Alex's Tech Thoughts

An Open Letter To Google About Gmail

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Here is my latest Forbes piece: http://onforb.es/UGjjN7.

Let me know your thoughts!

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Digital Tools I Use Everyday

I’ve been thinking about tools I use everyday and wondered how they stacked up to others.

Here is what I use:

1) Twitter (news)

2) Facebook (distribution of my blog and keeping up with friends)

3) LinkedIn (getting updates on who moved jobs, looking up people, connecting with others)

4) Google+ and Skype (google hangouts with Dwolla team for daily meeting and skype for other calls)

5) Google Docs (I rarely use Microsoft Word or Excel- only if I’m in a spot with no internet)

6) Tumblr (post my blog on Tumblr)

7) Gmail and Gchat (to email and chat)

8) Instagram (when I take photos)

9) Foursquare (using Explore to find places around me or to let friends know where I am)

10) Citibank and American Express (check on my finances)

11) Reddit and Hacker News (I’m mostly a lurker, but peruse both each day)

12) Dwolla (I work there and I pay people back with Dwolla)

13) Eventbrite (I typically have an event going on, so I check Eventbrite frequently)

14) Verizon, Time Warner, Con Edison (check my bills almost daily)

15) Games: Angry Birds, Derby Jackpot (Angry Birds played typically in the subway if no internet)

16) Spotify (I listen at my desk and with mobile app- easily worth the $10 a month)

17) Brewster (I have found it to be a much better address book)

18) Dropbox (sharing files and such)

I’m sure I am missing a few, but that is a good high level overview.

What am I missing? What do you use that is awesome and you can’t live without?

Leave it in the comments below.

Gmail Search, Canned Responses and Undo

There are three tools in Gmail I use every day:

Gmail Search, Canned Responses and Undo.

Anyone who uses Gmail is familiar with Gmail Search. I probably use it over 50 times a day. It is so useful and helps me find even the oldest email that used the words “end-of-the-world,” “survival,” and “tips.”

Canned Responses and Undo need to be enabled from the top Google Labs button.

Canned Responses allows you to make generic drafts of emails and have them easily accessible. I have one for Following Up, one for Reaching Out, one for Thank You, and others. It helps me have a general template that I can use to customize for corresponding with people. I don’t need to start from scratch, which is nice.

Undo allows you to cancel an email within the first 10 seconds after you click Send. It delays the Send for 10 seconds, just in case you sent it by accident. Sometimes I click the Tab and Enter button accidentally and an email gets sent out without my consent. The Undo button allows me to fix that immediately. I can’t tell you how many times it has saved my tail.

If you haven’t enabled Canned Response and Undo, I recommend doing so today.

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