Blog Reader (RSS subscription tool): FEEDLY

Feedly was brought to my attention not along ago by a fellow blogger in an interesting post featuring her preferred online tools and websites.  In addition to Feedly, I investigated her other recommendations and have also added SimilarWeb to my Firefox web browser per her suggestion:

I also frequently use the “SimilarWeb” Firefox browser add-on (www.similarweb.com/) whenever I land on a Web site that interests me.  This add-on provides me with links to: (1) similar Web sites; (2) related articles from news sites and blogs; and (3) the latest social media buzz about the Web site. It’s an invaluable tool that is a real time saver.

With regard to Feedly, it links to your established Google account/ID and has a nice feature set for organizing your blog subscriptions by the subject areas that you designate.  What I especially like about Feedly is that when you add a new blog feed subscription, it presents a list entitled “you might also like” with links to other similar blogs which you than quickly and easily subscribe to as well.  Using this method, you can accumulate a library of multiple pertinent blog subscriptions in ten minutes or less.  After that, visiting your Feedly page two or three times per week provides you with ready access to a wealth of current information on your topics of interest.

My use of Feedly represents a departure from my previous favored method of subscribing to blog feeds: RSS-to-email.  What happened there was that FeedMyInbox.com began charging a monthly fee for anything above five RSS feeds — defying the standard business model of such services profiting off advertising revenue rather than charging user fees.  Perhaps if their usage rate plummets (as I expect it will), FeedMyInbox.com might return to their previous practice of providing unlimited free RSS feed subscriptions.  In the meantime, though, I’m finding Feedly to be just as good of a solution — and perhaps even better — than FeedMyInbox.

Featured site: INNOVATION TOOLS

InnovationTools.com has a plethora of interesting information.  It’s highly recommended!

In particular, I suggest that you sign up for their Innovation Week newsletter and subscribe to their Innovation Tools blog.

Here is a brief sampling of some of their recent articles:

Perhaps the most valuable component of this site is their Links Directory, a veritable treasure trove of resources.  CHECK IT OUT !!!

Managing and Monitoring your Online Identity

This is a short introduction to what could be presented as a relatively lengthy and complex topic…

How do you ensure that your identity is not hijacked or your reputation smeared online?  There may be no sure fire means of prevention but there are at least a couple of things you can do proactively to try to avoid problems.  One is to establish your own online personal profile as a means of managing your reputation.  The other is to continually monitor where and when your name is showing up online.

MANAGING

There are at least two sites I know of that permit you to independently establish your own online identity:

Beyond those two sites, there are personal profiles associated with your accounts on places such as Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft which also contribute to the identity management cause:

At yet another level of the online identity management structure are your accounts at such social media sites as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and Twitter — to name only a few.  These sites are part and parcel of the overall identity management puzzle as well.

Do you need to establish profile accounts at all of these sites?  Certainly not.  Yet it is highly recommended that you do so with at least at a few of them.  At a minimum, I would suggest completing your Google Profile and setting up a Linked In account — if you haven’t done so already.

People seeking to misuse another person’s identity or mistreat their reputation are likely to have the most success with an individual who hasn’t established a certain minimum level of Internet presence of their own doing.  This information is simply intended to help remedy that potential circumstance.

MONITORING

Here is an important tool for keeping tabs on the what, where, when, why, and how your name is being mentioned on the Internet…

Google Alerts

I recommend setting up one or more alerts — if not for daily delivery via e-mail, then at least weekly.  In my case I have alerts set up for Jeffrey G. Klenner, Jeff Klenner, and Access Strategic Knowledge Consultants LLC (my company).  If any of those names appear online during the interim period between alert e-mails, I am notified — and provided with the associated link to investigate the context for myself.

As an aside, if you’re interested in keeping tabs on family members as well, you can try just entering your last name as an alert.  Obviously this works best if you have a less common surname.  By seeing results of anyone with that same last name you can explore your genealogical family tree or simply be snoopy about what family members might have been up to.

