3 Reasons why you should use Google Inbox instead of Gmail

inbox
No doubt you have heard of and are probably well acquainted with Gmail. It’s an email interface most of us have used. You may be less familiar with Google’s “other” email offer: Inbox

What makes it better than Gmail?

It’s much faster at reading/processing emails than Gmail, especially when it comes to newsletters. Inbox provides you a quick summary of the newsletter before you even open it. What exactly makes it better or different to Gmail?

  1. Inbox groups (or bundles) emails in a far more intuitive way than Gmail. This is especially useful if you receive automated emails that you later simply delete or archive. Inbox allows you to do this with a single swipe or click.
  2. Integrated into Inbox is a smart reminder system. For example, if you receive an email that you need to deal with, but not at this time, simply “snooze” the email until the time or place (yes, location is another new option in Inbox) and it will reappear in your Inbox then, or in the case of a location choice, when you arrive at that location.
  3. Inbox has smart replies built in. Have a look at it in action below:

Thought has been given to the layout of all emails on mobile as well as computers. You’ll find the interface different, but also familiar if you are familiar with using Google services.

 

How do I use it?

It’s simple, just visit Inbox while you are logged into your Gmail account and you will be on your way.

To see what Google themselves have to say about Inbox, visit this page: www.google.com.au/inbox/  and take the time to watch the video they have put together. There are a number of other features we have not touched on in this post, so let us know if you would like to hear more about a particular feature and we’ll be happy to explain.

It seems likely in time Gmail will evolve into Inbox, or the features will be integrated. So there is no better time to see the future of Gmail/Inbox.

Is your email authenticated? If it’s not, will recipient’s trust you?

unauth_avatar_red_2x

When people receive an email from you, do you want to them to see this image in place of your avatar/profile picture? Do you want people to think your business hasn’t setup email correctly?

Currently, if you are sending emails and not providing SPF or DKIM records in your DNS zone, Gmail/Google users will now see the following warning image next to EVERY email of yours.

This is a recent change from Google, and it affects anyone who doesn’t use a Gmail account as their email address (Google has configured this for all Gmail accounts automatically – not to be confused with Google Apps accounts which still need this configured)

Don’t be confused with a spammer, configure this asap

If you don’t host your email with us, you should contact your current email provider to check if your email is being sent correctly authenticated with SPF or DKIM.

If we host your email, you can configure your SPF and DKIM records yourself directly from cPanel. See more here: Enable Email Authentication

Please see more on this important change from Google here.

You may also enjoy this article we wrote on Email Essentials.

Email is important, make sure you have it set up right

Email essentials

@_symbol.svgWe all use email, and probably these days simply take it for granted. Are there some things to be aware of when choosing how to setup your email? Yes! Let’s explain.

Email is like a mobile phone number, it’s not something you want to change often (if at all) and it’s also something you want to move with you, wherever you may work or live. Do you want to have to manage 2, 3 or more phone numbers? I doubt it, the same goes for email addresses. Therefore, give some careful thought to your email address.

Give some careful thought to your email address

Gmail is probably the most widely used free email service, and to be honest, you can’t get much better. If an @gmail.com email address is one you think suits your needs, go for it. There is no better spam filtering email service out there.

Here’s why this could be a wise and versatile choice: Gmail allows you to check other email accounts. You can have multiple email accounts behind the scenes, but can check them all in one single place, namely your Gmail account. For our existing customers, you can follow our Knowledgebase Article on this subject here: Checking Your Email From Your Own Gmail/Yahoo/Hotmail Account

You can have multiple email accounts behind the scenes, yet check them all in one single place!

If a Gmail account is not quite the ‘personalized’ email address you want, why not consider purchasing your own domain name and then setting up an email address (or as many as you like) on that domain. That way, you can have me@yourowndomain.com as an email address and that never needs to change. There are a huge range of domain names available now. See an article we wrote on this subject Is the .com all there is?  for more details.

Pro tip: Google offers an excellent product called Google Apps. Essentially, Gmail and all other Google tools @yourowndomain.com. For as little as $5 per month, per email address you could have the power of a Gmail account (including world leading spam protection) merged with the personalization of an email address @yourowndomain.com. This is the setup we recommend. Contact us for help in setting this up, we can make it happen for you.

