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Email

Junk email is simply a normal part of online life these days. As if spam wasn’t bad enough, we make our own lives harder by signing up for newsletters and social network updates through emails, which essentially becomes junk mail we’ve almost asked for.

Rather than doing anything about it, most of us just accept the reality that we’ll have dozens of unimportant emails to skim through each day. We check each one, just in case there’s some important info. We’re wasting our lives clicking on pointless emails instead of getting our work done. I, personally, am ready to wake up to just a few emails, rather than 37 junk emails sent the night before.

Luckily, there are two great new services that have really helped me cut down on the amount of junk email that I receive: Scoop and Unroll.me. Stick with me after the jump to learn how these two services helped take care of my junk email problem.

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Attachments are incredibly difficult to manage, especially in Gmail. Sure, you can use one of their custom search hack like has:attachment myfile.txt to locate a specific file or files with a particular extension. The problem is, Gmail seriously lacks content relevant search, like what you see on Google Images. Being a Gmail user since its inception, I’ve sent and received tens of thousands of emails, and at least a tenth of them have attachments. I don’t have to tell you how messy it would be if you’ve to open every other mail to find that one photo your girlfriend shared with you 5 years ago (True story!).

There should be a better way, I can hear you say. Oh! Yes, there is and that’s exactly what I’m going to show you today.

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I like email better than any other means of communication. It’s simple, quick and cheap. Unlike a telephone call or a face to face meeting, you can handle emails at your own convenience too. If you take spam and email overload out of the equation, I’m sure a lot of people feel the same way about email too.

Email marketing is one of the cheapest and most effective ways reach out to your audience. At the very least you get to track the clicks, which is one sure analytics you can root for. There are so many email marketing solutions out there in the market, most of them with a generous free usage tier. Emma is one among the lot which focuses on style and simplicity.

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Are you constantly bombarded with email after email, on a daily basis? Somedays you may appreciate the more socially-oriented emails from your coworkers, but other days, an onslaught of work-related communications may prevent your indulgence, even if the less important emails keep coming.

Instant messaging clients have long had a feature to alert contacts of their current availability through a number of statuses like “available” and “busy”. However, email has never been able to enjoy the same benefits – until now. Smoke Signal brings similar functionality to Gmail, allowing you to indicate your current availability in your email signature, based on the current level of unread items in your inbox. (more…)

Ever since Google killed off Google Gears, users were left without any way to access their Gmail accounts without internet. Google said they were ending Gears because they wanted to focus on implementing HTML5 to get a newer, more complete, and less plugin-based system for offline email.

Even though it’s been a long time in the making, Google’s finally kept their word: the Offline Gmail app is now available for free in the Chrome Web Store. Let’s check out what it’s like!

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These days, the first interaction a company will have with a customer will most likely be via its website. I know any time I’m about to make an important purchase or consider a new service it’s straight to the Internet I go. It’s quick and easy; no wonder major companies spend thousands ensuring their websites are up to date and looking sharp. And for big companies, that’s all well and good. They can afford designers and developers to handle the customer experience. For small start-ups and businesses this isn’t the case.

The ‘Contact Us’ page is where you customers go if they have a problem with your products, have a question or want to head down to your premises. It’s a ‘call to action’ page; something which web copy writers stress has to be done right.

Formsly take the pain out of creating and managing your contact page and include some awesome features to boot. Every channel imaginable for your customers to reach you is accounted for, but is it right for everyone?

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It’s that dreaded word in any small development team: support. Anyone with a love for software design or development probably doesn’t have a great love for customer relations. They feel more at home pushing pixels in Photoshop or writing code in a text editor. They’re familiar with email, sure: email’s ubiquitous, it’s simple, and any self-respecting geek understands email.

So what if your support system was based in email. Email, with a little extra umph. That’s what Help Scout promises to be. Leveraging email and the true ubiquity of it, Help Scout adds in layers that aid with specific tasks that small support teams face each and every day. Let’s take a look at how Help Scout works. (more…)

In the introduction to the latest issue of McSweeny’s Quarterly, the editors write, “More widespread and democratic access to education here and around the world means that there are more literate people…and more people reading than at any time in human history. So that’s good news.”

The bad news is that the ability to read a well-written sentence does not translate into the ability to write one. With more of our interaction taking place through emails, text messages, status updates, tweets, blog posts — heck, with more of us having to become writers — there are also more people in need of writing help than any time in human history.

Thankfully, Grammarly can give us that help. For a price.

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Aol practically invented the internet as we know today. From email and IM to social networking, they’ve done it all decades ago in varying sizes and forms. After a high profile merger that went tragically wrong, Aol is no longer the giant it used to be. People have slowly migrated to more friendly and sophisticated tools from Yahoo, MSN and of late, Google.

With a sudden realization that a reboot is critical to survival, Aol has undergone a rebranding under a new leadership. Several of its products have either embraced a new identity or are in the process of getting one. One such property is Aol mail. After the jump, we’ll take a look at their email reboot, appropriately named Project Phoenix.

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On November 15th, Facebook announced a new messaging system they’d be rolling out to all users, making it easier than ever to manage not only messages sent to you on Facebook, but conversations taking place via email, chat, and SMS.

Eventually you’ll be automatically upgraded to this new way of messaging, but you can try to get in on it early by requesting an invitation. I did just that, and a few days later was invited to try it out. Here’s what I found.

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