Archive

Posts Tagged ‘email’

Importing POP3 Accounts into Gmail

April 2nd, 2008 No comments

The official Gmail blog has posted some “Tips for importing old mail to Gmail” which focus on how to use the feature to fetch email from another POP3 account. This is useful if you still have your old email stored on the server in your POP3 account. Of course, if you downloaded your email to Outlook, Thunderbird, Entourage, Mail.app or some other client already, you’ll be better off to use IMAP access to upload your archived email to an IMAP folder.

I enabled IMAP access for my account and uploaded thousands of archived messages to Gmail going back more than 10 years. I love the ability to search all my old email with Google. It’s actually faster than using a local client, and it’s accessible from anywhere.

Categories: Technology Tags: , , , ,

Gmail IMAP Support Makes Email Archiving Practical

October 30th, 2007 No comments

I was thrilled to find that IMAP access was finally turned on for my Google Apps for Your Domain account. All the email for the ReWinD Blog is handled by Gmail (and my web hosting is provided by asmallorange.com if you were wondering). I absolutely love the services I get from Google, the generous storage for all the accounts, great uptime, custom web interfaces for my iPhone, calendar, documents, spreadsheets, presentations, etc. IMAP gives me instant access to my inbox anywhere, anytime.

But here’s the real advantage of IMAP – you now have two-way syncing between your email client software and Gmail. Not only can you download messages from your Gmail account, you can also upload messages to your inbox or other folders. This works in real-time too. As quickly as you can upload a message to your Gmail account, you can view that message through the web interface or from another IMAP client. There are lots of neat tricks you can use here, but the most practical result for most people is that you can import your old archived messages into Gmail with drag and drop ease.

You can create a new account in your email client for your Gmail account using IMAP and instantly see your inbox and all your labels (can we just call them folders?). You can drag messages from another account or a local folder into your Gmail inbox or to a label using that same client software. This is enormously useful because now you can use the blazing speed of Google’s search engine to comb through all your old email by uploading it to Google and making it available through your Gmail account.

My biggest complaint about Outlook on Windows was that searching folders with hundreds or thousands of emails was frustratingly slow. Part of the reason I switched to using Gmail for my own domains was to take advantage of the speed of searching through emails through their service. In fact, it is so fast that I really stopped using folders completely and just started searching with keywords using Google’s web interface. Now I can transfer all my archived email from the last 10 years or so to Google and get that incredible search speed for thousands more messages.

I did a quick test using some messages from another account and was able to retain all the information about sender, proper dates, etc. That’s really hard to do with a POP3 account (using redirects and all that is a pain). This is dead simple.

My next post will be a practical step-by-step guide to setting up your own IMAP account with Outlook so that you can transfer messages to Google and starting reaping the benefits of being able to search through thousands of messages in seconds.

Google Notifier for Mac and Google Apps (GAFYD)

March 16th, 2007 No comments

Google NotifierA couple weeks ago I noticed that Google Notifier was no longer giving me notifications of new email. All this started right around the time that Google launched their Premier Edition service. I was going to write about this back then, but the post sat in my drafts while I was trying to figure out what was happening. I think I finally have the full (if somewhat disappointing) answer.

I sign in with my Google Apps account (not a regular Gmail account). Unfortunately, Google Notifier hasn’t been updated to work properly with Google Apps for Your Domain. The links to open your calendar, inbox, compose a new message, and so on try to take you to the regular Gmail or Calendar pages. The login fails because Notifier is presenting credentials for Google Apps. What was more puzzling was that the new items list still worked in Calendar, but not in Mail. The notifications and the count of new mail items in the menu bar used to work and now I’ve figured out how to make them work again.

The key (for some unknown reason) is to login to Google Apps in Safari first. Yep, that’s it. I have Firefox set as my default browser and rarely use Safari so I hadn’t noticed until I logged in with that browser. Once you do that, Google Notifier will start working again for email notifications. I still can’t open my Mail from Notifier, but the notifications and unread message count work.

This a good spot to put a little plug in for Growl as well. All you need is Gmail+Growl, which will feed the notifications to Growl so you can integrate them into your other system notifications.

I did a little digging around in the package for Notifier and there are several hardcoded references to the gmail page. Along with the dependency on having a valid cookie with Safari, this makes Google Notifier less than perfect. Hopefully, someone will get around to updating this utility to work properly with mail.google.com/a/ as well as mail.google.com/accounts.