In my case, using only my last name in a Google Alert rendered a serendipitous result recently when I was made aware of the fact that a watercolor landscape painted by my dad in 1949 was coming up for public auction in two weeks time.  My 85-year old father, a retired commercial artist, had given several of his early works to siblings as gifts when he was fresh out of art school in the 1940’s.  He is the only remaining sibling from a family of eight brothers and sisters and no doubt the painting had been included as part of the estate sale from one of his departed kin.  As luck would have it, I was able to reclaim the painting for our family and use it to brighten my dad’s day — as he is currently a nursing home patient undergoing physical therapy as part of his recuperation from a recent hospital stay and surgical procedure.

…Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t at least mention the concept of “Personal Branding” in the context of managing one’s online identity.  The age of social media marketing has really brought to the forefront the age-old idea of “tooting one’s own horn.”  In an era when job longevity is no longer what it used to be, knowing how to cultivate and promote your professional reputation is becoming highly important.  In that regard, a fellow named Dan Schawbel writes one of the best blogs that I am aware of on the topic:

Personal Branding Blog

For those of you with teenagers at home or college students enrolled in school, Dan Schawbel also publishes a companion blog:

Student Branding Blog

I recommend subscribing to Dan’s blog and exploring more about Personal Branding.  That topic — and Social Media Marketing, as well — will be the topic of further posts in the near future.

Social Media Account Monitoring Tools – TweetDeck & Nutshell Mail

For those seeking to get their arms around the social media revolution, I can recommend two tools for monitoring accounts on such platforms as Facebook, Twitter, and Linked In…

Tweet Deck

An application that you install on your computer which serves as a dashboard for monitoring your social media accounts real-time.  You can set it up to monitor Facebook, MySpace, Linked In, and Twitter and present the related posts in a number of different formats:

  • A full-screen dashboard view of multiple accounts (with a separate column for each)
  • A single-column view (set off to the side) with just the one account you want to monitor real-time (i.e. Twitter)
  • PLUS a very handy “notification window” that can be setup to flash real-time updates (from any or all accounts) in the corner of your screen as a means for quick reading

Running TweetDeck on my computer provides me with the same feeling as having CNN Headline News being broadcast in the background except you choose the sort of content which you want to be updated on (through your social media account settings) and, of course, there is no distracting sound.

Nutshell Mail

VIDEO

Due to the volume of entries, Facebook and Twitter posts are difficult to peruse a half-day or day later…  Now a great new tool is available to send you a periodic e-mail summary of posts. I set mine for 4-hour increments with the results sent to a specific e-mail archive folder.  Now if I’m “off the grid” for a day or two I can easily go back and peruse what was said by everyone on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc.

TweetDeck is a great tool for real-time social media monitoring.  NutshellMail is the perfect complement for off-line after-the-fact review and archiving.

Check them out.

Published in: on 18 February 2010 at 11:00 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

GREAT RESOURCE: “The Printable CEO”

Thanks to Adam Sicinski (of the IQ Matrix blog – an asbolutely fantastic site) for the “heads up” on this one…

David Seah has an excellent blog “Better Living through New Media: an Investigative Approach to Design, Productivity and Inspiration” which is well worth subscribing to.  What’s particularly intriguing are the tools he has provided for free download here:

PRINTABLE CEO SERIES

I strongly recommend checking this out.  I plan on trying out his Day Grid Balancer and Menu of the Day templates.  He also provides 2010 updates for these tools in various New Year blog posts:

Additionally, there is an online version of the PCEO system called the Task Score Sheet at the Online CEO…  A site developed by Geoffrey Grosenbach.

Please post comments if you find any of these tools useful for yourself.  It would be helpful to hear feedback from other folks trying them out.

