Tag Archives: email

How to Communicate With Others

When was the last time you actually made a phone call for no other reason than to simply talk to someone? How long ago was it that you sat down and wrote a letter to send through the postal service? These forms of communication were the way we connected with others for many MANY years, and they are apparently a dying art form these days. I admit that I haven’t done either of these things in far longer than I can really remember. There are just too many other ways for me to get ahold of someone, do business with them or reach out to make a connection.

Why would we send a hand-written missive and pay money for a stamp, only to have it arrive several days later – if at all? We can sign into our email program of choice, type out our thoughts and have the completed message show up in the other party’s inbox within seconds… for “free” (not counting the cost you already shell out for your Internet connection).

Even though most of us have cell plans which include unlimited calling (or at least during nights and weekends), it’s still easier to use other means of speaking with others. I’m sitting at my computer working most of the day, so it’s just simpler to click that button on Skype when I need to hear another person’s voice. Heck, I’ll admit it: I don’t much like having to voice chat anyway. If there is business communication to be done, I prefer handling it via email. This allows me to keep track of the prior portions of a conversation for future reference. It also lets me be in control of when I reply.

Using voice communication can actually be a burden. As I just mentioned, you have the burden of being “on” during every moment of a conversation. Your attention shouldn’t wander… you need to focus right then and there. If you’re buried in a project, having to stop and take calls can be a huge downer. With an email, you can put off your response until you have the time to dedicate to the person trying to get your attention.

How do you talk to others? I have a feeling that social networks will actually be near the top of the list for many of you out there, along with email and VOiP services.

Avoid Communication Overload

I am convinced that there are too many ways for us to communicate with each other. We have social media sites, text messaging, cell phones, land lines, snail mail and email – and likely a handful of ways I didn’t even remember to list. It can actually be annoying and time consuming trying to keep up with so many options. I actually had someone email me recently to ask for my phone number. I replied and received the phone call, only to find that the person was wanting my snail mail address. Seriously, people? You couldn’t have asked that in the original email? Having multiple ways of contacting others has its drawbacks, as well as being a good thing.

Step back a moment and think about all of the communication tools in your arsenal. I’m willing to bet you can name a person that you could contact at least ten different ways: and there are likely many people you could do this with. Is this the best use of your time, though? You have to decide which way to get ahold of them, hope they reply or answer and move on to a different way if the first doesn’t work. Tracking someone down isn’t always in your best interest. You should be asking each contact their preferred method of communication and stick with that unless an emergency arises.

Let’s say you need to contact me. I will tell you that email is your best bet. I have that open pretty much every moment I’m awake. I don’t like talking on the phone or Skype and I prefer to not use instant messaging clients. Those are fine for quick questions, but email provides a “paper trail” of sorts that we can refer back to if need be. Yes, there are times when we may need to connect on a call or in person, and that’s fine. But my first preference is always going to be my Inbox.

Instead of trying to send me an IM on every account I have, leaving me a voice mail I may not listen to for a few days or even trying to Skype me, why not just shoot me an email? You’re bound to get a much faster – and more detailed – response.

Now, everyone is different. There are people who may prefer a quick phone call, and that’s fine. My point is to ask people you regularly talk to which method they prefer. Keep other lines of communication as a backup. Heck, you can even break down your daily communications and organize them by type. Respond to and send emails first. Grab people you need to on IM after that and then perhaps schedule phone calls for the afternoon. Separate your correspondences this way so that you avoid overload.

Jumping back and forth between types all day long is going to drain you, frustrate you and maybe even confuse you at some point.

How to Add Email to Windows 7


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I asked my friends over on the Windows Twitter account what some of the questions are that they receive on a regular basis. One of the most common ones they are seeing fired at them lately from newcomers to the operating system is “How do I get my email on Windows 7?”

One of the key differences between Windows 7 and Windows XP and Vista is the lack of an email client. While past versions of Windows included Outlook Express or Windows Mail, depending on which operating system you upgraded from, Windows 7 lacks an email client as part of the install. You can, of course, use an online version of your mail client or even sign up for a free Gmail account. However, many of us still rely on our trusty desktop clients. What are you supposed to do in Windows 7 then?

