Are You On Information Overload?

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It's the information age and you are being inundated by information, right? Two major sources of incoming information are email and the Web. Fortunately, there are software programs that can help you put some organization back into your electronic life.

Your choices are abundant, including many email programs that are free on the Net. But wait! Commercial programs such as Microsoft's Outlook or Qualcomm's Eudora Pro offer two important features the freebies don't: robust filtering and multiple account management.

Can you imagine your software managing email messages based on context - all without you having to do a thing except set it up? It's true, with filtering you can automatically send emails to pre-defined folders. For example, a top client's email goes into your "priority" folder while adult spam email is sent directly to your deleted/trash folder.

Most busy professionals have at least two email accounts - a business address and a personal address. Multiple account handling comes in handy when you want to access all accounts from one convenient location. Filtering further organizes the incoming email so the two don't get mixed up.

If you search the Web with any regularity, no doubt you are familiar with the "favorites" option on your browser. This feature allows you to save a Web address so you can easily access the site again. If you are a Net savvy user, you also understand how your favorites folder can quickly grow out of control.

Whether you use Netscape's Communicator or Microsoft's Internet Explorer, you can break your favorites list into categories. New software allows you to go one step further. Math Strategies' CatchTheWeb, Blue Squirrel's WebWhacker (probably the easiest to use), and DataViz's WebBuddy allow you to capture the contents of a Web page and store the text and graphics on your hard drive. You can access these pages later even when you aren't online. This is helpful for information you want to save that may or may not be there once you return to the site.

Simply knowing your options may not keep the information from coming in, but it certainly can give you some relief!



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