Tips and Tricks for Your New Email Account

With the change to a Google Apps server, there are a number of features you can now take advantage of. Here's just a few of the ones that I've found most useful:

1) Keep Track of Appointments:

Along with email, you now have access to a calendar where you can store and share your personal appointments.  Access the calendar at http://calendar.thesmarts.ca/.

 You can create sub-calendars for specific purposes. (Such as the Eskimos calendar you see to the right.) Click the Add button in the calendar list on the left-hand side of the calendar page.

You can share your calendar with friends and family.  Go to Settings / Calendars and change the Sharing settings for the calendar you want to share.

Sync you calendar in Thunderbird, by installing Lightning and gCalSync.  For a good tutorial on how to do this, check out: http://bfish.xaedalus.net/?p=239.

2) Access Your Email on Multiple PC's:

 

If you're like me and want to read your mail from more than one computer, there are a couple of ways to go.  However, the best option I've found is to use IMAP for your email.  Set up the email account in Thunderbird (or whichever email client you want) as an IMAP account and enjoy the benefits of getting the same email on every PC without needing to manage multiple copies on each.  (Once you delete it from one, it's gone from all.  If you move it to a sub-folder, it's in the same sub-folder on all the rest of your PC's.)

Note that if you want to read your mail when you are not connected to the internet, you will need to turn on Offline Storage.  In Thunderbird, go to Tools / Account Settings  and change the Offline and Diskspace settings for your email account.  Don't forget to tell it which folders you want to have available offline.  Individual email messages that are already on the server will not be downloaded until you read that message.  If you want to have those messages available offline, you'll need to go through and re-read each message to download it to the PC.

3) Sync Your Contacts with Google's Server:

Getting your mail on multiple PC's is nice, but what do you do if you can't remember your friend's email address?  gContactSync to the rescue.  This handy little app lets you synchronize your contact list with the one from your Google Apps webmail.  From the testing I've done so far, sync looks to be a little finiky and if you delete a contact from one PC it does not seem to delete it from the rest.  That said, it does do a fine job of updating info back and forth.  Go to: http://gcontactsync.mozdev.org/installation.html to download the extension for Thunderbird.

4) Get All Your Email in One Spot:

Last, but not least, if you have multiple online identities, you can get all of your email in one place.  Depending on your other email server configuration, you can either forward the mail from that server to your theSmarts.ca account (check with your other email provider for info on how to do this), or you can set up Google Apps to pull in your email from this end.  To have Google pull in your mail, open http://mail.thesmarts.ca, then go to Settings / Pop and Forwarding to configure your other email account.  You can also have it send email with your other identity!

Note that Shaw's email configuration requires that you forward mail from the Shaw side of things.  To do that, log into http://webmail.shaw.ca and click on Settings / Mail / Settings (yes, "Settings" appears twice) and configure your options under Mail Forwarding.  If you don't regularly log in and clean out your Shaw account, check the option that says "Do Not Leave Copy On Server", otherwise you will (eventually) end up with a full mailbox at Shaw and won't be able to receive more mail.  If you do this, be aware that you won't have any mail left on Shaw's server when you log in... Everything will be at http://mail.thesmarts.ca!

Well, that's it!  Hope this was useful to you.