Get the Creative Juices Flowing

Don the Idea Guy has served up a great innovation post to usher in 2010:

10 Idea Inspiring Lightning Rods

1. Read more stuff
Magazines, books, blogs, cereal boxes… it doesn’t really matter (at least at the beginning) what you read — just that you’re reading at all. Just 15 to 20 minutes every morning and every evening is enough to feed your brain with enough new ideas to make you more strikeable. To increase the quality of ideas your reading generates, increase the quality of the writers you are reading.

2. If you have to watch TV, watch some good shows
You’d be surprised at the number of lightning strikes that can be had by watching an episode of Mythbusters or Wild West Tech. The Biography, Discovery, and History Channels are worth a watch now and then.

3. Go see great speakers
Go and see presentations of the best public speakers as often as possible. Listen for the message within the message. Find one great idea that you can take home and put into action tomorrow. Become a speaker yourself. Joining Toastmasters and jumping up in front of an audience in an effort to share your own message is much more challenging than simply writing them down and hoping someone reads them. The energy that comes from a really good speaker on stage can generate a roomful of lightning bolts.

4. Collect quotes
You can start by purchasing a collection of quotes from your local bookstore, but I find the quotes that have the most impact on me personally come from the middle of books I’m reading or from speakers on stage. Never be without a notepad in which scribble something worth reading again in the future. Record them in a journal (a physical notebook or an online version) and start categorizing them according to the way they words make you feel when you read them. Save them under headings that mean the most to you: Monday Morning… Kick In The Ass… Need An Idea… Feeling Blue… and review your collection whenever you need some brilliance on-demand.

5. Listening to music
One of the earliest ways I discovered to create a lightning strike of inspiration was through the music I collected. I could actually control the kinds of ideas I came up with by the type of ambient music playing while I was drawing, writing, or brainstorming. Jazz, New Age, Soundtracks, Classical, and even 80’s Hair Bands (sometimes you just gotta ‘Ratt and Roll!’) can bring down the lightning of creativity.

6. Play word games
Get your brain primed for those bolts from the blue by shining up those mental receptors. Solving crossword puzzles or challenging your friends to a game of Boggle or (my favorite) — Scrabble, is a great way to warm up your mental engine. One of the very cool things about social media is the way it allows you to play these sorts of games online at all hours with people all over the world. You’re never at a loss for a competitor. After all, the person on the other side of the virtual game board may also be trying to increase their strikeability.

7. Visit museums
Art museums, history museums, science and technology centers, as well as zoos and aquariums are all fantastic ways to bring the lightning. The artistic images and hidden histories crank your creative generators into overdrive. Personal fav: go to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio (is Ratt in there yet?) and check out the display containing the pages from musicians’ notebooks. You’ll see raw versions of handwritten lyrics to some of the biggest hits of all time — scribbles in the margin, cross-outs and corrections. The pages seem singed with blasts from their own lightning strikes.

8. Find heroes
Disney, Edison, Franklin, Houdini, Siegel and Shuster — learn all you can about the lives and creative process of your own heroes. You’ll find they were also often in search of lightning strikes. Once you know how some of history’s most creative minds made themselves more strikeable, it is a simpler thing to try and do for yourself. Keep in mind that everyone’s combustion point for their personal creative fire is different. What worked for Disney will not work for everyone (or else we’d have a lot more Disney-quality creativity in the world.)

9. Express yourself — journal, sketch, paint
Often times the problem of a creative mind is not the lack of ideas, but an over abundance. There are so many ideas swimming around in your noggin that you don’t know which one to act upon first. Work through your brain blockage by getting all those ideas out of your head. Use journaling, blogging, painting, photography, cartooning, or whatever to simply get that log jam of ideas out of your head and onto paper/canvas/etc. It can get congested up there, and if you don’t find a release valve your brain can get more clogged than a summer sinus infection. Remember this: to get new ideas into your head, you have to get the old ones out. There is a finite amount of space between your ears, and if you don’t write all those ideas down — even the bad ones (especially the bad ones) you can’t make room for new and better ideas.

