When Liase launched into public beta about a year ago, we hailed it as "possibly the coolest email add-on ever," and we stand by that bold declaration as the product peels back the beta label and becomes commercially available today.
Liaise is an add-on for Microsoft Outlook that detects actionable tasks in an email as it's typed and assigns owners, deadlines and priority levels to them based entirely on context clues in the text of the email. It then builds out a task list alongside one's inbox and adds items to the Outlook calendar, making the action items contained in a deluge of emails much easier to manage.
According to Liaise Founder Sidney Minassian, beta users shared a few common complaints about the productivity of email in general. They found that many customers were receiving 100-200 emails per day and sending at least 25-75. Some concerns included the risk of dropping or overlooking items due to the sheer volume of email received each day.
At the same time, difficulty ensuring follow-up from others on sent emails was a common concern, as most professionals don't track their outbox as diligently as they do their overflowing inbox.
Minassian and team have listened closely to input provided by beta testers and are rolling out a number of new features accordingly. Updates to the Liaise Manager include the ability to sort items by priority, due date, owner or priority, as well as the option to generate and export reports on each project.
Another feature on the wish list of many beta customers was the ability to capture and manage action items outside of email as well. In response, the Liaise team included Liaise Lists, a free-form scratch pad for notes, project plans, meeting minutes and to-do lists. Just as with emails, Liaise automatically detects and tracks action items in these notes.
The data entered into Liaise is synced via the cloud, so any change in plans is automatically reflected in the Liaise Manager, as well as Outlook's calendar.
For now, Liaise only works with Windows-based versions of Outlook (specificially, versions 2010, 2007 and 2003). Mobile apps are on the horizon, but no time line has been set for their launch.
Starting today, Liaise is available for $50 per year, per person, with a 30-day free trial.
Want to give it a try? The first 100 ReadWriteWeb readers who download Liase from this link will get a free one year license.