Thursday, June 26, 2008

Six Ways Gmail Makes Blogging Easier

It's true. Like many bloggers, I get several dozen emails a day. And like many bloggers, I'm also smitten with Gmail (and Google's not paying me to say that). It truly makes keeping up with the virtual paperwork that goes along with blogging a lot easier. Here's how:

1. Bloggers need good spam filters. Your address is bound to end up in the hands of someone wanting to increase the size of your manparts via medication from an offshore pharmacy. Who wants to spend time sifting through that garbage? Gmail's spam filter rocks!

2. Easiest ToDo lists ever! I created a label called "ToDo" and colored it bright red. When a reader, PR firm, etc. emails me, and I need to make sure I don't forget to follow through, I just apply the ToDo label. Not only does the red label pop out in my inbox, but I can click on "ToDo" on my list of labels and all my ToDo items are instantly right in front of me. When I've finished with an item, a simple click removes the label. If I want to write myself a ToDo reminder, I just send myself an email and apply the ToDo label.

3. I also use Gmail labels as virtual file folders. Receipts for advertising expenses get one label and notices of payments received to in another for easy tax-time access. You can also create a filter that will automatically apply a label to an email with set characteristics. Freepeats correspondence, for example, is automatically labeled, "Freepeats." One click on the label in my label menu and I see all my Freepeats correspondence.

4. Google's great with searches, right? It's their specialty. The search bar at the top of my inbox allows me to find an email even if I can only remember who sent it or a word or two of the message. Love it.

5. I have have more than half a dozen email addresses (two blogs, a website, my personal life, etc.). With Gmail, it's easy to get mail from all my accounts (Gmail or not) delivered to one inbox. When I reply, I can choose the address I want to appear in the "from" line from a pull-down menu. No signing in or out necessary:

6. Sometimes I get flooded with mail, be it giveaway entries, data from a poll I posted, or form submissions of one kind or another. Gmail allows me to create a filter for the mail that keeps from clogging my inbox but allows me to access it all instantly. I also use Gmail's unlimited filters to screen out offers and other mail from overly-solicitious retailers.

So there you have it. What about you? Are you in love (or out of love) with your email service?

Related reading:
35 Gmail Hacks, Tips and Tricks

Get Organized in Gmail