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Switching from Mail.app to Gmail interface (finally)

For years, I've been tied to the native Mail.app mail client on Mac OS X.  Disappointingly, it hasn't kept up with other OSX improvements, and has felt increasingly clunky.  But the switching costs were very high, namely because of massive customization:  I've been using MailTags, Mail Act-On, WideMail and other mail.app plugins.

But the imap connection between mail.app and google accounts hasn't been very reliable lately (supposedly a bug in Mac OSX 10.6) so I decided to switch to the web interface for my mail (something my co-founder and friend Isaac suggested i do years ago - I know Isaac, I know.).

This switch also lets me make use of the very cool Rapportive service, which automagically shows me a contact's LinkedIn & Twitter profiles, along with much more.  Check it out, it's great, and they happen to be located right down the hall from us in SOMAcentral.

The first thing I did was enable a number of Google Labs features, including:

Then I went over to the "Accounts" tab and added in all my email accounts to be pulled as POP (too bad there's no IMAP option for this).  So now I get personal email + AppMakr & PointAbout email all in one view.  (All these email accounts are hosted on Google Apps, incidentally).

For years, I've been tied to the native Mail.app mail client on Mac OS X.  Disappointingly, it hasn't kept up with other OSX improvements, and has felt increasingly clunky.  But the switching costs were very high, namely because of massive customization:  I've been using MailTags, Mail Act-On, WideMail and other mail.app plugins. But the imap connection between mail.app and google accounts hasn't been very reliable lately (supposedly a bug in Mac OSX 10.6) so I decided to switch to the web interface for my mail (something my co-founder and friend Isaac suggested i do years ago - I know Isaac, I know.). This switch also lets me make use of the very cool Rapportive service, which automagically shows me a contact's LinkedIn & Twitter profiles, along with much more.  Check it out, it's great, and they happen to be located right down the hall from us in SOMAcentral. The first thing I did was enable a number of Google Labs features, including: Advanced IMAP Controls Canned Responses Custom keyboard shortcuts Default Text Styling Google Maps previews in mail Google Search Google Voice player in mail Message Sneak Peek Message translation Multiple Inboxes Pictures in chat Send & Archive Sender Time Zone Signature tweaks SMS in Chat gadget Text Messaging (SMS) in Chat Undo Send Video chat enhancements Then I went over to the "Accounts" tab and added in all my email accounts to be pulled as POP (too bad there's no IMAP option for this).  So now I get personal email + AppMakr & PointAbout email all in one view.  (All these email accounts are hosted on Google Apps, incidentally). Since I use Highrise as my CRM, and I want every email to copy to Highrise, I've been accessing gmail through Firefox, and I installed the Greasemonkey script to auto BCC on every email (this way my work emails all get sent to Highrise via my Highrise dropbox ID).  I wish this extension was available on Chrome. I've also been forcing myself to learn the Gmail keyboard shortcuts (must have "custom keyboard shortcuts" enabled).  Among my : gi = "go to inbox" from another area of gmail *a = select all messages / = search c = compose [ and ] = archive and go to prev / next conversations p = previous message, n = next message x = select conversation e = archive conversation (so i use "x, then e" a lot) You can download a PDF of all the keyboard shortcuts here.  I HIGHLY recommend forcing yourself to learn them - you'll be able to navigate through gmail much faster that way. I enabled Priority Inbox, which looks promising. The "Multiple Inboxes" works well - it provides me with two small inboxes above my main inbox for any drafts, and any starred emails. I also chose custom theme colors, and I uploaded a picture from my wedding as my gmail logo.  After all, if I'm going to look at this page all day, I might as well like what I'm looking at, right?  And who better than my wife? :)  (screenshot below) Does anyone have any pro user tips & tricks?  Specifically are there keyboard shortcuts to: add "cc" attach a file Please respond in the comments below with any tips & tricks you have!

Facebook Struggles

On The Constance Chronicles

I have 638 Facebook friends at the moment. This site keeps track of all 638 for me. Essentially, I know what friend 376 had for dinner last night because they posted a picture of it from their Instagram with the hashtags #foodporn #dontyouwishyouwereeatingthis. Friend 583 has stomach cramps, friend 263 is newly single and ready to mingle, and friend 124 is worried her colleagues are trying to get her fired. Is this too in touch? I've had Facebook friends openly call each other "fag" on a comment thread, feeling like the only gay person at a dinner party, I wanted to raise my hand and say, "Oh, hey...I'm here, remember me? Gay." Facebook has definitely worked more in my favor than not but I wonder how different my life would be without it. Would people be more interested in what I was doing if they didn't get tiny glimpses of it everyday? Aside from that, Facebook constantly puts me in distraction-first mode. Over the years though, Facebook has become a fixture in my daily routine. I compare it to keeping a Chapstick in my pocket. Facebook is with me at all times and I use it multiple times daily. My name is Constance and I’m a Facebook addict. I’m permanently in Facebook-mode.

Option 1: I’ve made a plan to become a better, more sophisticated user of this social networking site. Facebook actually has many options to ensure people will use the site to fit their needs. My updates should serve the purpose of keeping those who are close to me in the know about important transitions or announcements. I will also spend less time on the site, browsing and using it as a distraction. There is a “Close Friends” option on the side left bar which will keep those friends with access to your full profile, status updates, and pictures. Everyone else will get access to what you make “public” or what you would allow any person to know about you regardless of the status of your friendship. The only issue is, if someone on your friends list no longer has full access to your profile if they visit your page it's quite obvious you've been put on the limited view list. What happens when you friend someone you don't want to be friends with anymore? Deleting or limiting your online friendship has now been taken as a sign you no longer want a connection with this person even in the real world. That somehow disallowing them access to photos of friends, family, and other candids of your daily life translates to the end of any friendship. How has this become true? I will also have to go through my friends list and decide who gets voted off the island.

Option 2: Use Facebook only as needed and keep everything else private. This seems to be the easier of the 2.

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