Hashtags (?) in Outlook: Is it possible? Who could make it happen?
December 11, 2013 3:24 PM   Subscribe

I manage a specialized service Outlook inbox for a large corporation. I would like to manually add hashtags (I think?) to each incoming e-mail and then create tag clouds – similar to the Metafilter tag cloud, actually - for groups of e-mails.

For example: a tag cloud for all e-mails in 2014, one for each individual month of 2014, one for the e-mails that I resolved, another for the e-mails my manager resolved, etc. When I click on a tag from the tag cloud, it would open a list of associated e-mails, and the e-mails would be open-able from that list.

I would add the hashtags to e-mails from a list of all previously-created hashtags; additionally, I would be able to create new hashtags for individual e-mails as needed. It would be like using Outlook e-mail categories, only the number of categories possible would be infinite (or at least very high, like several thousand), and I would be able to create the aforementioned tag clouds from them. I would also be able to modify existing tags and apply that modification to all e-mails currently “containing” those tags. Each e-mail could have anywhere between “one” and “all available” tags associated with it.

Is this possible? And if so, what kind of web development (?) person would I hire to make it happen? Also, none of this information would appear on a website for public view. Only a dozen or so people would need to see the tag clouds and associated data.

Also assume I have absolutely zero programming, Twitter, blogging, etc. experience (if it isn’t already obvious from this question).
posted by Munching Langolier to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
Best answer: If you're referring to the Outlook desktop client (and not the Outlook.com email service), Taglocity might do what you want. I don't really have any experience with them though, so I don't really know if it'll solve your specific problem.
posted by Aleyn at 3:39 PM on December 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

From a technical standpoint, this is not a terrifically difficult web app to build. However there are a lot of hidden costs (hosting, backups, maintenance, compliance, blah blah blah) with building and running an in house application, especially in an enterprise environment. I suspect you might not have fully considered all of these issues.

If you work for a large corporation, do you have some in house developer or IT resources you could consult with? They will be able to help you fully explore the requirements better than we can.

Alternatively, have you looked at products like Zendesk or Freshdesk? There are a ton in this category. Maybe you can find a cloud service that will address the same problem.
posted by tracert at 1:27 AM on December 12, 2013

Caelo's Neo is an overlay for Outlook that let's you do something like this (tagging email). It runs as an Outlook plug-in and lets you file emails by keyword, which would accomplish the same thing you are trying to do with hashtags. Just to be clear, this is something you would install on your desktop that would keep some extra meta-data about the email in the inbox; it is designed to be a one person tool.
posted by kovacs at 3:53 AM on December 12, 2013

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