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Tricks & Tips

Posts Tagged ‘E-Mail’

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Sometimes we forget to attach a document or file before sending an email.  The following tools look for keywords in your email to determine if anything is attached.  When you hit send, a popup reminds you if you didn’t attach anything (if you didn’t intend to attach a file, no popup will appear).   Pretty smart.

Choose one of the following to install that best fits your needs:

In the news…
$40 computer?
Wow… I can see some awesome potential.  News Clip or Photos and Learn More

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Overwhelmed by Email?

March 24th, 2009
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Gee we get a lot of emails these days!  How do you manage when your Inbox has 10,000 messages in it?  Which are priority?  Which is next?  If you’re looking to improve, here are some starting points:


In the news…

Video: Flying Car Takes Flight! Although this isn’t the prettiest thing you’ve ever seen, it’s a good sign of things to come.

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Why The Red X In My Emails?

March 17th, 2009
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One customer asked:
“Why is it when I open certain emails, the picture shows up as a blank box with a little red square in the upper left corner?”

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Answer
For security, most email applications disable pictures by default.  Instead of seeing the photo, you see a blank white box with the red X (above).  If you trust the sender and want to show the pictures, right click on it and choose Download Pictures.  Or, there may be a link at the top that says “Show Images”.

Other reasons for this could be the sender didn’t attach the picture correctly or the linked photo isn’t valid or online.

Want to permanently allow images?
Try adding the sender to your address book.  Often this tells your email program you trust the sender.  Or to allow ALL images, follow the instructions for your email program:

  • Outlook 2003:  Tools -> Options -> Security -> Change Automatic Download Settings -> Uncheck “Don’t download pictures or other content automatically in HTML email.”
  • Outlook 2007:  Tools -> Trust Center -> Automatic Download -> Uncheck “Don’t download pictures…”
  • Outlook Express:  Tools -> Options -> Security tab -> Uncheck “Block images and other external content in HTML e-mail”

Why? ( technical )
Images in emails can expose many extra details about you.  By requesting the image, one can determine that you did open their email.  They could also record details such as your IP address (almost your physical location).  Typically this is harmless for statistical reasons only.  However, think about opening images in a spam message – you just told the spammer that you check and read your email!


A little extra…

Tax Law:  The 25 Most Frequently Asked Questions

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5 Ways to Customize Outlook

January 22nd, 2009
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  1. Hide MS Outlook in the tray: If you run MS Outlook all day like I do, it sits on your start bar, just taking up real estate:

    photoYou can force Outlook to hide in the system tray when minimized to keep your area clean.  Simply right click on the existing Outlook tray icon and check “Hide When Minimized”:

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  2. Turn off desktop notifications when new email arrives (New mail arrived from: Friend’s Name):  While on that same right click menu from above, uncheck “Show New Mail Desktop Alert”.
  3. Turn of sounds when new mail arrives:
    1. In Outlook, click on the Tools menu and choose Options.
    2. Click on the Preferences tab
    3. Click E-mail Options
    4. Click Advanced E-mail Options
    5. Uncheck the box “Play a sound”,  under “When new items arrive in my Inbox…”
    6. Hit OK, and OK to save
  4. Show the total number of messages, not just unread item count besides the mailbox:  By default, the number besides your mail box (  Inbox (21)  ), is displaying how many messages you haven’t read.  To show the total number of messages instead:
    1. Right click on that folder and choose Properties.
    2. Dot, “Show total number of items”
    3. Hit OK
  5. Sync your Outlook calendar with Google Calendar: You might wonder why this is so great, unless you just need mobile access to your calendar.  However, after syncing you could also share your calendar with family or friends to stay on the same page.   Use Google’s free download to start your sync:  Google Calendar Sync.

The instructions above are for Outlook 2007.  They may vary slightly for earlier versions.

Don’t use Outlook? If you don’t use Outlook, I highly recommend a GMail email address.  It’s a smarter choice for email as it’s free, includes the best spam filters, and always available no matter where you are.  Create an account at www.gmail.com.   Outlook is good application if you need task or contact management and/or sync with a PDA Cell (Blackberry, Treo, etc).  Otherwise, shoot for GMail!

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Say what you mean in the subject of your email and add EOM to the end. This tells the recipient there is no need to open the email, just read, apply, and delete.

EOM stands for End of Message.  For example, your subject might look like this: “Let’s meet in Conf. Room 223 at 3pm 8/21/08 EOM” and nothing in the body.

I always enjoy tips on GTD (Getting Things Done), time management, etc.  Today we’re bombarded with emails that consume our time.  This little trick could  help speed us through.

I learned about EOM recently from an article on Lifehacker: Read more on practical use here.

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How to Send Large Attachments

September 23rd, 2008
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It is difficult to send large files by email.  I’d suggest any files larger than 5MB or so should not be sent by email at all.

www.transferbigfiles.com allows you to upload large files to send on to friends or associates.   After you upload your file(s), they will send you and/or the recipient a link to download the file(s).  Note, the link is only valid for 5-10 days.

