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From Addy + SPAM

Isn't it amazing how sometimes the smallest things make the biggest differences?

I'm going to tell you about two of those things:  Your "from" email address, and checking your SPAM box.

First, about email:  Click the image at left to see a full-size pop-up of a portion of my inbox.  Now, imagine it was yours.  Let me ask you, how many of the "from" addresses would you immediately recognize as being from a certain company?  My answer?  Only one, and it happens to be one of my agents, Giovanna, who changed her "from" address to read her name + phone # + company name.  As far as I'm concerned, all the others could be SPAM because they haven't identified themselves in a meaningful way to me.

The importance of this point should not be lost on you, especially if most of your business is conducted via email, and ESPECIALLY if you're a salesperson or you need to command the attention of people who may not immediately recognize who you are.  Just because you know who you are doesn't mean anyone else does.  So instead of having your "from" name say "[email protected]", have it say "Joe Black - 703-555-1212 - Equity Consultant" (or whatever your info is).  And take comfort in knowing the fact that NOBODY else out there is doing this, so it gives you a huge competitive advantage, AND take comfort knowing that people will be able to easily call you when they need to, because your phone number is prominently featured.  Just ask yourself - have you ever tried calling someone who emailed you, but you can't find their phone number anywhere on their email?  I know it happens to me all the time.

If you want to know "how" to change your "from" address, just Google some related terms; there are plenty of sites with tutorials.  For example, here are the results of a Google search I just did on the topic.

Isn't it amazing how sometimes the smallest things make the biggest differences? I'm going to tell you about two of those things:  Your "from" email address, and checking your SPAM box. First, about email:  Click the image at left to see a full-size pop-up of a portion of my inbox.  Now, imagine it was yours.  Let me ask you, how many of the "from" addresses would you immediately recognize as being from a certain company?  My answer?  Only one, and it happens to be one of my agents, Giovanna, who changed her "from" address to read her name + phone # + company name.  As far as I'm concerned, all the others could be SPAM because they haven't identified themselves in a meaningful way to me. The importance of this point should not be lost on you, especially if most of your business is conducted via email, and ESPECIALLY if you're a salesperson or you need to command the attention of people who may not immediately recognize who you are.  Just because you know who you are doesn't mean anyone else does.  So instead of having your "from" name say "[email protected]", have it say "Joe Black - 703-555-1212 - Equity Consultant" (or whatever your info is).  And take comfort in knowing the fact that NOBODY else out there is doing this, so it gives you a huge competitive advantage, AND take comfort knowing that people will be able to easily call you when they need to, because your phone number is prominently featured.  Just ask yourself - have you ever tried calling someone who emailed you, but you can't find their phone number anywhere on their email?  I know it happens to me all the time. If you want to know "how" to change your "from" address, just Google some related terms; there are plenty of sites with tutorials.  For example, here are the results of a Google search I just did on the topic. OK on to topic #2: SPAM.  So, now that we've learned how to keep your email from looking like Spam to others, let's talk about what you should do with your Spam.  I'm not going to get into an in-depth discussion on Spam filters (although I'll say that for Windows applications, Cloudmark is the best I've ever seen, and for Macs, Spamsieve is the best), but rather I want to talk to you about what you should do with your Spam folder. No Spam filter is perfect, and over time you'll accumulate some Spam in a Spam folder.  My point is this:  it is absolutely imperative that you go through that Spam folder on a regular basis, whether once a week or once a month.  And it's a total pain to do, but you will almost certainly find one or two legitimate emails within the junk, and it only takes 1 missed email to ruin a business deal.  So here's my strategy (I go through mine weekly):  First sort by "To" address, and concentrate on Spams that have been sent to you; i.e., ignore any that were sent to other email addresses but showed up in your Spam box.  Once you've ensured there's no real email using the "To" sorting method, re-sort by "From".  Since many Spams tend to be from the same "person", you can often skim through your Spam folder quickly and ignore multiple emails from the same source.  Once you've verified there's no real email in there (or pulled out any that is), delete the emails so next time you go through them you don't duplicate efforts. Until someone comes up w/ a better Spam fighting solution, I cannot stress how important it is that you do this.  The only possible exception I've ever found is Cloudmark, because of the way it fights Spam, there are rarely any false-positive Spams in your Spam folder.  Good luck.

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!

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