How to move your mail infrastructure away from Lotus Notes

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Exporting Outlook 2013 contacts as VCF cards for import into GMAIL, Hotmail, Yahoo, IBM Worse, etc.

Exporting Outlook contacts is convoluted and far more difficult than it should be.

If you do a Google search on synchronizing your Outlook address book with Gmail or others you will find that the recommend methodology is to export the contacts as a CSV file to be imported. This method will create the basic contact records. However, the records will not contain the rich meta data such as photos and there is a good chance that the import will probably fail due to some incompatibility issue.

The better way!

Using the method outlined below will allow you to export your contacts using the standard vCard method transferring images and other rich data associated with vCards.

Step 1. Copy your favorite contacts to your local contacts.

* The Global Address Book is not your Local Address book!  
Your Outlook contacts will most probably be empty! You online / offline contacts (GAL) is not the same as your local contacts.

 a. Click on People.





b. In My Contacts click on Contacts



The result, in all probability, may be as below and will be empty.



















c. Open the Online / Offline Address Book (GAL)




Select the most appropriate list from the drop down for example: All Users.







d. Right Click on the contacts and in the drop down select "Add to Contacts"




You can of course select multiple contacts and use the "Add to Contacts" drop down. You may get some pop up errors that in most cases can be ignored. If you update an existing contact a pop up will be displayed asking you to verify the update.

You now have local contacts than can be exported.

Step 2. Forward your local contacts as vCards.

This step is far more difficult than it should be. Perhaps there is a different method but for most users the only option available is to forward a vCard or vCards to a contact and in this case mail yourself!

The option should of course have been "Export Contacts" and a selection of mail systems such as Gmail or others with the option of "Rich Data" available.

Here is my method used and as said above there may be easier ways but I have not found it yet.

1. Choose the most appropriate view.



  2. Select a single contact, to ensure you are in the correct context, and press CTL + A (Select All)


























3. Forward the message to yourself.

If there was an easier way then I have not found it. Sorry.

4. Save all the attachments.

Once you open the mail that you sent to yourself you have the option to save all attachments.



Confirm the selection




















5. Choose a directory on the file system.

The vCards will now be saved to this directory.

Step 3. Combine and upload the vCards.

The vCard files are downloaded individually as separate files. You can select individual files for upload or you can easily combine the files into a single file.

 1. Combine the vcf files into a single file.

a. Start File Explorer - Windows Key + E.
b. Navigate to the path of the downloaded vcf files.
c. Type cmd in the navigation bar.

* Top Tip - Enter cmd in the navigation pane for a quick cmd prompt.














This will now open a new cmd prompt with the correct path.


























Now type in the following command:

Copy *.vcf combined.vcf

This command will combine all the individual files into a single file.


























2. Upload the vCards to gmail.

1. To access your contacts click on the twisty next to Gmail and select Contacts





















You can also select your contacts by entering this URL in a new tab.

https://contacts.google.com

2. Select More - Import - CSV or vCard



If you are using the new Gmail contacts interface then you will need to access the older version temporarily.
























3. This will now bring up the older version of contacts




















4. Select More - Import 


Navigate to the .vcf directory and select combined.vcf


5. Import the combined file. 


Unfortunately you can not select a group at this time. Doh!























Step 4. Maintain your gmail address book.

The process above will create a new folder called Imported (DATE). The process below takes into consideration updating your contacts regularly.

1. Select (click on) the Imported (DATE) navigation folder on the left.






2. Select all contacts

Click on the empty box, top left, to select all contacts
Deselect, Contacts and Imported (DATE) and create a new group or add to an existing group.





3. Gmail will confirm all changes



4. Merge Duplicate Contacts








































5. GMail will confirm the process. 










And DONE! 

Now open the usual contacts tab and you will notice the metadata (Photos)






Sunday, 17 April 2016

Web Email Showdown: Gmail vs. Outlook.com



Web Email Showdown: Gmail vs. Outlook.com
It’s hard to think about email without putting a G in front of it. Despite Gmail’s renown as one of the best email services on the internet, Microsoft’s Outlook.com has spent the last few years building itself into a competent competitor. In today’s showdown, we put these two behemoths of email to the test.

