It’s said that there are no more than six degrees of separation between Kevin Bacon and any other Hollywood actor. Creo’s Six Degrees is an application that links your relationships, emails and files so that you can keep track of who has said what to whom, and what files were involved. It’s a tall order, especially after looking at my inbox.
The first release of Six Degrees was in the middle of last year. It was designed for people just like me: I leave all emails in one big inbox and search for information with filters. Unfortunately, Creo hadn’t bargained on people like me being quite as scatter-brained as I am.
Version 1.0 groaned at my 2.5GB of emails from the past two or three years, and collapsed when presented with my database of over 3,000 contacts. It was back to the drawing board for Creo, but to its credit it has come back with version 1.5, which addresses all the problems and adds some new features aimed at lowering the workload on the Six Degrees database.
On installing Six Degrees, the first thing it needs to do is catalogue your email and attached files. The Mac version works only with Entourage. The process can take a while, especially if you have as large a database as mine. It took a couple of hours to inspect my drive, and about 11,000 emails. Thankfully it does this only once.
Here’s the clever bit: if you need to find a file, let’s say a particular price list that somebody emailed three months ago, you can search in a number of ways. First, you can look for the file by typing “price list”. This will find any file or attachment with “price list” in the name – not that impressive. More impressive is when you can’t remember what the file was called, and can’t remember who sent it. If you can remember the company, or even a friend of the bloke you got the file from, you can search links out that way. Finding a file might link to an email, which in turn links to other emails on the same subject or from other people in that company. It’s like Google for a hard drive.
It’s been a week since I started using Six Degrees, and it’s now indispensable. It has saved valuable time finding things, and rescued me completely when I thought I’d accidentally deleted some work.
There’s a demo on the cover CD that offers a month to get hooked on Six Degrees. It takes time to warm up, but once Six Degrees is working well, it’s a great tool for keeping organized without any effort.
Min specs: Mac OS X; 128MB RAM.