10. Radar up!
There’s a book titled “Personal Brilliance” in which the author lists four catalysts for creativity: Awareness, Creativity, Focus, and Initiative. Before reading the book I would have bet that my primary source for attracting creative ideas was Curiosity (asking What if? Why not? etc.) But, it turns out after learning about these catalysts, I would attribute most of my idea generation to Awareness — simply being attuned to what’s happening around me (remember the books, speakers, and music?) and absorbing these influences and seeds of ideas into my mind. To keep our lightning strike analogy going, think of your brain as a magnet and all those innovative influences as metal shavings — collect enough metal and you can create one helluva lightning rod!

What do you do to generate ideas?

My most sure fire place to prompt a “shower of ideas” is in the shower…  For some reason, that’s where all my best creative thinking occurs — making me wonder if there is a way to spend a greater portion of my day in that setting.  I guess I would shrivel up like a prune, but that might be a small price to pay for a steadier flow of good ideas!

Published in: on 31 December 2009 at 4:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

How to Generate an Endless Flow of Fantastic Ideas

From Robin Dickinson’s RADSMATS.com — “Performance-Boosting Ideas”

Part 1: Enrich Your Creative Inputs

http://www.radsmarts.com/2009/12/how-to-generate-an-endless-flow-of-fantastic-ideas-part-1/

Part 2: Strengthen Your Creative Muscles

http://www.radsmarts.com/2009/12/how-to-generate-an-endless-flow-of-fantastic-ideas-part-2/

Published in: on 23 December 2009 at 3:55 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags:

Jeff Klenner on Personal Knowledge Management: BLOGS & RSS FEEDS

This is the first in a series of discussions about personal knowledge management (PKM) as it relates to the typical professional.  While in this case my focus will be on blogs and their related RSS feeds, subsequent posts will be devoted to wikis, search engines, and other such tools.

To keep this to a manageable length I am going to assume a certain amount of familiarity with the concept of blogs, RSS feeds, and feed readers.  For those who require a foundation tutorial about these topics, I recommend reading this summary put together by ProBlogger.  If you’re still seeking further background, do a Google search to help fill in the blanks.  What I am seeking to set forth here is what has become my own approach to blog subscriptions.

Use of RSS-to-e-Mail Method of Blog Subscriptions

When I first began reading blogs many years ago I quickly became unsatisfied with most of the available feed readers because there was no means of capturing and archiving the information.  My reasoning was that I may only have the time to read blogs occasionally – and at sporadic intervals.  That didn’t mesh well with the format of most readers, in which only the most recent blog posts were displayed.  One would have to go to the individual blog site and scroll through the chronological entries in order to “catch up” on what had been written previously.  So I began to hunt for an alternative means by which to collect and organize blog postings.

Where my search led was to RSS-to-e-mail tools by which I subscribe to the blog’s feed and have it sent to my e-mail inbox.  There are several such web tools out there.  The one I favor is FeedMyInbox.com which has a very simple user interface for subscribing to RSS feeds, yet provides a nicely formatted e-mail (sent as a digest of posts, up to once daily) for readability.  I specifically avoid those tools in which have you establish a user account because the result is usually that they create a composite e-mail composed of the feeds of many separate blogs.  In order to establish the proper archiving system, I wanted a daily e-mail message with the posts from each individual blog.

A secondary factor with regard to a RSS-to-e-mail tool is whether it truncates blog posts or provides full text instead.  FeedMyInbox provides full text, however this is not a foolproof solution.  Some blogs are setup to only publish summary paragraphs in their RSS feeds.  While this still enables the user to be able to click a hyperlink at a later date to access the full post, sometimes there can be problems associated with this method.  If the blog happened to cease publication or was relocated and the posts were not archived for continued access, you lose access to that entire library of blog entries.

I generally avoid the option that most blogs offer for having their posts delivered as an e-mail newsletter.  The reason I shy away from this is that the formatting of those e-mail compilations they send is not standardized and, more often than not, the full text of posts is not included.  FeedMyInbox, by comparison, provides a much cleaner and more dependable end-product for scanning content and readily picking out the things I might be interested in.