The Contenders

There are a ton of email services, but a few have risen to the top. AfterOutlook.com absorbed Hotmail, Gmail and Outlook.com became the two biggest email services on the internet, together totalling over a billion users. Their approaches to managing your email are similar, but there are some pretty distinct differences in features.
For our comparison, we’ll be looking at the apps themselves, and not necessarily the underlying service underneath. Technically, you can import Gmail messages into Outlook and vice versa, but what we’re interested in is how these services actually work in practice.

Gmail Set the Organization Standard, But Outlook Has Caught Up

Web Email Showdown: Gmail vs. Outlook.com
We’ve covered how powerful Gmail’s filters are and what you can do with them so extensively that we almost take them for granted. In Gmail, you can automatically sort emails by sender, keywords in the subject line or body, attachments, and by size. You can then use those filters to automatically mark messages as read, apply labels, respond with a canned message, delete them, and more. On top of this, Gmail uses labels and stars instead of folders. You can apply multiple labels your messages, which gives you greater flexibility in setting up exactly the kind of organization scheme you like, and stars let you set aside the most important emails for later. You can even enable Smart Labels that Google can apply labels like Finance and Travel automatically.
Gmail also uses a priority inbox system to automatically find messages it believes are important to you. Emails are deemed “important” based on who you email, which messages you open, what you interact with and other criteria. You can also manually mark an email as important to help it learn.
Outlook’s approach to organization is a little more complicated. For starters, the site uses folders as the primary method for organizing your messages. By default, the left-hand pane shows a list of default folders, and you can create your own to organize your messages. You can pin emails so they remain at the top of a folder which is sort of but not exactlylike Gmail’s stars. Outlook also has a feature called Clutter that finds emails you probably don’t care about and moves them to a separate Clutter folder. This lets you focus on your important messages and clear out the junk in one sweep.
You can also add categories to your email, which function much like labels do. You can add categories and use those as criteria for rules (more on those in a second). However, by default, Outlook doesn’t show you your categories in the navigation pane. To see any categories, you have to navigate to Options > Layout > Categories and manually pick which categories are shown. On the one hand, this makes it hard to clutter up your inbox unless you choose to—in contrast, Gmail shows all labels unless you specifically hide them—but on the other, it was a pain to even find the option.
Similarly, Outlook’s filter counterparts are called Rules (a term borrowed from the desktop version of Outlook). When you’re viewing an email, you can create a Rule to filter messages like it. Otherwise, Rules are once again buried in Outlook’s Options menu. They have many of the same options as Gmail’s filters, but they’re not quite as robust. For example, you can’t automatically send a canned response based on a filter. However, for most situations, Rules and filters are pretty comparable.

Outlook Has a Streamlined Interface, But Gmail Has Several Layouts to Choose From

Web Email Showdown: Gmail vs. Outlook.com
I’m really excited about emailing myself.
Google famously likes to play around with Gmail’s interface, so you have a few different options to choose from. Most recently, Google introduced a tabbed inbox view that sorts your email into categories including Social for messages from social networking sites, Promotions for advertisement emails, and Updates for auto-generated emails like order confirmations or bills. For some, this was a godsend. Others wanted to turn it off immediately. On top of that, Google’s also experimenting with Inbox, athird alternative interface for Gmail. Inbox treats your email more like a to-do list where you mark each message as “Done” rather than as “read.” You can snooze emails until later and bundle related messages together. Between Inbox, Gmail’s tabbed inbox, and the normal priority inbox interface, you have many options for choosing how to present your email.
Gmail also has a ton of tweaks hiding in the Labs section of its settings. Here you can enable a ton of useful tweaks like a dedicated Mark as Read button, a Preview pane so you can read emails without leaving your message list, and canned responses. While many of these features are awesome tweaks that not everyone may want, some are also basic features that you probably shouldn’t have to hunt down to enable in 2016.
Outlook on the other hand uses a basic three panel design and sticks with it. On the left side, you can click on different folders and categories to navigate. In the middle panel, you’ll see a list of emails in that folder. Click an email and you’ll be able to read it in the third pane on the right. For anyone who’s used an email client that isn’t Gmail, it should look very familiar. Outlook doesn’t have as many options for customizing its interface in major ways as Gmail, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. You can still tweak the basics like where your display pane shows up, or what order messages appear in a conversation with Outlook.
Finally, both Outlook and Gmail have ads, though they appear in very different ways. In Gmail, you’ll see a couple of ads that look like regular emails under the Promotions tab. You can avoid them by turning off the promotions tabdisabling the tabbed inbox altogether, or using Inbox. In Outlook, the ads are full banners on the side of the screen. The only way (aside from ad blockers) to disable them is to pay $20/year for Ad-free Outlook. The silver lining, though, is that Microsoft promises Outlook won’t scan your email to target ads.

