Schedule Sending E-mail and Reminders on Your Android

If you want to schedule email or take action on them at a later date then using Boomerang on your Chrome or Firefox browser is a great idea. I particularly use it to schedule birthday greetings to friends on my email.

But previously, this service could only be used on desktop browser with the help of add-ons and extensions. A few days ago, Boomerang launched an Android app to help users schedule emails and reminders from their phones.

The app is easy to use and it synced my Google apps account quickly. The app also was fast and not clunky like some email apps tend to be.

As this works with Gmail, it can be a big change as Boomerang does away with Gmail’s use of categories to sort out our email.

Boomerang_Android_app
Use Boomerang Android app to schedule emails and reminders

Swipe from left to right to Archive and swiping right to left shows up a host of options that includes starring the email, replying to it or using Boomerang features to schedule a reminder about the email.

The big feature is allowing reminders to be set for a email or to schedule a time for an email to be sent. This feature on free accounts is restricted to 10 messages per month but that is more than enough for someone like me who might want to schedule messages only in certain special circumstances.

Do try out Boomerang App on Android and drop in your comments.

Link: Boomerang on Android

Insert Your Signature into a Gmail Attachment With a Single Click

Usually signing documents online is a very tedious process. For example, someone wants your signature scanned on a document. Ideally you have to download the document as an attachment from your email account. Then we take a print out of the document and put a signature on it. Finally, we have to scan the same document and send it back.

HelloSign allows users to do this in an automated way. It works well on Chrome if you add their extension.

How HelloSign Works:

  • First log-in to your Gmail account and also install the HelloSign Chrome extension.
  • Then you will have to create an account with HelloSign. You can also use your Google account to simply sign up.
  • Enter a specimen of your signature and save it.
  • Now when you check your Gmail attachments it gives your an additional option to ‘Sign’.

Sign_attachments_documents

  • This will open up pop-up that allows you to insert your saved signature into the attachment.

Add_sign_hellosign

  • This inserted signature then is saved on your attachment. Send the attachment back to the person who needs your signature on a document.

This works great to insert not just signatures but also your initials. Additionally this is good for the environment as you do not have to take out printouts just to sign a document and scan it to send it back.

Do you know of any other similar services? Do drop in your comments.

Link: Hello Sign Extension

Save Gmail Attachments to SkyDrive in a Single Click

A few weeks ago we wrote about saving your Gmail links automatically to a Google Drive. But if you are using Windows, chances are you might be interested in Microsoft’s cloud offering SkyDrive.

Microsoft is collaborating with Attachements.me for allowing users to upload or download attachments files from their SkyDrive account to Gmail.

How it works:

  • Download and install the Attachments.me browser extensions from here. It works with Firefox and Chrome.
  • The service will prompt you to connect your Gmail account to SkyDrive account.

Adding SkyDrive Files to Gmail

  • Now you can use files from SkyDrive while sending emails.

Save Gmail Attachments to SkyDrive

  • You can also download your attachments directly to SkyDrive.

I prefer having SkyDrive installed on my computer too, so the saved attachments are available locally.

Do drop in your comments.

Link: Attachments.me for SkyDrive

5 Great Bandwidth Saving Tips for Mozilla Thunderbird

In India, it’s still not uncommon to see people using a limited internet connection. In some cases, the limit is ridiculously low. If you send and receive a lot of emails, using an email client can help you save some bandwidth. An email client like Thunderbird downloads all your emails to your computer. So if you need to check a previously downloaded email, you won’t be using any bandwidth again.

However, at times an email client can also use unnecessary bandwidth. For instance, it will download all spam messages with loads of images in them. Or large attachments which you may not want to download. These can be skipped while using webmail, but not in Thunderbird.

So if you are using Thunderbird, here are a few tips to save bandwidth:

Thunderbird

#1. Do not check for messages at startup

Thunderbird checks for new emails for every account on each startup. However, if you have multiple accounts configured, you might want to skip some of them at times. To do this, go to Tools>Account Settings. Locate the account you want to skip in the left page. Select Server Settings below it from. On the right, uncheck the option named Check for new messages at startup. Now Thunderbird will not check for new messages at every startup for this account.

Check new emails at startup

#2. Frequency of checking messages

While Thunderbird is running, it keeps checking for new emails every once in a while. You can save some bandwidth by reducing this frequency. For this, Go to Server settings as stated above. You will see another option named Check for new messages every __ minutes. Reduce this frequency according to your requirements. Say, if you need to check emails frequently, set it to 15. For personal and less important emails, you can set it to 60.

