So I saw that Microsoft Research just put out something called SNARF

No, not this guy:


Microsoft is trying to help out with a fairly common problem, e-mail in-box clutter.  The idea is to be able to quickly triage your in-box to get to the really important messages and avoid having to deal with the spam and less frequent friends that may be additional noise (Like the uncle who keeps sending you those internet jokes):

SNARF was built around the notion that social network information that is already available to the computer system can be usefully reflected to the user: a message from a manager might be seen differently than a message from a stranger, for example. SNARF applies this idea to email triage: handling the flow of messages when time is short and mail is long.

The SNARF UI is designed to provide a quick overview of unread mail, organized by its importance. The UI shows a series of different panes with unread mail in them; each pane shows a list of authors of messages. Clicking on a name shows all messages involving that person.

Go and check it out.  Download your copy here.