Gmail Has a Few Bonus Tricks, Outlook Has a Whole Store of Them

Web Email Showdown: Gmail vs. Outlook.com
No email client is an island. Google and Microsoft have a ton of other products built directly into their email client that make them pretty powerful. For simplicity, we’ll only include the services that you can use without actually having to leave your Gmail or Outlook tabs directly. However, each company has quick shortcuts to tons their other products, so part of your decision may be determined by which apps you use regularly every day.
In Gmail, Hangouts lives as a panel on the right side of the screen. Every chat you open will open along the bottom of your window. You can open minimize them while you’re checking your email and pop them open to reply to messages. You can also open a Tasks window that lives next to your open conversations so you can create a basic to-do list throughout the day. You can set due dates and provide descriptions for each task, but that’s about it. In the Labs section, you can enable a mini-calendar widget so you can see a very abbreviated view of your agenda for the day. That’s about all you can add to Gmail without downloading extensions to add services on top of Gmail.
In Outlook, you can use Skype for messaging just like Hangouts in Gmail. There’s also a Tasks section you can open from the shortcut menu in the top-left corner of Outlook. Unlike Gmail’s mini-Tasks widget, you can provide a ton more details for your tasks, including hours worked, set reminders for a task, and attach files from OneDrive to a task.
On top of this, Outlook has a bunch of add-ins that expand your inbox’s functionality. For example, you can open the Boomerang add-in to set a reminder to come back to an email after a few hours or days. You can open the Evernote add-in to save an email to one of your notebooks. There are over 100 more add-ins in the Office Store that can add new features to Outlook.

The Verdict: Gmail’s Friendly to Power Users, Outlook Is Awesome For Office Workers

In the past, Gmail was the de facto standard for how to manage your email online. While Microsoft has done well with Outlook on desktops, it’s only in recent years that its web email products have caught up. Now, it’s a toss up as to which one is better, but each has their strengths.
If you like endlessly tweaking or experimenting with your email setup, Gmail is for you. Google has not shied away from bold and controversial new designs that change how you use email. Sometimes those experiments work, sometimes they don’t, and everyone has their preference. Even if you’re not a fan of change, Gmail’s foundation of powerful filters, customizable labels, and automatic sorting is solid and allows a ton of room for tweaking your inbox to bend it to your will.
Outlook, on the other hand, is perfect for anyone who likes a streamlined workflow or uses a lot of professional productivity apps. Outlook puts the most relevant, important buttons right where you can see them and lets the power users go digging for options if they really want to. It also has deep ties not only to the rest of Microsoft’s Office apps, but plugins like Boomerang, Evernote, and more. While Google’s no slouch in the productivity department, Microsoft’s Outlook feels the most at home in an office setting.


Web Email Showdown: Gmail vs. Outlook.com:



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Monday, 15 June 2015

CloneApp Backs Up All Your Windows Program Settings

CloneApp Backs Up All Your Windows Program Settings:



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CloneApp Backs Up All Your Windows Program Settings
Windows: Whether you’re migrating to a new computer or doing a clean install, life is easier when you take all your settings and tweaks with you. If you don’t want to do a full backup and restore, CloneApp backs up settings for the most popular Windows programs so you can restore them later.
CloneApp essentially automates the process we detailed in our Windows migration guide: it knows where each program stores its settings and registry keys, and backs them all up in one fell swoop so you don’t have to do the legwork yourself. It supports 119 different Windows programs, can detect which programs you have installed, and even has a section for manual backups so you can include the programs it doesn’t support.
CloneApp is completely portable, too, so you don’t have to install anything. Just extract the program to its own folder on the desktop and right-click it to launch it as an administrator. From there, check the programs you want to back up, and click Start CloneApp. It’ll back up all the necessary files and registry keys to its folder, which you can then copy to your new computer, launch the program, and click Restore to put all your settings back where they belong.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

365 Million Reasons Why Email Is A Solid Investment | TechCrunch

365 Million Reasons Why Email Is A Solid Investment | TechCrunch:



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Editor’s note: Len Shneyder is the director of Industry Relations at Message Systems; he has more than a decade of experience in the email marketing, deliverability and digital marketing space.
Funding events over the last five quarters have shown investors to be bullish on companies engaged in email. From analytics to infrastructure, advertising to services, and everything in between, the email ecosphere has been infused with $364.5 million in funding. The recent growth of these freshly funded companies underscores how important solid, reliable and measurable email is to startups and enterprises.
Starting from the top and working our way down, we can see that from the successful exits of stalwarts such asResponsys and Exact Target, to giant rounds of funding for Campaign Monitor, email is a priority that comes with a rather large price tag.