Step by step:

  1. Visit www.transferbigfiles.com
  2. Click Browse to select your file(s). For example, some photos, a ZIP file, PDF, etc.
  3. Type in the person’s email you want to send the files to.  You could send them back to yourself, just so you can obtain the link to include in your own email.
  4. Check the box if you agree with their terms and click Send It!

Note:  You’re really just looking for a link (like this: transferbigfiles.com/Get.aspx?id=bb9f4cab-07ec-4ce9-bd7c-7987654fa6a5 ).  You can include that link in an email, an instant message, etc to allow anyone to download your file.

If you send a lot of large files, they even have a Windows utility to make it easier.  Check out this video: http://transferbigfiles.com/media/usage_video_tbf/Default.aspx

Here are two other services that transfer large files:
www.sharebig.com – similar to transferbigfiles.com
www.yousendit.com – professional site that has many other paid options

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There are times when you need to resend an email.  I’ve always done it the hard way and just recently found there is a function in Outlook to do this for you!

Outlook 2007:

  1. Go to your Sent Items and open the message you want to resend.
  2. Across the top on the Actions section of the ribbon click Other Actions
  3. Click Resend This Message

Outlook 2003:

  1. Go to your Sent Items and open the message you want to resend.
  2. Click on the Actions menu down
  3. Click Resend This Message
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(the spam we forward on to friends, that is)

Ever get forwarded emails about not buying gas on a certain day to help lower gas prices?  Or, that Microsoft and AOL are giving their money away and all you have to do is forward this email to 10 people? If you don’t, you’ll have bad “luck” for 3 months!  It’s all trash. For me, it’s SPAM.

Some are pretty good with their mystical bantering.  They’re often difficult to decipherer.  Here’s the best way to learn the truth:

Take some text from the subject line, or a few main words from the body, place quotes (” “s) around them, and search Google.  You should find many sites verifying the email, or refuting it.  For example, search “Barack Obama said that he had visited fifty-seven states” (http://tinyurl.com/6xrv3v)

www.snopes.com is a well known authority on these fakes.  If you see results from this site, they’re good. In fact, visit Snopes and click Hottest 25 Legends to see those top sellers.  See if you recognize any you may have innocently forwarded on.  Legit?  Or not?

Next time you get a wild email, verify it before you forward on.

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(myname@embarmail.com, myname@charter.net, myname@myprovider.com)

You will lose your sacred email address…

  1. If you move to a new city (change Internet providers)

  2. If your Internet provider closes shop or if they get sold (EarthLink -> Embarq)

  3. Frustrated at your provider’s poor service? You’ll either have to change your email address or just live with the provider you have. 

We all grew up with email addresses just handed to us from our Internet provider. It came with it and we didn’t know any better. Things have changed and there are too many options available now that work so much better.

Free alternatives online offer advantageous:

  • Simplicity – gmail.com? yahoo.com? (easy to say on the phone)

  • Reliability – most large providers have servers all across the country, and world – uptime isn’t a problem

  • Easy to use – if you travel, webmail is available. When your home, you can use Outlook.

Google Mail is my favorite, hands down. A free email address, easy to use, and can be configured to work in Outlook. For me, their spam filters work 99% of the time.

The only option that supersedes the above web based options would be to have your own email address (e.g. firstname@yourname.com). This can’t be ripped away from you and you can move it along wherever you go in life, to any provider you like. You don’t have to have a website to use a custom domain name as part of your email address.

You might say, “I can’t change my email address now! Too many people know it.”  Don’t let years go by and you eventually end up without options.  I’d recommend adding a second email, and start using it now.  You can forward your previous address to the new and slowly migrate over the next year to your new.

Or, if you ever have to get a new email address, just think about the above.

Skip the @embarqmail.com address and go get a free one at www.gmail.com.

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Send Text Messages by Email

March 25th, 2008
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We’re not all “txting” yet (properly known as SMS).  If you want to send a text message to the kids, a friend, or associate and don’t have twiddle fingers on your cell phone, just email the text!

Each cell provider has a different email address to EMAIL a text message. Here is a complete list of each email by cell provider: http://www.livejournal.com/tools/textmessage.bml?mode=details 

How To:

  1. Find out which email address to send to: http://www.livejournal.com/tools/textmessage.bml?mode=details
  2. Create an email to one of the addresses as specified in that link. If it says, number@txt.att.net, replace NUMBER with the 10-digital number. For example, 8641231234@txt.att.net.
    If your sending to a Verizon customer, use: number@vtext.com.
  3. Compose your email, but don’t write too much. SMS’ can typically only send/receive a max number of letters (about 160 characters).
  4. Send away! Your recipient should get your text message in a few seconds. 

Extra…
Make sure you’re up on your lingo… see how many of these you know! ;)
http://www.webopedia.com/quick_ref/textmessageabbreviations.asp

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