Email, A Friend and a Foe
Email or electronic mail as it was originally called has been around since 1993. Personally, I remember getting my brand new Hotmail account in the mid 90’s firstname.lastname@example.org, which I still check by the way. I had to add the number 1 at the end because someone had already beat me to email@example.com. This brings me to the reason for this post. If you are like me then you probably have a bunch of email accounts you collected this way over the years or maybe you used the “trash email account” strategy, which is the one where you open an email account for the sole purpose of directing all the spam or unwanted email to. However, the main reason to open an email account remains being that is a great way to communicate.
Remember those days when you had to wait for a FAX to come through or wait for the traditional mail for a document you can get in minutes or even seconds via email if you have a good email service? I remember. That is one of the reasons I think email is a viable tool for communication and to conduct business. Aside from the speed factor (a positive), you can also share files or important documents with peace of mind that your intended recipient will get your message when they are in front of the computer or on their phone and reply to let you knowing they received your message. Business moves a little quicker this way.
Another positive characteristic is the accountability element. Throughout the trajectory of an email, there are timestamps that record the status of all emails. For example, if you send an email out, your email server puts a timestamp when your email get sent out, when the email reaches its recipient(s) inbox and when the email is read. When the recipient replies the whole cycle repeats. You might be asking why this whole process is a good thing? From my experience working in the construction industry, there is a lot of hearsay when projects or schedules go South. In more than one occasion I was able to present emails to corroborate that I did all I could have done to make sure things moved along as they were supposed to, but now everyone did the same. Email is also a great records keeper. Have you ever had to look up emails from a year ago? If your server is backed up correctly, you will find those email from a year ago.
Not everything revolving around email is good or positive. You might have noticed that I mentioned a few â€œifsâ€ on the previous paragraphs. This is because email is not in one central system, so it is difficult to keep all files intact through your devices and computers, ergo the necessity of throwing in those conditions. Servers need to be running properly on the senderâ€™s side and the recipientâ€™s side to ensure a message makes it across. Also, all messages received and sent have to be properly backed up and archived to allow for their retrieval at a later time. This creates costs for maintenance.
Another not so positive fact, is the risk we take by using email is that one of your email accounts could get hacked if one the security measures implemented on the email server(s) are not up to par. If your email gets hacked, the people behind it could have access to more than your email account. This could be bad. Having your email accounts spread out throughout the web can also be challenging. Logging in to a bunch of different sites to check your email, is no fun.
I did not take the time to count, but off the top of my head I have anywhere from 10 to 15 email accounts, which often deliver important information, so I’m forced to constantly check all of them. Â Having to stay up to date with all my email is the biggest challenge in my opinion.
Over the years I learned (probably the hard way) that having to check each of my email accounts at each of their portals was not going to cut it. I was going to Yahoo.com to check my yahoo email account, to Hotmail.com to check my Hotmail account and so forth. What has worked the best of me is to setup all my email accounts in one place, let me go into details. On my desktop at home I setup all the email accounts that are still active. Outlook is a life saver if I may say so. On mac laptop, I also have all those accounts, although I like Outlook very much I have not been able to find another email client better that the Mail application that comes with your mac. The capability to combine all the inboxes from different email accounts and combine them into one is the bar none, the best feature for email. This way I’m able to see every email that comes in with the certainty no important email will be missed. Next are my phone and tablet, on these, my configuration is a little different. On these devices, I only configure the email accounts that constantly need to be checking, work email and/or time sensitive email accounts.
This might not work for everyone, but I still felt the urge to share this with you and I’m sure it will be useful to some.