files you are trying to sync:

If none of these steps resolved the problem, please send us log files from the affected computers(s).

Yes, thank you. I did that and I am very curious about what kind of resply I will be getting…

To conclude: I am starting to understand why people are willing to pay so much more for a dropbox account. It’s because it works…
Edit: To be fair, I should mention that dropbox has a serious security issue: although your files are encrypted, dropbox employees have – in principle – access to them, even without your password (and contrary to what dropbox stated on their website until 13 April 2011). In brief: dropbox was lying to its customers. – Well, so where do we go now? Maybe Spideroak?