Just because something's accepted as the norm, doesn't mean it can't be improved upon by visionaries, like the genius who put chili on a hot dog, and Xzibit, who put it on your ride, dawg. And now: the guy who put Xobni in your email.
Based in downtown SF, Xobni's a free plug-in that seamlessly interfaces with and enhances trusty ol' Outlook to help you find people, convos, and files twice as fast via automatically populated "information profiles" (which display in an unobtrusive inbox sidebar) for everyone you've ever emailed, including Little Hercules. Type in a few letters, and Xobni displays applicably alphabetized email contacts; select who you're looking for, and up'll pop an avatar, an e-biz card full o' contact info, and mini tabs for his/her Facebook/LinkedIn page, as well as "relationship stats" -- i.e. graphs for the times of day you two email and the balance of who emails more vs who's really tired of you trying to resurrect "rad". Beneath all that, Xobni displays recent email convos you've had with said person, which you can filter by keyword; your inbox displays as well as a list of all the files you've exchanged, which're easily drag-able into new missives, and save-able to your desktop -- except for files exchanged with Ted Haggard, which, like their sender, cannot be saved.
Xobni's focusing all its efforts on Outlook before they take on Mac email platforms, but this summer they'll put a mobile version on yo Blackberry so you can email while you email, dawg.