Reduce frequency of message checking in thunderbird

#3. Download only headers

The next option you can tinker with, located a little below the above options, is Fetch headers only. If you select this option, Thunderbird will only download the subject of the email. The rest of the email will be downloaded only if you select the email. I personally find this a bit annoying because I have to wait after clicking on the subject. Loss of productivity. So I would advise using it only in one of the following two cases:

  • You receive a lot of spam emails
  • You are on a really tight bandwidth limit

Fetch headers only in Thunderbird

#4. Do not download large messages

Attachments use a lot of bandwidth. There might be multiple reasons why you might not want to download an attachment. For instance, you might be on the move, checking email via an expensive 3G plan. So you might want to wait till you can access your unlimited broadband connection at home.

To prevent Thunderbird from downloading large attachments automatically, in Account Settings dialog box, select Disk Space from the left pane. On the right, look for the option named To save disk space do not download messages larger than __.

Set size limit for downloading messages

Set the value according to your needs. In general, you could set it to 50-70 KB if you want only text. 100-200 KB should do for emails with small images. Now whenever an email exceeds this size limit, it will not be downloaded completely. You will have the option to download it manually.

Manually download large messages

#5. Disable automatic update

This is pretty straightforward. You disable automatic updates to save bandwidth. To do this, go to Tools>Options. Select Advanced and go to the Update tab. Under Automatically check for updates to: uncheck both Thunderbird and Installed Add-ons.

Desable automatic updates in thunderbird

#6. Do not forward e-mails with attachments (Bonus Tip)

This is not exactly related to Thunderbird but it is good tip to save bandwidth. If you receive an email with attachment that you want to forward, do not forward it from your client. The reason being that the client will have to upload the attachment from your computer. But if you use the web interface of your email, you can forward the attachment from your inbox without downloading it.

Using these simple tips we can save on a lot of bandwidth. So implement these now. Who knows, your next month’s internet bill might end being a little lower.

5 Reasons Outlook.com Will Not be a Gmail killer

Last week, when Microsoft removed the covers of its new email service called Outlook, it has won many praises (including from yours truly) for it’s minimalist design. The service claims to have better spam fighting mechanism along with better controls for managing emails.

It seemed like Microsoft has a real winner on its hands and it could hurt Gmail badly. I thought a bit about the possibility of Outlook.com ever coming close to being a Gmail killer. These are five reasons why I think Outlook.com will not be a threat the Gmail.

#1. Email is not a Social Network

Five years ago, I had email addresses of my friends from my childhood. But we hardly connected as such via email and most of our interaction was done through Orkut, which was the most popular social network in India at that point of time. Most of us have simply stopped using Orkut and are now on Facebook. But guess what we have not changed, it is our email service providers.

People do not dump their email service as easily as they might do with social networks.

#2. Better Design is not Better Service

Outlook.com does have a great design and UI. But that does not automatically mean better service. Gmail has “undo send”, “desktop notifications” and along with dozens of under the hood features, makes it a very powerful service to manage email.

Outlook.com has some improved features like spam filters and newsletter management, but it is still not tired and tested. Some might argue that Hotmail has great anti-spam and email features, but if it did, why is Microsoft trying out a completely new approach to email?

#3. Microsoft did not create Hotmail

Microsoft did not create its email offerings with from the ground up. They bought into the business by get Hotmail for a price tag of $400 million. Microsoft has never really took the internet very seriously, it was still offering 2 MB free space when, Gmail came to the party with 1GB free space for email.

It also underestimated the importance of search on the web and possibly surrendered many advantages to Yahoo and Google subsequently. Microsoft just might not have it in their DNA to get web, sort of like how Google does not get social.

#4. Gmail is too important for Google

Gmail is 8 years old and people who used Google, never did it by signing into their website. Today, most times when I am using search, I am logged into my Google account. Google can track your search queries and tally it to your Google account, allowing it to give you better results. Why does everyone have a Google account? It is because of everyone has a Gmail account..

#5.  Email might be dying

Remember all those internet memes, jokes and funny photos that were circulated by your friends and family on email. Today, this part of the interaction and sharing is happening on social networks. Even companies are trying out various techniques to reduce the email workload, so their employees have more time to do the really important things. In other words, email might be dying and could become irrelevant in the next 5 or 10 years. Microsoft’s Outlook.com might be great but it might be arriving to the party so late, that it might be arriving after the party.

I left out technical comparisons between Outlook and Gmail for the main reason, that technical options usually do not prompt one to change their email service. Outlook.com is on the right track with social integration, which might attract users from the under-20 age group, who usually are more prone to adopt newer email services.

