Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Bacn and Paper Towels

Ok, now that I'm seeing even people I think would know better complaining about Bacn, like Seth Godin I have to speak up about Paper Towels.

You want the info but later (otherwise you probably would have turned it off on the configuration of your twitter/facebook/pounce/jaiku/8apps/etc.) What do you do?

People - this has been around forever. When you are on lots of mailing lists you don't necessarily want the news in your in-box either - that is why G-d invented mail filters.

Each mail program has its own special way to set up mail filters - but you can have the bacn go straight to its own special folder. You know the domain the email will be coming from - it's really easy to filter.

So stop complaining about bacn - enjoy it in its right place and keep your email useful.

Below I will provide some tips on how to set up mail filters on some of the more common mail programs. (Sorry Linux users I don't know what the "common email program" would be for you but I suspect you already know how to do this.) Enjoy your paper towels and consume bacn responsibly.

(And if you don't want the service notifications - check your preferences - most of these services let you turn off their info emails.)

On to the email filters.

Gmail - They are called filters but the power comes from the labels. Label the mail and archive it (Skip the inbox checkbox.) Then click on the labels on the side bar (towards the bottom) to read your bacn when ready. Learn how to set up filters here: http://mail.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?answer=6579

Apple Mail - Set up rules and dump the mail in its own special mailbox. If you want you can create a bacn folder and then have a mailbox for each service - or you can just dump it all into a general bacn box. Ok...I'm not finding a great page on this but I'll augment the Apple support doc I found.
1) Create your bacn box (Mailbox-> new mailbox)
2) Select some Bacn
3) Follow the directions to set up a rule here http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=151480
because you already selected the mail you want to filter it will already fill in the the email address to filter on (you can chose other criteria if you prefer). Tell it to move the message to your new bacn folder.

Outlook - What you are looking for is user defined filters. Check out this page for the details: http://www.uh.edu/infotech/php/template.php?nonsvc_id=247

Outlook express - Details on filters for Outlook express can be found here: http://www.opentechsupport.net/forums/archive/topic/7626-1.html

1 comment:

Evan said...

Great stuff! On the topic of Gmail's filtering rules, one shouldn't forget that besides the pre-created filtering rules Gmail offers you can also use the special filter syntax to identify and sort your mail.

For example, when I sign up for a site that I have a strong feeling is going to spam me to death, I want all mail from that company to go into my 'junk' label. I could do this manually by creating a filtering rule when I first get mail from them, but it's easier to just use (using my email address as an example): evansims+junk@gmail.com. Any mail sent to that address will automatically be labeled junk, so it's a bit easier for me to notice in the inbox and deal with without spending time reading it.

You can combine the filtering and label system by filtering based on From: yourid+label@gmail.com rules; so I could, for example, have anything sent to evansims+junk@gmail.com moved directly to the trash.

Gmail is such a versatile tool, it's amazing. :)