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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!

Gmail with Rapportive, Highrise & Boomerang = Lifehacker Heaven

Those of you who know me well know I call myself a "lifehacker" which basically means I hack & use technology to be as efficient as possible.  For example, I strongly recommend that those who are in front of computers all day learn to play them like instruments.

I've had people ask me how I use technology to be efficient when I'm in sales mode (which, really, any entrepreneur is most of the time).  Here's a screenshot of what my email client looks like, with the tools I rely on below that:

Rapportive:  This Gmail Plugin is an absolute necessity for anyone even remotely in a sales type of role.   It lets you learn about the person you're emailing with, and connect with them via LinkedIn right from the email client.  It also lets you manage their Highrise CRM profile without having to go to Highrise, which is a godsend.  I can't recommend Rapportive highly enough.

Boomerang:  Lets you schedule email to be sent later, but more importantly, will "boomerang" an email back to your inbox a specified amount of time after you've sent it.  It's a great way to have a soft reminder to follow up with someone.  You can also have it only boomerang the email back to you if the person you're emailing doesn't respond.

Those of you who know me well know I call myself a "lifehacker" which basically means I hack & use technology to be as efficient as possible.  For example, I strongly recommend that those who are in front of computers all day learn to play them like instruments. I've had people ask me how I use technology to be efficient when I'm in sales mode (which, really, any entrepreneur is most of the time).  Here's a screenshot of what my email client looks like, with the tools I rely on below that: Rapportive:  This Gmail Plugin is an absolute necessity for anyone even remotely in a sales type of role.   It lets you learn about the person you're emailing with, and connect with them via LinkedIn right from the email client.  It also lets you manage their Highrise CRM profile without having to go to Highrise, which is a godsend.  I can't recommend Rapportive highly enough. Boomerang:  Lets you schedule email to be sent later, but more importantly, will "boomerang" an email back to your inbox a specified amount of time after you've sent it.  It's a great way to have a soft reminder to follow up with someone.  You can also have it only boomerang the email back to you if the person you're emailing doesn't respond. I can go into more detail on how I use these services (and especially how I use Rapportive to create tags in Highrise right from the email, which I then export to  Mailchimp for monthly marketing newsletter blasts) if you'd like.  Just make a comment below asking for whatever detail you'd like me to delve into.  If I get enough interest, I'll spend the time to do a more in-depth demo.

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