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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!

Hallmark RV: The best of the soft-side pop-up campers

On LifeWeTravel

Sue and I visited Hallmark RV today. I’ve been emailing back & forth with Matthew for months, asking him various question about Hallmark’s campers, and I’d been scouring Hallmark’s website, Facebook page and the forums relentlessly trying to learn as much as I could about their campers.

And what I thought to be true, is true: Hallmark is, hands-down, the absolute best pop-up camper value in the $20k to $40k price point.

I go more into that in my summary blog post, but if you’re in the market and you’re not sure which camper you want to get, I highly recommend you spend $500 and come to Colorado like we did to visit the factories of each camper manufacturer (Hallmark, Outfitter and Phoenix are within an hour of each other, as is EarthRoamer — although EarthRoamers are in an entirely different category and price point) — or just watch all of the videos we made, so you can get a really good feeling of the differences. The Hallmark facility was clean, organized and busy — a stark contrast to some of the other facilities.

In fact, if we hadn’t visited XP Camper (which is located in northern California about an hour from Sacramento) prior to coming to Colorado, I’d be placing an order for a Hallmark Milner right now. XP Campers are designed differently from the ground up as compared to all other pop-up campers to be true expedition vehicles, and they’re much more expensive — around $70k before options — so Sue and I have some thinking to do, which I go into in more detail in the summary blog post. But if you can’t go above the $30k-ish price point and you only need a weekend camper, or a camper for trips that last a week or two max , then definitely get a Hallmark. If you want to research your options a bit more, read this full write-up titled “Our two-year journey choosing a pop-up camper.”

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