Do you ever feel like your e-mail is getting overwhelming with all of those irrelevant spam e-mails that come from companies you knowingly or unknowingly signed up for?
Do you ever feel like you’re overlooking the e-mails that ARE important to your daily life, like those for work and school? Getting confused on which e-mails are actually useful for your life and the ones that are just causing noise?
Do you have Google Mail?
1. Automated Emails Marked as Read
Scenario: You constantly check your inbox after seeing that number of unread messages tick upward, only to be disappointed by mundane content, like automated emails about your UPS package status. This is a good time to set up a “Mark as Read” filter for stuff you want to hold on to, but don’t necessarily need to read.
Set a whole domain name in your filters to follow this rule, or just one specific address, like[email protected], the Amazon shipment confirmation address.
2. Auto Archiving
When you archive emails in Gmail, they are removed from your inbox, but are still stored in your Gmail account if you need search for them later. This is a good solution for those who never want to delete emails, but still want to feel like they have control over the amount of content in their inboxes.
Simply create a filter to automatically archive emails from a certain sender or email send to a specific email address, for stuff you want to keep but don’t need to see.
3. No Folders
It’s important to note one shortcoming of Gmail’s filters: lack of folder support. While you can have folders that remove stuff from your general Inbox, Gmail does not do this automatically. This is something those who use a traditional desktop email client like Outlook will certainly miss. The best option is to use labels, in those situations.
4. Multiple Senders
Filters can also work for multiple senders, if you have a list of certain people you want to designate with one label. Simply set up the filter as “[email protected] OR[email protected],” and continue from there.
Look no further. I’ve been doing this spam filtering method for a year or two, but Mashable came out with an article recently detailing on how to get rid of those annoying spam e-mails. Read the article here.
Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.
If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.
I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.
In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!