If you want that desktop experience and liked Outlook Express in older versions of Windows, then you’ll likely enjoy Windows Live Mail. It’s a free download, but you will need to sign up for an account. When you complete your registration, you’ll have access to several different features and functions if you choose to use them:

  • Get 25 GB of free online storage on SkyDrive. Use it to save your files or share photos and videos.
  • Windows Live Photo Gallery can help you remove red eye, create amazing panoramas, and more.
  • Now you can stop emailing files to yourself. Keep docs, photos, and other files in sync across your PCs.
  • Hotmail to access your email anywhere you may be.
  • Windows Live Messenger helps you stay connected to friends.

Windows Live Mail helps you organize your life into one place on your computer. Add multiple accounts such as Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo! and more. You can browse your email, calendars and contacts when your Internet connection isn’t on.

I remember using Internet Mail and News – MSIMN. That’s how many years I’ve been around online. That’s the first graphical email client released by Microsoft and it may still be something you can launch from your machine.

I’m a big email user and admit that I prefer OS X. However, I will admit that Windows Live Mail is beautiful. The layout is clean and awesome. It’s slick… it’s good. I definitely recommend it.

Which desktop mail application are you using?

J Smiley Outlook Email: Problem and Fix!

What’s up with that J, yo?

I’m going to assume you’re using Microsoft Outlook 2010 at this point – or you know someone who uses it. But even if you’re not in either camp, you should pay attention.

The following fix applies to every single Microsoft Office program that uses its universal AutoCorrect feature. I’ve tried to address this problem with the Office team directly, but have been routinely ignored. I’m not slagging Outlook, either; I used and loved Outlook 98 / 2000 for the greater part of a decade (because 2003 and 2007 were inferior for non-Exchange users in many ways, but that’s not what I’m writing about today).

Essentially, you’re going to fix a bug that Microsoft has kept open for several years. Well, it’s not a true bug – so long as you NEVER email someone who isn’t running Windows, and so long as you DO NOT use HTML email. Not likely. It bugs just about everybody who doesn’t live in Outlook.

For some inexplicable reason, somebody at Microsoft thought it wise to autocorrect “:)” as a truer smiley when composing rich text documents and/or HTML email – rendering it in a specific font face (WingDings). This is why people think you’re crazy for injecting a random “J” in emails – they don’t have the same font(s) installed on their machine! And even if you have WingDings installed, you may only still see a J where a smile should clearly be.

So, there’s a simple fix that’ll make your emails 100% more intelligible (as far as smiles are concerned). Delete the autocompletes.

  1. Open Microsoft Outlook (if it’s not already open).
  2. Fire up the Options panel (found under the File ribbon).
  3. Click open the Mail tab. You should see a “Spelling and Autocorrect…” button. The “Editor Options” panel will launch.
  4. From there, click the “AutoCorrect Options…” button. The “AutoCorrect: English (U.S.)” properties pane is what you should see next.
  5. Under the default “AutoCorrect” tab, look to the “Replace text as you type” section.
  6. Click the “Delete” button.
  7. Repeat these steps for the other smiley autoreplacements.

Enough with the J stuff, already. 😉

I want to call your attention to another Office QA oversight. They mis-capitalized “AutoCorrect” (leaving the “C” in lowercase within this particular pane). That wasn’t my typo.

Yes, I notice the small stuff – and then I do my best to fix these problems for the entire galaxy. You could replace the WingDing’ed smiley with a UNICODE smiley, but you may run into other encoding issues at that point. If you want to have more fun with UNICODE characters, check out funicode.com.

J

What is the Best Invention?

I’ve been toying around with something new on my Facebook Fan Page today. Every hour or so, I add an open-ended question in the hopes of getting some conversation rolling. It’s been a lot of fun (and even a learning experience) to see the varied answers come floating in. The latest question I asked was “The most amazing invention I have seen come to be in MY lifetime would have to be the…”

I was disappointed to see that most of the answers center around things such as the iPhone, mobile phones in general and even the iPad. While all of these are great inventions and products, are they really the best ones of our generation? With the introduction of medical devices in the past twenty years which enhance (or even save) people’s lives, it almost seems selfish to think that my iPhone is the greatest thing brought to the world since I was born a couple of years ago.

Open your mind. What do you feel is the best invention that has been created in YOUR lifetime? Why do you think it stands out above everything else and should therefore be deemed “the best” or “most important?”

