This is a very basic post. I mean, we're talking about e-mail, almost everyone is using e-mail now-a-days. However, there are some things that you can do to better organize your e-mail, keep it more secure, more accessible, and have it link to other useful tools. It's no secret that I am a huge fan of Google. April is "Google Month" on Farm Marketing Solutions. On my Facebook page as well as the blog I will be highlighting some of the free tools that I use to run my farm and keep everything organized. I'm not alone in my love for Google, many other farmers are already using many of the free tools, but I will talk about my experiences.
A Gateway Drug... I Mean Tool
I think of GMail as the gateway tool to all the other services Google has to offer. Not only because it is addicting, but it is hugely useful. To use most of the free tools offered you need to have a Google Account. It is really simple to set up and start using, and opens up a realm of possibilities.
I think of my GMail account as my hub. From there I can access just about anything else, as well as keep on top of incoming e-mails. When I am working on the computer it always gives me a place to go back to when I open too many windows. From there I can get to:
- My Youtube Channel
- My Google+ Account
- My Google Drive (for documents)
- My Google Calendar
- Google Voice for Farm Phone Calls and Podcast Interviews
- GChat for being distracted by my sister-in-law (love you Erin)
I always have my GMail account up on my computer. I also get notifications on my phone. As I am writing this post at the beginning of the year, I am taking new CSA sign-ups. It is important to me to know when a new or potential customer writes to me with a question. I shoot back a response, and usually they sign up. It's great!
Time = Money. In addition to being a farmer, I am a huge geek. (proudly so). I use Google Chrome as my web browser because it is faster, more secure, and very simple to use. Google Chrome let's you sign in from any computer. So, if you are working from another computer you still have access to your bookmarks and settings. I'll have a separate post on Google Chrome this month, but I wanted to at least touch on it in this post.
When you are in Chrome, in the top right corner there is this icon . When you click on Settings, you can set what webpage(s) show every time you sign into your browser. I like this feature a lot. There are always a few things I check right off the bat. My GMail, Facebook, and whatever I was working on last. I used to have it set up where the same pages came up every time I started the browser. Now I have it set (and I love this option) to open the tabs that were open last time I was online. That means all the tabs that I dug up while I was working are temporarily saved for me so I can close the browser and come back to it. That means time saved when working on a project. (like researching where to buy feeder pigs)
Time for a Google Farmer Visualization
Talking about this is only going to get us so far. It really is a visual topic. I like visuals more anyways. That's why I created this video showing you my own GMail inbox, and I highlight some of the features.
Things covered in the video:
- Spam Filters (powerful and I have never adjusted them, they do it all for you)
- Importing contacts from another e-mail account
- Filtering e-mails to keep them organized
- Reasons why you should be using GMail
- How GMail strings e-mails together so you don't have a cluttered inbox
- Google Chat
- Google Voice
I hope this post was helpful for you, and showed you some of the great things achieved through Google. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them in the comments section below so we can all learn from each other.