UPDATE 13 Oct 2016: Google Apps is now called G Suite but the features are the same as mentioned above

Outgoing email (sending)

Your email has to be sent by a server somewhere, usually the one that hosts your domain name, or via your internet service provider (ISP). While this is the default setup for most people, using a proper outgoing email service can allow you to track email deliveries and even if emails have been opened/viewed or not. For newsletters as well as transactional emails (such as the ones we send from our helpdesk my.xyzulu.hosting ) you should use a service like Sendgrid or Amazon SES (simple email service). These systems can easily be integrated with your website to ensure any “contact us” emails and newsletters sent via your website, are going to be delivered correctly.

Some configuration is required, but we’re equipped to handle this for you. Why not contact us today to discuss how we can help you setup your own business outgoing email system. For a very small cost, you’ll be able to track your email deliveries and ensure your emails are arriving where they need to.

While we take email for granted, knowing that your emails are being received (and filtered for spam) as well as being assured they are being delivered correctly, is something essential to your growing business.

We look forward to hearing your questions in the comments below.

Has your password been stolen?

Almost every week a new item hits the news about compromised computer systems and stolen passwords. Do you know that passwords are actually sold on the black market for real money? Why? Because compromised passwords can, and are, being used to steal real money from internet users.

compromised passwords are being used to steal real money

Here is just one recent news item: Millions of stolen passwords and email addresses sold online

Are you at risk?

Yes, if you fit into any of these 3 categories:

  • You use the same password on more than one website
  • You don’t use a password manager
  • You don’t have 2FA (two factor authentication) enabled

Lastpass has outlined more details on why passwords matter, and what you can do to protect yourself. Please read this important article here: The 411 on the Password Black Market

Another sobering reminder about why you should never use the same password on more than one website is explained in this video: Password Cracking

How CAN I protect MYSELF?

At the very least:

  • Never use the same password on more than one website
  • Use a password manager so that you are not overwhelmed with passwords
  • Enable 2FA (two factor authentication) on any accounts of yours that support it

Does you or your business need further help on your IT security? Contact us for more information on the consulting services we offer. If you have any questions regarding this article, please let us know below.

 

Sign in with your phone instead of a password

Instead of typing your password each time you sign in to your Google Account, you can have a prompt sent to your phone.

Security is important, but constantly having to type your password and enter your 2FA (you know, those codes that change every 30 mins) code can be tedious. You already have 2FA enabled I’m sure, but what about this new feature released by Google today? How does this work? Is it secure? How do you enable it?

GPHow does it work?

You simply tap the notification on your phone from Google to confirm, and you’ll be signed in quickly and securely. If your phone isn’t nearby, you can select “Use your password instead” on the sign-in screen.

Is it secure?

Yes. It’s a second factor authentication. Google knows if you are logged in using your phone, and this only works with phones that have either a passcode or fingerprint lock enabled.

I want it, how do I make it happen?

Simply follow the steps in the Google guide: Sign in with your phone instead of a password You will need to ensure you have the “Google Search” app installed, however most of you will already have that installed on your Android or iPhone.

Another simple guide from Google is here: New settings for 2-Step Verification

It is a secure two factor authentication process

Do it! Let us know how you go or if you have any questions.

Bbbbbb Backups

Do you know what backups are? If so, do you have them? Here’s a link to a post we recently wrote on this subject: backups-are-for-sissies-right

Backups could save you $1000’s

If you have not read it yet, please do. It could well save you $1000’s in lost time and data.

If you don’t yet know what backups are and why you need them, we suggest you take some time today to find out. Backups could save you $1000’s.

Backup today!

Are your contacts backed up?

ContactsTo put it another way, are you able to access your contacts from all your devices (desktop and mobile)? This is another no-brainer that takes only a few minutes to setup no matter what device and platform you are using.

You can choose to sync your contacts via iCloud or Google whitch are the most common options.  Plenty of other services also exist to allow contact syncing and backup. Once you have set this up, you will have no issues moving to a new device as all your contacts will just sync to your new device once you login. Again, this is something you should enable if you have not yet done so. For some tutorials and directions on how to do this on your device, see some of the links we have provided below.

Pro tip: only use one syncing service to avoid conflicts. Our top pick is your Google/GMail account followed by iCloud as a close second if you use Apple. And, yes, you can sync google contacts with your Apple just fine. While you’re setting this up, why not also enable calendar syncing?

Some helpful links:

Apple: Managing iCloud Contacts, Calendars or reminders

Google: Sync GMail, Contacts, Calendar and Chrome

Once your contacts are being backed up, you’ll be able to sync or access them from any of your devices (computer or mobile).

Questions? Please let us know in the comments below.