The good news: One intrepid blogger offers up a massive cut-and-paste Gmail filter operator that corrals and archives non-English messages. The bad news: It only works when spammers are semi-honest.
Matt Thommes at the Paint in the Tech blog finds it tedious to create filters in Gmail the multi-click way. His solution? Export a single filter, then make a few clever tweaks to the resulting XML file. Thommes doesn’t get too in-depth in exactly how the XML reads and can be tweaked, but shows how, if you’ve got a filter that works for silencing certain emailers or smartly labelling certain mail, you can easily add other email addresses or actions to it by firing up your editor:
Stacking together a handful of separate features in Gmail gives you a unified inbox for managing multiple email accounts, and an easy way to glance at and manage them all. Earlier this month a feature appeared in Gmail Labs: multiple inboxes based on labels. Zach Gellar, over at The Official Gmail Blog, has a great tip for leveraging the multiple-inbox trick into a full fledged control panel for multiple email accounts:
Windows with Outlook 2007 and an Exchange account only: Email Prioritizer, a new Outlook plugin from Microsoft labs, gives email receivers the tools to both “pause” their email and have it ranked by priority on a scale of one to three stars. Once you’ve installed the plugin, you’ll notice a new toolbar with a “Do Not Disturb” option, which can be set from 10 minutes to 4 hours (or, smartly, until a meeting you’ve planned expires) and delays the delivery of mail to you on the client side. Not exactly an Inbox Zero approach, but it might work for do-or-die deadlines. More innovative is a ranking system that automatically sorts your mail based on how it was sent and who it’s from, derived, in part, from Microsoft employees. Let’s take a look at some of the options:
The basics of how email works hasn’t changed much since its invention, but even forty years later, there are still tiny features and enhancements that can make dealing with large volumes of email easier. Your email client already provides message attachments, filtering, HTML email, auto-fill contacts, spell-checking, folders or labels, keyboard shortcuts, search, and an advanced spam filter. What else do you need? Well, as people rely on email as a primary means of communication, and everyday users deal with a mounting level of new messages per day, even more advanced features can help all of us keep our inbox under control. In honour of Mozilla Thunderbird 3′s latest alpha release, let’s take a look at some email innovations—some concept, some already available in various clients and plug-ins—that you want in your inbox.
Lots of webapps—Flickr, Tumblr, and Remember the Milk, among them—let you upload items through custom email addresses. Those addresses, though, are usually very long, or extremely random, and hard to remember when you’re trying to dash off something. The Digital Inspiration blog recommends putting the ever-clever disposable Gmail address trick to work, which also works with other email providers. Set up a filter to send mail addressed to [email protected] to your custom Flickr address, and those camera pics just got a lot more convenient to post. Hit the link below for more detailed instructions, and share your other webapp email work-arounds in the comments. Interact with Websites via Easy to Remember Email Addresses [Digital Inspiration]
The first message one could consider email was sent more than 30 years ago, and that’s probably when people began associating angst and uncertainty with the words “Inbox” and “unread messages.” The tools available to read and send emails have advanced considerably since then, but what you actually do with all that chatter, without eating up entire days of work time, is up to you. Luckily, we’ve covered a wealth of filtering and processing methods and software tweaks that make email less stressful and time-consuming over the years, and a list of our top 10 productive email boosters is after the jump.
For the next two weeks, readers are submitting their best life hack for a chance to win an autographed copy of our new book, Upgrade Your Life. If you own a domain name with an active catch-all email address, you know how spammers can pummel you with junk mail to every [email protected] email address they can automatically generate. When you have your own domain, you can to use site-specific addresses when you register for web services to track down spam sources (like [email protected]), but once you do that, you’ve got to keep your catch-all address open to junk mail as well. But Google Apps user Ray has a clever system that filters out catch-all junk but still lets him track exactly who’s selling out his address. Here’s how to set it up.
If you use a free fax-to-email service or just get loads of PDF attachments from, say, HR each week, you probably put off printing each one the moment it arrives. A good friend of tech blog The How-To Geek offers up a customisable Virtual Basic script solution for Outlook that moves PDFs from a certain source into a “Batch Print” folder and lets you run a macro to print the attachments and then delete the messages. Those using something other than Acrobat to open PDFs, such as Sumatra or FoxIt Reader might have to change a line or two in the script, but it’s otherwise a simple paste-and-save Outlook tweak.Batch Print PDF Attachments in Outlook [The How-To Geek]
So you never look at the contents of your Gmail Spam label, and you don’t want to see the unread count pile up any more? In lieu of the Hide Spam-Count Greasemonkey user script (which doesn’t quite yet work with the new Gmail upgrades), you can set up a filter using the in:spam criteria to automatically mark junk mail as read. For extra protection against false positives, add other criteria to your filter, like make sure the message doesn’t include your name, school, or company. Note: when you set up the filter, Gmail will pop a message saying that in: and label: criteria don’t work with filters, but in fact in:spam does seem to work in my test. Brilliant!Gmail – Mark Spam Messages as Read [The Quixotic Engineer]