Software & Apps MS Office Top Outlook Productivity Add-Ons These add-ons could help you get more done By Heinz Tschabitscher Writer A former freelance contributor who has reviewed hundreds of email programs and services since 1997. our editorial process Heinz Tschabitscher Updated January 06, 2020 Microsoft Outlook Logo. Microsoft, Inc. MS Office Outlook Word Excel Powerpoint Tweet Share Email Part of Microsoft Outlook's broad and enduring appeal is that you can extend its functions with small programs, called add-ons, that push its already highly capable coding even harder. Here are a few of the best Outlook productivity add-ons available, each geared to make the program perform in ways that fit your needs even better than the original package. SimplyFile What We Like Integrates well with other programs. Saves time organizing emails. Quick search. What We Don't Like Sometimes struggles to predict where to store emails. Not frequently updated. No ability to export settings. SimplyFile lets you file Outlook messages with a single click. It also learns by example, suggesting the correct target folder. NEO (Nelson Email Organizer) What We Like Fast and precise search feature. Conversation view displays related messages side by side. Add notes to emails. What We Don't Like Only works with Microsoft Outlook. Overrides Outlook's built-in safe senders option. Learning curve involved. NEO helps you handle email better in less time with Outlook. Among many other features, it offers a speedy, intuitive search function and "smart," virtual folders that organize each message into whatever folders are appropriate, rather than a single folder. The result is a more efficient, convenient way of reading, archiving, and working with emails. ClearContext Professional What We Like Make to-do lists. The project dashboard. Sort by fields. What We Don't Like May cause Outlook to run slowly. No advanced search. Cannot edit in preview. ClearContext Professional plugs into Outlook seamlessly to help you organize and track your email and tasks better. You can file any message with just a click. An AutoFile function files bulk emails out of the way so you can read them when you have more time. When you receive an email that involves something you need to do, ClearContext allows you to turn the email into a task or appointment simply. You can even set reminders for yourself to respond to important emails. Project management features keep all project-related emails and attachments together so you can find what you need fast. Lookeen What We Like Indexes full text of emails and files. Search archived emails. Search as you type. What We Don't Like Only compatible with Outlook. Extra set up required. Challenging to search archived emails. Lookeen finds every Outlook file immediately — whether it's an email, a task, an appointment, an attachment, or anything else you work with in Outlook, no matter where you've stored it. E-mail Follow-Up What We Like Does exactly what it promises to do. Adds two buttons. Some customization available. What We Don't Like Limited capabilities. Limited support. No upgrades after first year. MapiLab's E-mail Follow-Up can remind you if an email you sent did not receive a reply after a certain time. The add-on makes it easy to send a follow-up reminder to the original recipient, too. Auto-Mate What We Like Ideal if you leave Outlook open all day. Integrates with other tools. User-friendly. What We Don't Like Occasionally buggy. Standard version limited. Limited support. Auto-Mate by Pergenex applies flexible rules to your Outlook folders using several included smart filters plus filters you create. The add-on's capabilities are highly flexible; for instance, you can set rules to run at whatever interval you want (for example, every two hours or once a day). You can even set up rules to run when some other condition is met — for instance, when a message gets added to a folder, or you forward an email to someone in particular. Add Contacts What We Like Multilingual interface. Automatically add contacts. Automatically assigns categories. What We Don't Like Inconsistent updates. Only works with Outlook and Microsoft Office. Must share contact folders for all accounts. MapiLab's Add Contacts automatically builds your Outlook address book by adding contact addresses that appear in messages to a contacts folder of your choice. The add-in even detects addresses within the body of an email. Save Message What We Like Saves messages in multiple formats. Save to disk or folder. Assigns unique filenames. What We Don't Like Requires additional software to use all features. Sometimes buggy. Learning curve. Save Message is a near-perfect solution for saving messages and attachments automatically and flexibly from Outlook to disk using Outlook's native rules engine or plugging right into Exchange Server.