While software may not be the best invention ever in the history of mankind, it certainly does make our lives easier. Why not stop by the software center to see what’s new today?

How Does Mail Work on the iPad?


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With Mail on the iPad, you can actually feel your email. That huge multi-touch display will quickly adapt to show you things in a way that works best for you. In Landscape mode, your mail will appear down the left side of the screen, so that you can quickly scan through your messages. Touch any email to see it in a larger view on the rest of the screen.

If you rotate the iPad into Portrait view, the message will fill the entire screen. If there are pictures included in the email, you can touch and hold your finger to them to save them instantly to the built-in picture application. Additionally, attachments (such as PDF documents) will open full-screen with a simple tap. It’s easy to get back to your message list from within Portrait view: just touch the button at the top-left of the screen.

When you begin to compose a new email (or start to reply to an existing one), the keyboard will appear on the screen automatically. It’s almost the size of a regular keyboard, so you shouldn’t have any trouble typing out your thoughts and information. The keyboard will track what you type, suggesting words and punctuation… and spelling corrections.

If it works as seamlessly as indicated by this video, sending and receiving email while on the iPad will be a good experience.

Want to embed this video on your own site, blog, or forum? Use this code:

How to Enable the Best Gmail Tweaks

If you didn’t already know, there’s a set of features you can enable in Gmail to enhance your experience with the email service – right now. They’re tucked away within the “Labs” Settings pane. As of today, a few more of these “Labs” scripts will be enabled by default.

It’s time to turn on a few of these unofficially-official Gmail features (if you haven’t already done so). To me, these are the top 10 Gmail Labs settings to use:

  1. Message translation – If you communicate in more than one language, this one is a must.
  2. Superstars – If you’re into visual navigation, enabling these additional “stars” will prove useful.
  3. Pictures in chat – I realize that Gmail is all about being lean, but I love seeing avatars in my IM window.
  4. Sender Time Zone – Unless the only people you know are in your time zone, you’ll want to turn this feature on.
  5. Right-side chat – Hey, the space is there for you to fill!
  6. Advanced IMAP Controls – This is a must if you, like me, experience Gmail from your desktop email client.
  7. Default ‘Reply to all’ – For some reason, people don’t realize that this is a useful function when there are more than just two people involved in an email conversation.
  8. Navbar drag and drop – If you’re a customization freak, toggle this feature and tweak yourself silly.
  9. Inbox preview – This is one of my favorite Labs features. Even on a fast Internet connection, using a fast browser, this Labs script shows you a barebones list of what’s sitting in your inbox before the page has fully loaded. Believe me – you want this.
  10. Create a Document – if you’re a Google Docs addict (like me), this’ll just make it easier to create a new item from within Gmail.

Okay, so I also happen to like: Undo Send, Title Tweaks, Don’t Forget Bob, Got the Wrong Bob, Inserting Images, Extra Emoji, Send & Archive, Mark Unread From Here, Google Calendar Gadget, and the Google Docs Gadget.

What are you waiting for? Make your own Gmail better!

How Do You Manage Your Inbox?

One of the longest-running issues we all seem to have is trying to deal with an Inbox that is too full. There have been many pieces of software developed over the years in an attempt to help us manage these monstrosities. However, they’ve all fallen short of the mark. However, there’s a new kid on the block who promises to deliver in ways others never have. The only catch is that only Gmail subscribers can use the service.

Gtriage is a service that scans all your email messages and to determine which ones are the most important to you. It then tags those messages “Important” with bright red labels so they don’t get missed. The way it works is nothing short of ingenious – as long as it does as promised. Their algorithm for measuring the email weights is being called “powerful machine-learning technology” by the company. They even have two cartoon-looking characters representing the two parts: Buckminster and Blockhead. Blockhead learns the universal characteristics that make email important, and Buckminister learns what you find to be important.

According to their website, Gtraige learns about you and gets even better once you’ve been using it awhile. After it’s set up, you just use your Gmail account as you normally would, while Buckminster and Blockhead watch your actions – and customize themselves to your behavior. In theory, the end result is an email filtering program that works without your having to actually DO anything. Will it work? Only time will tell. This isn’t something that can be tested in a matter of days. I will have to reserve judgment until I’ve used it for awhile.

For now, the service is free… if you can get an invite code. The company has set up pricing tiers, and is confident that Gtriage will work so well, you’ll want to pay for the service. While that remains to be seen at this point, it will likely be worth the cost if it delivers as promised.

