How To Import Netscape Communicator 4 Messages Into Outlook

This is sort of a silly post. I was reading a book on John Newton, which was heavily based off his letters and journal entries. While nobody will ever care about my personal correspondence, I got an urge to look at some of the emails I was sending and receiving in my early days on the Internet.

I’ve carried an archive of my old Netscape messages for years. I wondered if I had a way to read them.

It turns out, there is. And that way is Outlook Express.

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Joel Comm: How To Get Control of Your Email

I’ve been following Joel Comm since the time I thought I’d try to make a living as an Internet Entrepreneur. We all know how well that turned out. That is, it didn’t. I even had to drop my TypePad blog because it didn’t make sense to continue to pay for it. Now I’m back to a free blog where I write whenever I feel like it, and don’t write when I have nothing to say. I now have clarity as to where my skills and abilities serve best, and I’m back in a spot where they can be used.

Joel Comm wrote about how he’s getting his email under control. I’ve spent years reading books like Getting Things Done, 7 Habits, and blog series like Inbox Zero. I have yet to reach a point of perfection with my email, but I’m not bad. The people I work with now have 1200+ emails in their inboxes at any given time. That gives you the idea of the volume of email I’ll be dealing with once I’m up to speed and fully integrated.

Do you have control of your email? What systems do you use to keep email under control?

Gmail Will Allow Users To Turn off Conversation View

From the “I Didn’t Realize This Was A Problem” department: Gmail will soon allow users to turn off conversation view.

Apparently, some people hate the conversation view. Are you one of them? I actually like it. I used it in Outlook too. Sometimes it’s easier to follow an email train in conversation view.

Google Is On A Roll This Week

Lots of good things came out of Google recently. OK, 2 things. One is interesting, and the other should be highly useful.

One of the reasons I stick with gmail is for the storage space and the world-class spam filter. I rarely have a problem with spam thanks to gmail. I also like that I can get my mail just about anywhere: on the web, in Outlook, on my iPhone, or on just about any other device I might have. The convenience is great.

The interesting thing Google rolled out is the ability to make calls from gmail. I say it’s interesting because I’m not sure I’ll use it much. I can’t get Christina to test it with me. I called my iPhone from gmail and had the boys take it into another room, but they started fighting over who was going to hold the phone and ruined the experiment.

The next thing Google rolled out is called Priority Inbox. This is based on gmail’s spam filter and addresses a very real problem: email overload.

Gmail already has a heavy filtering system built in. You can create folders (or labels) and then filters based on those labels. I probably have 200 filters already, and it seems like I’m creating several more each week. I hate when I’m out, and expecting an email. Every time my iPhone tells me I have a new email, I rip it out of my pocket, enter the passcode, go to email, and find the whole experience anti-climactic. Rather than the important email I’m waiting for, it’s only  the 14th special offer GoDaddy has sent me this afternoon. Like I buy that many websites from them. Or it’s the AFA whining about another secular news organ being biased against Christian interests. Or it’s an automated reminder telling me my cable or cell phone bill is due in 3 weeks. Nothing important, and definitely not the email I was waiting for.

It seems that no matter how aggressively I filter my email, I still have to deal with tons of non-important “bac’n” in my inbox taking up time. I prefer to filter those into other folders then deal with them when I feel like it.

Because I handle email similar to the principles taught in “Getting Things Done”, I don’t mark an email as read or delete it (gmail archive) unless all actions required by that email have been completed. So while I’m out for a while, I can build up a ton of email in my inbox until I get home and can set up new filters so those kinds of emails will skip my inbox in the future.

I’m looking forward to the Priority Inbox. It would be nice to spend less time setting up filters in gmail.

Lifehacker: Email Annoyances

Lifehacker put up a post yesterday dealing with the worst email annoyances. I’ve dealt with my personal worst email annoyances on this blog over the years. My two biggest are Reply to All and “You’ll win something if you forward this to everybody”.

I’m not really annoyed with signature lines like “sent from my iPhone” or “sent from my Verizon BlackBerry”. It tells me the person is probably out of the office. Hopefully I can expect more information when they get back to the office, but I usually have to follow up again.

What do you consider an email annoyance?

Making A Difference: Finding The Right Communication Language

Maurilio Amorim has a post on his Making A Difference Blog about Finding the Right Communication Language. He says that over the years, he's identified 5 different communication languages. He categorizes them as follows:

    1. The Verbal Processor.

    2. The ADD.

    3. The ADD Texter.

    4. The Mental Processor.

    5. The Face-to-Face Feeler.

You can read the descriptions of each of these on his blog post.

I figure I'm a cross between The Verbal Processor and The ADD Texter. I tend to think out loud a lot while I'm processing my thoughts. This drives Christina (my wife) nuts. I also am often happier interfacing with other people (even Christina) through email and text. No, I'm not obsessive about this. I realize that a lot of communication (especially with Christina) must be carried out in person. Just this morning, I got an email asking a question, and I immediately realized that I'd be much better off meeting in person to discuss the issue because dealing with it over email would be clumsy.

If these communication languages were laid out on the Chinese Zodiac, I'd probably be warned to avoid The ADD and The Face-to-Face Feeler. I score very highly on ADD tests, and I tend to ramble off topic myself, but I don't communicate very well with others who do the same thing. I also tend to resent dealing with people who HAVE to meet in person over an issue that could be settled with 3 text messages. I had a person like that in some of my classes at the University of Phoenix. She was very smart and a hard worker, but sometimes couldn't get moving on a learning team project unless everybody dropped their lives and drove into center city Philadelphia, paid excessive amounts for parking, and sat around a coffee shop. We usually got her to settle for a teleconference, but when that wasn't possible, we could never get an early start on our learning team projects.

Which communication language do you speak? Which communication language do you find yourself to be least compatible with?

I’m Bringing Back My BS Filter Outlook Rules

I’m starting to spend way more time than I think necessary dealing with what I coined as “Corporate Spam”. I get way too many announcements at work about network outages in other states, pretzels available for sale, what time sodas will stop being sold, and other pointless topics that don’t pertain to me. There are also tons of newsletters, announcements for obscure “heritage months”, and other things.

I decided to resurrect a strategy that I used on my last job for dealing with “corporate spam“. I’ve already created my first rules.