CRM and Email are like oil and vinegar, like bread and butter, like Yin and Yan.
And as long as we're on the subject of CRM and Email working together, a while ago I covered Relenta and recently I discovered Funnela - it's European cousin. Both are web-mail clients with some basic but fundamental CRM features (like contacts and tasks) that are built into the email itself. Imagine pulling up a client record and seeing all the emails attached to it, or creating a task for your assistant right from the email.
So, with all these CRM options out there, which one do you choose (I'm sure you're asking yourself by now slowly sipping that latte)?
I think the rule of thumb here is this - if you spend most of your time in Email and you don't have products, quotes, funnels, and forecasts to deal with; if all your need to a way to track customer files and tasks associated with your email, I would steer you towards Relenta and Funnela. If, on the other hand you need those features I just mentioned, you're in the market for a real CRM (like Zoho CRM I recently covered)
Enhancing your email can be an empowering experience, let me know how it goes!
Bonus: if you ever struggled rationalizing the meetings and how they affect getting things done, read Paul Graham's essay. It's official - Paul is topping the list of the most insightful people I know.
9/16/09 Update: Funnela just announced addition of the Deals module, putting it ahead of Relenta in the friendly email-centric CRM category.