21 Mar 2008 @ 11:15 AM 

OK, so my last post was a little long. In the interest of mixing it up and blogging more often, I decided to post today on something a little lighter. Making your email communication more simple and effective.

Life is complex and multi-faceted. Often, so is your email situation. As an entrepreneur, you may have a number of email accounts you need to keep track of. One for your primary communication, another for correspondence from your company website or for other ventures you are involved with, one just for orders, and so forth. Many colleges are now offering lifetime email to their alumni to help them keep track of each other.

In addition, to more easily thwart spam problems that can arise, I recently followed the advice of a friend to create separate email addresses for areas where they might be posted on the internet and risk attracting the attention of spammers. I have done this with Linked In, for example, as well as a specific address for my resume. I also create separate email addresses for church and community roles. This way, if I ever get a bad spam problem on any one address, I can just create a new address to circulate to that limited group of people (minus whoever got me on the spam lists!!) and kill the old address. The problem is the time and frustration involved in checking all of the different accounts.

Google recently made my life simpler in this regard. I don’t mean to over-favor Google, and I am sure that there are other quality competitive products out there, but I have really been impressed with Google’s GMail. I have had a gmail account and address for some time. Then, I downloaded Google Talk to chat with a couple of friends that also use it. Now, I have GMail pop my email from three non-GMail accounts into my GMail interface. It is very easy to set up, all you need is the username and password from your other email accounts. With Google Talk running, I also get an instant update when I receive a new email.  I have also set it up so that it labels each email with the account it came in on (i.e. a personal account from my blog domain), and when I reply, the reply goes out from the account it was sent to, not my GMail account. It also means that all of my accounts can have access to a single address book. 

The other nice thing about using GMail this way is that you can check it anywhere you have an internet connection, even with a mobile phone. Previously, I had been using Thunderbird for my non-work emails and Outlook for work emails. I had been using a web client provided by my hosting service to check emails when I was away from the computer with my Thunderbird and Outlook clients. However, I consistently had problems with the IMAP connection with Thundebird and the web clients just weren’t as user-friendly as GMail is, especially when I had to log into and out of each one. Now, it’s all in one place and I get a notification when new email comes in. I still use Outlook for my primary work-related emails.

Anyway, just a quick tip that some of you will hopefully find useful.

Posted By: TJ
Last Edit: 21 Mar 2008 @ 11:15 AM



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