Setting Up Individual e-Mail Accounts for Archiving

The key to my method of establishing a blog library is the e-mail management system by which the entries are archived.  In a previous post here, I explained my preference for Google gmail – largely due to the filtering functions and the important advantage of using Gmail Manager as an option within Mozilla Firefox web browsers.  Once combined with a domain account using Google Sites, this becomes a relatively robust solution.  My custom domain under Google Sites allows me to create up to 200 e-mail accounts.  Due to the fact that I subscribe to hundreds of RSS feeds, I have actually gotten to the point where I am using 35 separate e-mail accounts.  While that may be excessive, remember that I treat each of these accounts as a separate section of my so-called “blog library.”

In my blog library I have sections (e-mail accounts) set up for such generic topics as:

  • General News Sources (news@domainname.com)
  • Financial News Sources (finance@domainname.com)
  • Business News Sources (biz@domainname.com)
  • Sports News Sources (sports@domainname.com)

In a more specific context, I have sections (e-mail accounts) set up for such various topics as:

  • Business Law Blogs (bizlaw@domainname.com)
  • Employment Law Blogs (emplaw@domainname.com)
  • Law Practice Management Blogs (firm@domainname.com)
  • Organizational Management Blogs (mgmt@domainname.com)

When employing this type of system the trick is figuring out what categories might be needed – so that you don’t end up with too many or too few blogs/RSS feeds for each section of your library (to avoid an unnecessary number of e-mail accounts).  Admittedly, you may peruse some of these topic areas very rarely, but it is nevertheless reassuring to know the information is there if you need or want to delve into a particular area in detail.  Personally speaking, whenever I discover an interesting blog I have the tendency to add it to my collection on the (albeit slim) chance it may come in handy in the future.

Obviously one is not going to labor over setting up such a system overnight.  This is the sort of thing that accumulates over the course of months and years as, like a book collection, you discover additional blogs and news sources to add to your library.  When you set up your news feed to go to the individual e-mail address for that topic area, you will eventually go back to the e-mail account and establish a folder for that specific blog and then setup a filter to automatically send posts from the given RSS feed to the specified folder (usually by the blog title which appears in the subject line of the FeedMyInbox e-mail messages).

Content Procurement

If you are seeking to establish a specific section of your library and want to discover resources for use in that regard, there are several tools from which to choose.  There are blog search engines (such as Technorati), blog directories (such as Alltop), and topical RSS feed aggregators (such as Feedzilla).  Perhaps in the future I will dedicate some time to exploring and explaining these alternatives in greater detail.

Is it really worth the effort?

You have probably guessed by now that I tend to be a pack rat and that, before the advent of the internet, I had the tendency to accumulate voluminous collections of books and magazines.  The difference now with my collection of RSS feeds/blogs is that:

  1. They cost nothing to collect (other than a relatively small amount of time expenditure), and
  2. They take up no physical space like those heavy stacks of books and magazines did.

That said, I have my own reservations about the overall effectiveness of this library system as a legitimate knowledge management tool.  On the one hand, if I’m going to bother subscribing to any RSS feeds at all, I firmly believe this is the way to go (after having tried other methods and found them lacking).  However, I have a sneaking suspicion that “Web 3.0” (whenever it evolves) might include enough highly evolved search engines the likes of Google Alerts that my current system will prove to be archaic and entirely unnecessary.  Time will tell…

At the very least, my so-called “blog library” does enable me to peruse various subject areas and a vast array of resources upon the click or two of a mouse.  Thereby replicating the feeling I had when exploring the aisles between tall shelves of books during my frequent visits to the public library as a kid.  Back then I loved taking in the depth and breadth of the topics covered under the Dewey Decimal System and I get the same sort of feeling all over again these days when I comb through my constantly growing collection of blogs and news feeds.  There is a whole lot of researching, thinking and writing going on out there and it has always been exciting to me to feel as though it’s all readily accessible – whether that was back then at the public library or, in present times, in the comfort of my own home on my PC.  It is a world of wonderment indeed!

