Let’s get right to it: Xobni (pronounced Zobnee) is “Inbox” spelled backwards. Its promise and purpose is to make life easier for people who use Microsoft Outlook for their email. And by the way, it’s free.

What impressed us most was Xobni’s search function, which is very fast and makes it easy to find important messages. Type in a key word and the appropriate emails pop up in a couple secXobni onds. We also liked the links to social networking sites. For instance, if someone on your email contact list is also on the networking site, LinkedIn, you will see his or her photo, job title, connections and other info in a sidebar on the side of your screen.

The same is true for Facebook and Skype contacts. With Facebook, you can see your friends’ latest updates. If the person is a Skype user, you can simply click on the name to start a Skype call. For each contact you will see a chart showing how many emails you’ve received from them and when they typically write. This last provides a good clue on the best time to get in touch. Xobni also has the ability to bring Yahoo email into Outlook. You can find a free download at


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