Create Scrapbooks out of Your Photos on Facebook

Scrapbooking is serious business to those that participate in the activity. They are forever looking for the perfect papers and border. They spend hours browsing through stores, trying to find that elusive pair of scissors to make their borders just right. Creating a beautiful scrapbook isn’t an easy process for most. However, Scrapblog is making it simple. You can use Scrapblog to create a gorgeous scrapbook right on Facebook.

Select your background, choose your photos and count to three. Your Flash-based scrapbook will be assembled for you in just minutes. When you first start using Share the Love, the app will employ Scrapblog’s recently launched QuickMix technology to instantly generate a photo collage with up to ten Facebook photos. The photos will be automatically arranged with a set theme, which you can change easily. The app offers users coordinated stickers, backgrounds and captions.

Go ahead and try it out. It won’t cost you anything, and it’s a lot of fun! It’s amazing what kind of great new things you can discover online these days, isn’t it?

Don’t forget to stop by our software download center to see what’s new today!

Stop Spam in Your Email

Some of us who have been on the Internet for a while remember when spam email just wanted to sell you some junk. Some spam still wants to sell you junk, but a good portion of the spam is more dangerous. There are emails that are loaded with malware. And with Valentine’s Day coming, there will be a flood of spam mail. Valentine’s Day is an opportunity for spammers.

The malware found in these emails is intended to steal your personal information and/or turn your computers into a part of a bot-network. The bot network is to spread more spam and more malware.

It is not only special occasions like Valentine’s Day that triggers a flood of spam. A natural disaster, like the Haiti tragedy, or a salacious news story will start an increase in spam.

In 2004, Bill Gates predicted that the spam problem would be solved by 2006. Unfortunately, Bill Gates was wrong – very wrong. You know that a good portion of your email is spam.

What we recommend as a means to handle spam is MailWasher Pro. Over eight million people protect themselves from spam and malware dangers with MailWasher Pro. That number of people grows daily. It is simply one of the best ways available for handling spam mail. One of our security reviewers has used this product daily for almost a decade, so the recommendation for MailWasher Pro comes from years of every day experience with this legendary program. We know this program well.

MailWasher Pro is effective and it is easy to use:

“Apart from being the most effective software to fight spam, you’ll find that MailWasher is probably the easiest anti-spam software to use. We took the view that if we can’t understand how to use a piece of software in under 5 minutes then it’s probably always going to be hard to use. Why try and learn a whole lot of new icons and procedures? You want a program with a minimal learning curve, is easy to use and looks attractive.”

One of the ways that spam is handled by some programs is by means of filters. The problem is that sometimes the filter screens out legitimate email. And sometimes spam by-passes the filters. One of the great features of MailWasher Pro is that it allows the user to preview the email prior to downloading onto the computer. With a brief glance, you will be able to tell what is legitimate email and what is junk. And you do this while the email is not on your computer.

That is one of the great security features of MailWasher Pro – you will be screening your email before you download it onto your computer. Consider this as viewing the mail at the server level instead of handling it while it is on your machine. That is an added level of security. – You decide which email accesses your computer.

Making the decision when the email is on your computer is simply dangerous. For example, at some points during the day, you might be tired or rushed. You may be preoccupied with other things. An error with malware mail leads to a load of problems. Mailwasher Pro allows you to make the decision at the server level – while the email is away from your machine. It is an effective, easy and brilliant way of handling the spam problem. MailWasher Pro works with Windows and is effective for POP3, IMAP, AOL, GMail, Yahoo, and Hotmail.

Stop just downloading your email to Outlook or Outlook Express. Preview it first!
Now, our readers have fifty per cent discount when buying MailWasher Pro. It is a generous, limited time offer, expiring on February 17th, 2010.

Use this coupon code lockerg when ordering.

And one final point… MailWasher Pro has an active support system. It has a live technical support system, as well as a forum. We have been following the development of this program for many years. The founder is a friend of this site and runs a first class operation from New Zealand. There are continual improvements on this excellent program. You will consider MailWasher Pro a “must-have” for every computer you own. And if there is a reason that you don’t like the MailWasher Pro program, there is a 100% money back guarantee. That’s how confident the MailWasher Pro people are about this program.