———————–

Jeff Klenner – an attorney and former professor of Organizational Management – works with small businesses and startup enterprises in a consultative capacity for Access Strategic Knowledge (ASK) Consultants LLC in Detroit, Michigan.

———————–

Published in: on 17 December 2009 at 12:49 pm  Comments (1)  

Jeff Klenner on e-mail management: SOLVING YOUR IDENTITY CRISIS (Part 2)

Previously I discussed the potential benefits of having a custom domain for e-mail and the possible use of multiple e-mail accounts for different audiences and various functional areas.  In this entry I am going to examine one service provider, Google gmail, in particular because I believe it to have the most robust feature set among its competitors.

Many folks have grown accustomed to using the advanced filtering and sorting features of Microsoft Outlook on their local computer rather than storing and accessing e-mail online (in the “cloud”, as they say).  Whatever e-mail service you use, I recommend regularly downloading an archive of your e-mail for safekeeping.  However, I have grown accustomed to using online e-mail services for a number of reasons – such as remote access from any computer anywhere and less preoccupation about backing up e-mail archives or fear of having locally-stored e-mail files become corrupt (inaccessible), which has happened to me.  Many of the advanced features of Outlook have been incorporated into gmail, but certainly not all of them.

Filtering e-mail into Folders

One of the most important features that gmail has refined for online users is the ability to set up filters, which enable you to automatically sort incoming mail into separate folders based upon who sent the messages.  Another handy feature is the “threading” of e-mail, which means messages with the same topic heading are accumulated and presented in a single string of messages so that you don’t have to search through your inbox to collect all the various responses manually.  To my knowledge, none of the competing e-mail service providers offer threading and Yahoo! has only recently introduced filters – and their filtering tool is not as impressive as that of gmail.

So if you are an attorney with the need to set up correspondence based upon the name of a client or an individual case, you can establish a folder for each along with a filter and channel the associated e-mail traffic in a convenient manner.  Or if you are a business owner who is trying to manage the inflow of invoices and receipts by vendor, you can have your accounting inbox set up with folders by vendor name.  Of course, none of this is particularly remarkable compared with what has been already been available within Microsoft Outlook for years – it’s just that this sort of functionality has now made its way to the online service providers’ web interface.

Gmail Manager for toggling between separate e-mail accounts

The crowning feature for Google gmail, in my opinion, comes by way of a third-party browser “plug-in” for Mozilla Firefox called Gmail Manager.  This highly useful tool appears as a button on the Firefox browser by which you can toggle between all of your various gmail accounts.  You can click the button to display a drop-down box showing the number of unread messages within each account and then launch a selected account with merely a second click.  You are automatically signed in to each account when the browser tab is launched.  When you are through working in that e-mail account, you simply close that browser tab and then use the Gmail Manager button to launch a different e-mail account.  I have been using this tool for about six months now and have found it to be of tremendous benefit to my personal productivity.

Summary

This is not to suggest that gmail (or any other online e-mail service provider) is the right solution for everyone.  Yet for many small to medium-sized offices it may indeed prove to be a highly efficient and effective way to address their e-mail needs.  If you are presently using an online e-mail service provider and haven’t yet secured a custom domain name, I suggest reading my discussion of that issue.  I highly recommend gmail.  The administrative tools for setting up and managing e-mail accounts are simple to use.  But the real advantage is in the manner by which you can “slice and dice” your contacts and subject matter by e-mail account and by separate folders within each account (and, further, by threaded discussions within each folder).  This presents an unrivaled level of management and control over your e-mail life.

Next up…

In the next edition of this blog I examine the concept of Personal Knowledge Management and discuss how Google gmail and Gmail Manager can be used to establish a blog (RSS feed) management system.  Stay tuned!

