Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Manage all your email with Gmail

You can use one Gmail Account to manage all your email. I use Google Gmail for all my websites, charter.com, my work email, and even my Yahoo and AOL.

Since everything is going to Gmail I do not need real mailboxes for any of my websites. I just setup the domains webmail system to forward all email to my gmail address. There are two ways to do this.
  • One way is to have all mail sent to yourname@yourdomain.com forwarded to youraddress@gmail.com
  • The other way is to setup a catch all account and forward all email sent to anyname @yourdomain.com to youraddress@gmail.com
So the people you reply to do not need to understand whats going on (it could be confusing to them) google allows you to select how to handle replies and how to handle new outgoing emails. You get to select what email address is the default for new outgoing emails, and what email address to use for replies.

I have my email set to reply using the same account the email was sent to, and I've picked the default email account for new outgoing emails. You still have the ability to pick a different account before you send an email.

For mailboxes you already have like Charter, work, Yahoo, and AOL you can setup gmail to download those mailboxes every 30 minutes. You get to pick if you want the mail left in the mailbox or deleted when you download it. For my charter email I have it deleted as its downloaded. For my work email I have it left in the inbox.

To help reduce the time I spend in my email, I use gmail filters. I have filters for my brother, daughter, wife, bank, and all the other people and places that I often get email from. These filters automatically label my emails as they come in. Some of the filters like the one for my work email is set to automatically labeled and archived the messages. I do this with my work email because I read my work email using the stock android email client on my phone but I like gmail as a backup archive for my work email. I have other filters setup to archive and delete the emails I never normally read but are not spam, and I have filters setup just to automatically label emails from places like Staples, Monster, and my Bank so I can quickly archive them after I see them. Archiving saves your email so you can read it again later and gets them out of your inbox. labeling emails puts them in folders to make them easier to find later. I also use my android and gmail inbox's as my to-do lists, so I like to keep them clean.

Because of gmail I can read all my email from my ipad, my android, or any web browser and all the devices I use stay in sync. So I don't have to figure out what I've already seen.

Since I switched to Gmail around 2006, my email has gone from being a real "pain in the butt" to a feeling like "The Maytag Repairman" now I often feel like I have nothing to do cause I've already seen it, and taken care of it.

Update June 2015

Still loving my gmail and wonder why anyone would use anything else.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Chrome Notebook

I got an email from Google on Dec 7, 2010 asking if I wanted to signup for the Chrome Notebook beta program. Well yes... So two months went by and I had almost forgotten about it, till this past Tuesday Feb 8, 2011 when I got home from work there it was sitting in my driveway waiting for me. First I have to say thank you Google, I love it. For the past year or more I've told several people that my next computer would be a laptop and it would not be running windows. I did not know if it would be Google Chrome OS or Android, I have to say as much as I love Chrome on my Windows PC, I love my Android more, but sometimes you just need a real keyboard and mouse. Well as it turned out it was actually an Apple MacBook... Ya... can you believe it? Cause everyone knows I hate Apple. The MacBook came in just a few days before the Chrome NoteBook. Now I love my Chrome and all things Google, but I hate to say it... as much as I hate Apple, I do not hate my MacBook, but enough about Apple and the MacBook, lets talk chrome. The Google Chrome Cr-48 Notebook is small light and clean. It has a 12 inch screen, a flat black finish and no stickers. The keyboard has all the keys you need and none of the keys you do not need. It has both wi-fi and 3G. It has all the security you need so everyone in the house can have your own account, and a guest account for when someone stops by. Chrome runs just as good if not better than on a windows PC. It boots and shuts down in seconds not minutes. The screen is bright. I love it.

But...

Well it is beta, and I have had a few issues. Not with Google Chrome OS so to speak, but with the touch pad and multi-touch scrolling, and a bit with editing in my blog and an email. I'm not sure whats my fault and whats not. Remember this is a beta unit and Google is still working things.

I'm having problems with two finger multi-touch scrolling, but a mouse works so I do not think its Chrome OS as much as the touch pad or the touch pad driver, and I've already reported the issue to google.

Next issue and I'm not sure if this is Chrome, WordPress, or what but as I edit and fix type-os my cursor jumps and I find myself typing in the wrong spot. It does not happen a lot, but its happened more than a few times. Am I touching the wrong key or the touch pad while typing? I'm not sure yet, or is it WordPress?

Anyway I will figure it out, and I will let you know how things go.

Update: Google fixed all my Google Chrome OS issues with a software update. The touch pad now works as expected. The Google Chrome Laptop running Google Chrome OS is my favorite device. I really have no need for any other computer in the house.

Update May 2015

I bought a new Chromebook from HP, refurbished with 200 meg of free 3g for life. This is now my primary computer at the office, because with so much online I still almost never use windows anymore.