How to Use Google Apps :: Part 1

Thursday, March 12, 2009

wedding technology expertWritten by guest expert Terrica Skaggs of Fabuluxe Inc.

So, now that we have you set up with Google Apps, exactly what are you supposed to do now? It feels like Gmail. It looks like Gmail. The only difference is that now, you can access your company email online. So how can we make this more user-friendly and beneficial?

To help me illustrate our Tech examples, I would like for you to meet Jane. Jane will be our hypothetical wedding planner eager to make her communications much more simple and efficient. Say hi to Jane. Thank you.

The Auto-Responder
Jane will now set up four accounts for her domain, At her Google Apps dashboard, she will add the following accounts: jane@, staff@, blog@, and payment@, all as separate email accounts. Jane then logs into her account as Under the settings, Jane can set her vacation responder as her autoresponder for this account.

The Turn-Key Email System
To eliminate the need of logging in and out of separate accounts to check her email, Jane chooses to use her jane@ account as the "catch all" for all of the above accounts. To do this, she logs into her jane@ account and clicks on “Settings”. She then clicks on the “Get mail from other accounts” to add her additional company websites. She should also be sure to click the other link under Settings which says “Send mail as…” This will allow her to receive email from all of her company emails and send mail from those company emails—all from her one jane@ account. No more logging in to multiple accounts to check email!

Unlike other email programs, Google Apps email does not have a folders feature.  Instead, it uses a robust filtering system.  To keep track of everything is sent to her and to be able to locate it easily later, Jane uses the labeling feature of Google Apps. Jane can click on the Settings menu, and go to the Labels tab to begin creating her labels. There are different filters that she can use to give each email a label. For example, Jane chooses to have a label attached to all emails sent to the staff@ account for easy recognition. To assist her with keeping up with client communications, she creates a label for each of her current clients, and uses the filter system to attach those labels to their emails. When a vendor related to a client sends her an email about their event, she simply labels that with the client’s label. That way, whenever she searches for emails related to that particular label or client—everything she has attached to it will come up.  (Because Jane is super resourceful, she uses different color labels for easy, visual identification)  You can also assign different labels to one email-- so if Jane discusses two different client events with a photographer, she can label them with the client A's and B's assigned labels.  The email will then show up in both client's search if Jane needs them later.

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