Clutter and junk and spam, oh my!

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It is a widely known fact that many executives, doctors, lawyers, and business associates of all types have personal assistants. These real life personal assistants are often amazingly efficient at making the executive’s life easier. They pick up coffee and always get it right, they know the schedule and if squeezing in a lunch meeting will ruin the rest of the day, and the personal assistant often knows whether to give the mail to the assistant or if it’s just junk.

This year there are virtual assistants popping up everywhere. Google Now, Siri, and Cortana are all available to answer your questions, schedule a dinner, create a meeting on your calendar, tell you when it’s time to leave for an appointment, and even give you turn by turn directions. If they could only sort out my email and only tell me about the important messages, I’d be set. It turns out that they do. In fact, Google Now and Siri have the ability to determine if an email requires your physical location to change, like a doctor appointment, and notifies you when it’s time to leave.

Gmail has had a “priority” inbox for quite a while too and it does an ok job of sorting the mail. Now there is the Microsoft “clutter” mail folder which automatically sorts mail that you normally don’t look at out of your inbox into a separate folder. As Microsoft states:

“The email server keeps track of the email you read and the ones you don’t. Once you turn it on, Clutter is automatic. As new email comes in, it takes messages you’re most likely to ignore and puts them into the “Clutter” folder.”

Sounds great right? It is, except there is a learning curve for the server. My thought is that even after the “learning curve” is over there will still be the need to check the “Clutter” folder. To me it seems like an extra process in my email routine. I will now have to open my email, check my inbox, check the clutter box for anything that slipped through and resort as necessary, and of course check the Spam folder because that’s never been 100% correct.

Speaking of the Spam folder, isn’t the Spam folder the place for emails you shouldn’t want based on automation on the server side? And the Junk folder was supposed to be somewhat similar but somehow different depending on your email service. Those Spam and Junk filters never worked right 100%  of the time and I’ve always had to pull emails out of those folders. But now we have a Clutter folder so it will be better right? I’m hoping so, but my first impressions are already filtering in as negative.

What do you think about the new Microsoft Clutter folder? Let me know in the comments below, or on Google+, Facebook, or Twitter.


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