[Infographic] Tips on Reducing Your Email Load

Managing their email work load is a big problem for many professionals. Email is an essential tool for communicating but since most e-mails sent are often unnecessary or downright spam, it does have an adverse impact of the productivity of a professional. Surely, a programmer or blogger needs to spend as much time as possibly doing things that are of core importance, rather than handle correspondence.

Online IT Degree, has a nice infographic that shows how simply asking oneself the question “Do I need to send this email?” can work wonders.

The most important rule that can be followed to reduce emails, is the if you have a lot to say or discuss, use a phone call or even arrange an online chat, instead of a never ending email thread.

Are you troubled by email overload? Do let us know any tips you use to manage your emails.

Facebook Changes Your Contact Email to “Facebook.com”

Facebook does not necessarily have bad privacy options. It has a bad reputation regarding privacy options. This lack of trust is not going to reduce anytime soon, especially given the new stunt Facebook has pulled for all users.

Facebook has quietly gone and changed the email address you left in your contact information, on your Facebook profile.

So if you had left your contact email as xyz@gmail.com , Facebook has conveniently hidden it and now only shows username@facebook.com (username is your Facebook ID).

Check and change back your contact email address

On your profile, click on the About section as shown in the image above.

As you can see, my email address has changed from my personal one to the one assigned by Facebook. Now change the settings of your Facebook address as not visible on Timeline. Change over the settings for your personal email as visible on Timeline.

Make sure your email address is visible to only Friends – as you might accidentally make your personal email id as public.

The problem is not really ‘privacy’ but when I put up my contact email address to show up on my Facebook profile, I would expect Facebook to notify me about the change in advance before changing it.

This penchant of Facebook for changing settings and options for users without proper communication has actually made me use my Facebook profile more or less only for public updates.  If I want to share my birthday photos with friends, I email them a link to it. And that email does not end with “facebook.com”.

What are your views on Facebook changing which email of yours is to be seen? Do drop in your comments.

Automatically Send Google Analytics Reports by Email Every Day!

Google Analytics is something that most website owners use to track the type of traffic, a blog receives and also how much traffic which page or post on the blog receives.

I am not one of those bloggers who likes to take a look at Google Analytics ten times a day. Just looking at the traffic trends once a day is more than enough. For less popular sites, I guess even once a week could be adequate.

Google Analytics now allows users to send reports to an email address everyday or even once every week.

Just sign into your Google Analytics account and look up the traffic stats. There you will see a link called ‘Email Beta’ as seen in the image below.

Click on the link and you will see an option select the type of file the information is supposed to be sent to you. It could be as an excel file or even a PDF.

Add in the email address of the person you want these reports to be sent out. You can select the frequency of email reports being sent out and also the time frame they are sent out. The time frame is by default set to 6 months.

This is ideal for website owners to share weekly traffic stats to potential advertisers.

Do drop in your comments.

Related: How To Add New Users to Google Webmaster Tools Account

Get a Snapshot of Your Social Media Life from Exactly a Year Ago

Today, exactly a year ago the Indian Cricket team won the World Cup. I thought about that glorious day from a year ago and wondered what sort of social update or photos did I share a year ago? Searching for your Tweets, Facebook updates or photos shared on Instagram can be tedious if not downright frustrating.

Timehop is an internet service that sends you email updates everyday with what you shared on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Four Square.

Sign up with your Facebook account on Timehop.com and also link your other account on social networks like Twitter, Foursquare and Instagram.

Timehop will put togeather all that you shared on these linked accounts from exactly a year ago. This information is sent to you via an email. This email will be the same one you use for your Facebook account, which you have linked to Timehop.

Additionally Timehop also sends interesting global news and events in the email update, which happened exactly a year ago. I find this a great way to relive some interesting updates and photos we shared on social media websites.

Do drop in your comments.

Link: Timehop

Is Email Dead or Will it Survive? [Infographic]

Email_logo_infoI hardly use e-mail to keep in touch with school friends or family members online. I end up using social media. This rise in social media has led to the notion that email might be dead in the near future.

Here is a infographic by visiblegains showing how Email is alive and kicking along with growing every year. Which is true for me too, as on an overall basis, I use email a lot more than ever.

There were 107 trillion emails sent in the past year, that is 3.3 million emails per second. Even if email is well and alive, on the downside a massive 45% of all email is spam.

Email_Infographic

What are your views on the future of Email? Do drop in your comments.

Related: How to setup Google Apps on your Domain