If you spend a lot of time in e-mail (and hate that you do), try using Gmail, which is continually adding new features to make your digital life more manageable.
The following is a list of my favorite features, most of which are enabled from "Settings" or "Labs."
1. Import e-mail (Mail Fetcher). You can import e-mail from up to five other e-mail accounts into your Gmail. They will be labeled in your Inbox and you can send a reply from those accounts directly from Gmail. Since you can leave a copy at the source, you can access e-mail from the other account as well and have a backup.
2. Custom Signature. Your custom signature will be appended to the end of all outgoing messages. Create it at the "General" tab under "Settings." You can add links and images simply by inserting the HTML code. (Tip: Blogsigs.com will automatically add your latest blog post title (with link) after your Gmail signature)
3. Filter mail. A great organization tool. You can select incoming mail by person, subject, keywords, etc., and direct Gmail to label, star or forward it as you like. You can also color-code labels by enabling "Custom Label Colors" in Labs. Filters are also used to create auto-responders, which are pre-written e-mails that are sent automatically.
The following features are enabled in the "Labs" tab:
4. Canned Responses. A real timesaver for repetitive e-mails. Create and save as many "canned" (pre-prepared) e-mail messages as you like and send one out manually with a single click or automatically (as an auto-response) based on a filter you have set up. I discovered a way to send an attachment with an auto-response, and I use this technique to automatically send a brochure from a designated Gmail account.
A vacation auto-responder is enabled in Labs and easily created in the "General" tab of Gmail Settings.
5. Forgotten Attachment detector. A great "oopsie" feature that prevents a common e-mail mistake — forgetting to include your attachment. With this detector, you will get a prompt if you mentioned an attachment in your e-mail but did not include it. Brilliant. …CONTINUED