How Google Changed My Life

February 22nd, 2007 No comments

I tried to like webmail, but it just didn’t work for me. Using SquirrelMail felt like it was literally powered by a squirrel on a wheel, and Horde was about the same. My address book wasn’t available from the web app and sent mail was only kept on the server. I was still dependent on Outlook and I just didn’t like webmail. Until Gmail that is.

Gmail finally hit the right combination of features and speed to make it more than tolerable and almost fun to use webmail. Their clever use of AJAX to make the app more responsive and intuitive is a key reason for its success, and the reason that I decided that I liked using it. I tried Google Calendar and then Google Docs and I decided that I really liked these web apps. For perhaps the first time, I found a web app that I almost preferred to the desktop verion.

I wanted this convenience and simplicity for my primary internet identity at dodd.org. I thought about forwarding messages to Gmail and tried importing via POP3 and all that, but when Google announced that they were going to open up these apps so that they could be tied to your own domain, I hurried over to the web site to sign up for the waiting list. When I got the invitation to setup my domain with Google last March, I was thrilled.

It actually took me a week or so to work up the courage to make the switch. I was worried about losing email during the transition and that it wouldn’t work well with Outlook. Getting it done was actually pretty simple. I filled out the information on Google’s site and then had my webhost, A Small Orange, make some changes to the DNS and MX records for my domain. I’ve got to put a plug in here for ASO, they have incredibly responsive customer service at all hours of the day. I think my DNS records were updated within 15 minutes of submitting the request.

Once I switched to GAFYD to handle my email, I kept using Outlook as my main email client. I changed my settings so that Google would archive any messages that I downloaded to Outlook. This meant I could continue to use Outlook but still get access to all my email (both new and old) on the web when I was away from my desktop computer. It turns out that setting Google to “keep copies in the Inbox” was the better choice. This will still leave messages in the archive as well.

One side benefit, is that Google will also allow your POP3 client to download your sent messages as well. I created a simple rule in Outlook that would move any messages *from* my email address to the “sent” folder. Even better, Google keeps a copy of email messages that you send through their SMTP servers from your POP3 client.

So in the end, I was able to continue using my main email client (Outlook at the time) and Google would maintain a complete online archive of email sent to me. In turn, it would also maintain a complete archive of email I sent both from my POP3 client or online from the GAFYD site. Perfect.

My next post will detail the step-by-step process to achieve this messaging nirvana. After that, I’ll explain why I ditched my desktop client to use the Google site exclusively and the tools that I use to make that work efficiently.

Categories: Technology Tags: , , , ,

Google announces Google Apps Premier Edition

February 22nd, 2007 No comments

I’m a huge fan of Google Apps. Google has just announced the Premier Edition of Google Apps. This subscription based service adds higher storage limits (10GB), uptime guarantees for email, API’s for account management and application integration, an option to remove ads, and 24/7 support. Google has posted a comparison chart to make the differences clear, but they don’t point out the user limits per domain on the free version.

A couple other features of interest. Google Apps email now works with the Blackberry in addition to mobile phones. You have to visit http://m.google.com/a from your mobile device to download the software.

The $50/user/year compares favorably with hosted Exchange solutions but I think you could probably rely on the free edition unless you have more than 25 users or you want to use the API’s to integrate your business apps with Google Apps. I could definitely imagine some very cool ways to integrate the Calendar and Docs & Spreadsheets into business apps.

This announcement has also prompted me to finish my post on converting my domain to Google Apps. That will up right away.

Categories: Technology Tags: , , , ,

Dr. Sendmail or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Google Apps for Your Domain

February 8th, 2007 No comments

I was reading about some suggestions for people to take when changing email addresses, intended to help you avoid losing any email from people that only have your old address. Most of the comments on these blogs are about the benefit of having your own domain so you have a permanent email address for life.

I’ve had the dodd.org domain for about 8 years now. There’s a whole ‘nother story ’bout getting the domain, but I’ve had my same email address that whole time, through 4 moves in two states. I wouldn’t have been able to do that if I relied on the email address that my ISP provided, because I’ve been through 8 different ISP’s in that time. I expect that I will have this email address for the rest of my life.

There’s a downside to this too. Read more…