There are apparently 250 million IBM Lotus Notes users around the world. Version 8.5 holds a lot of productivity promise, but some installations do not have the desktop power to run the new interface. For those of you with the 8.5 backend but the version 6 interface, you might want to keep an eye on FewClix.
As I suggest in the book, e-mail clients may be going the same way as Web browsers: a strong central core product supplemented by third party extensions. Xobni for Microsoft Outlook is probably the best example of that. FewClix is currently in beta and offers the ability to aggregate messages and contacts in a variety of ways. It shows a relatively normal view with a side pane that provides additional information about the message you’re reading. For example, you can use the side pane as a preview panel, or you can use it for FewClix’ functionality. Say you want to see only messages from the same sender. Click the sender’s address in the side pane and your message view changes to show just those matches. If the message includes multiple recipients, you can select any number of them to see conversations with just those participants.
Another feature I liked, although I only toyed with it, was the ability to change the sorting mechanism in the main view. Normally you can click a column in Lotus Notes and sort by date or sender (although the sort option is sometimes disabled). FewClix has a drag-and-drop feature so that you can take your columns and create threads based on them. If you want to have date as your primary sort function and then sender, no problem. Want to sort by sender, then by subject? No problem. It looks like it could provide a lot of flexibility to Notes users who may have a relatively plain vanilla installation, even for $49.95 for a single user.