———————–

Jeff Klenner – an attorney and former professor of Organizational Management – works with small businesses and startup enterprises in a consultative capacity for Access Strategic Knowledge (ASK) Consultants LLC in Detroit, Michigan.

———————–

Published in: on 15 December 2009 at 1:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags:

Jeff Klenner on e-mail management: SOLVING YOUR IDENTITY CRISIS (Part 1)

Are you one of those people who have persisted in clinging to a free e-mail account the likes of which have always been so convenient to set up on your own?  I’m talking about folks using the following sort of handles: “jsmith@yahoo.com”, “joneslaw@comcast.net”, or “bettycarter@aol.com.”  If you fall into that category, have you ever harbored concerns about what sort of message that conveys to your current or potential clients in terms of professionalism?  And from a practical standpoint, aren’t you being unnecessarily wedded to Comcast or ATT if you are using them for your business e-mail but might actually want to switch to another service provider someday?

As somebody who is moderately technically savvy, I know that it doesn’t require much effort or expense to establish a personalized internet domain name – and still use many of the same services you’ve grown accustomed to (such as gmail, hotmail, and yahoo!).  The process is surprisingly simple – especially for those of you who have purposely postponed the transition to a custom domain name, fearing it would be a cumbersome process.  Perhaps the most difficult part is employing the creative method in coming up with a desirable domain name from whatever alternatives still exist.  Conventional wisdom has dictated that .com domains are most in demand, so you might have better success finding the right domain with a .net or .us or .biz extension.

First you will need to choose which e-mail service you want to use.  I have custom domain accounts with gmail, hotmail, and yahoo! I haven’t checked on their exact pricing structures lately, but the cost of a custom domain plus enterprise e-mail should be less than $50 or $100 annually.  While I personally like the “look and feel” of yahoo! and hotmail best, I recommend gmail because it is presently the most feature-rich (a topic which will be covered in greater detail in part 2 of this series).  All of them provide the same basic features – such as downloading individual messages to Microsoft Outlook on your local computer or downloading periodic bulk backups of the same files, if you prefer to utilize web-based e-mail.

Multiple Accounts

Something which I am going to get into further discussion about later (part 2) is the concept of multiple e-mail accounts for each individual person.  You might have one e-mail account for prospective clients (mail@hmiller.com) and another for paying customers (hmiller@hmiller.com).  You might have one e-mail account for friends and personal matters (helen@hmiller.com) and yet another set up as a “utility bin” (inbox@hmiller.com) account which you give out to stores, vendors and other organizations for things like receipts, coupons, mailing lists, charitable solicitations, etc. — which you might have a need to access if it becomes necessary, but which you otherwise don’t want cluttering up your primary e-mail account.

Multiple Browsers

All of these secondary accounts (for friends, shopping, etc.) do not need to part of the primary custom domain – you can still opt to have hmiller@yahoo.com or millerinbox@hotmail.com.  Nevertheless, I sometimes get asked how one switches between these various accounts without having to go through the time-consuming process of logging out of one account and into the other.  Of course, if you are switching between a yahoo! account and a gmail account, this is not a problem.  But if you are trying to alternate between two or more accounts from the same service provider, the answer lies in using multiple browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Apple Safari and Opera.  Keeping two or more browsers open on your desktop at the same time permits you to toggle back and forth between your different e-mail accounts without having to continually go through the tedious task of logging in/logging out.  Different tabs within the same browser will work if you’re mixing apples and oranges (a gmail account with a yahoo! account), but not if you are seeking to access two different e-mail accounts from the same provider.

More to come…

In the next edition of this blog I will describe my recommended e-mail solution and provide information on the associated tools I am also suggesting.  Stay tuned!

———————–

Jeff Klenner – an attorney and former professor of Organizational Management – works with small businesses and startup enterprises in a consultative capacity for Access Strategic Knowledge (ASK) Consultants LLC in Detroit, Michigan.

———————–

Published in: on 15 December 2009 at 12:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags:
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.