Just short of a year ago, I wrote about Xobni, a company that built a plugin for Outlook that helps you figure out where your email time is going. Trend data that helps you figure out who’s filling your inbox with messages and who’s inboxes you’re filling over time.
It’s an impressive tool, but has one limiting feature: Outlook.
At the time, I suggested that Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft should build similar reporting into their web based email applications. A year later, this hasn’t happened . . . yet. But it looks like we’re getting closer based on this mail trends script from Mihai Parparita that is designed to analyze Gmail and Google Apps mail accounts via IMAP.
How cool is that?
Based on the time I’ve spent using Trends within Google Reader, I’m confident that similar trend reporting within email would be a huge time saver. It’s not always clear where time is going when you’re processing email throughout the day. If you can occasionally take a step back and look at your email behavior at a higher level, you may find areas where you are in dire need of change. Now you may have the data you need to actually identify the issues and do something about them.