Marketing Clouds Overhead

From the Salesforce Marketing Cloud (Exact Target) to the Oracle Marketing Cloud(ResponsysEloqua) to Adobe’s Marketing Cloud (AdobeNeoLane) to IBM’s Experience One[also a marketing cloud] (CoremetricsUnicaDemandTec,XtifySilverpop) the desire for enterprise grade, digital messaging technology is evident. These acquisitions represent billions of dollars of investment, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise then that investors are contemplating another round of acquisitions to grow these marketing frameworks sometime in the near future.

Your Mobile Apps and Social Networks Rely on Email

Based on measurements of app popularity in 2014 from Statista and comScore, email (embodied by the Gmail app), is among the top 10 most popular apps on mobile devices. The only other point-to-point communication app making the top 10 is Facebook, the 12,000-pound gorilla, coming in at No. 1, effectively positioning email as No. 2. As an aside, Facebook relies heavily on transactional email to keep users informed and coming back to the site, and is likely the single-biggest source of legitimate email traffic on the Internet.
Another example is LinkedIn, which leverages email in every part of their business to ensure return visits. They’ve really pioneered the use of email to help engage and popularize the user-generated content on their site.
Triggered email tethers LinkedIn’s 364-plus million users to the site by connecting with them via titillating communication – if someone looks at their profile, if job opportunities matching their current role materialize, or any number of automated and triggered criteria that result in an email.

Email Service Providers Still Matter

A large portion of the aforementioned $364.5 million in funding went to Campaign Monitor ($250 million), Autopilot ($10 million) and Iterable ($1.2 million) — different flavors of email service providers and marketing automation startups that provide assistance to companies through campaign management and email deployment.
Since email’s ROI is estimated to be between $40 and $45 for every $1 of investment, companies are willing to spend money for highly specialized email services. The range of services provided by these and other ESPs varies wildly.
From professional and strategic marketing, to attribution modeling, to multi-channel campaign tools, as well as more self-serve front ends that allow organizations to easily automate nurture drips and campaign workflows, email delivery and the ability to connect it to other parts of the business remains a specialization that numerous companies are more than happy to outsource.

The Shift to the Cloud

By definition email is a cloud technology—the reality is that somewhere on the ground someone is running an SMTP-based server with unruly and often times unmanageable queues. Open source solutions attempting to solve the problem of sending massive, galactic scale volumes of emails, have always existed.
However, the nuances of email-at-scale deployments demand highly specialized knowledge of the varying types of receiving domains and their unique requirements. Companies such as Message Systems ($27 million) and Sendgrid ($20 million) have built email infrastructure in the cloud with API front ends for the DIY generation of companies looking to take advantage of economies of scale and are actively involved in leveraging and expanding cloud technologies.

Analytics and the Wide Range of Email Services Matters

Email is a cross-platform, cross-device and ultimately cross-channel medium. Half of all email opens are happening on mobile devices, according to Litmus. This illustrates the fact that email isn’t just about email; it’s about the device and lifespan of multiple opens and content opportunities.
Companies such as Return Path ($35 million) provide senders with powerful tracking and measurement tools to help avert problems and determine campaign efficacy suggesting that email delivery, measurement and actionable data analytics are a necessary trifecta of capabilities that are driving investment.
Email Copilot ($1.3 million) has focused on the deliverability problem — with nearly 1 in 5 emails never reaching their intended recipients — by analyzing the totality of email across opens, bounces and other metrics to help avoid problems downstream and providing real-time intelligence to senders. LiveIntent ($20 million) has a platform for in-email advertising, creating more dynamic experiences in the inbox and allowing content within emails to be refreshed similarly to in-app mobile experiences.
Venture capital investment in email is only one part of the story: the market for email is considerably bigger. If you add up the exit events for companies that are now part of massive marketing clouds with the totality of ancillary, professional and consulting services, you begin to comprehend the massive scale of the MarCom/Martech world.
What we can deduce from these large transactions is that email, analytics, enhanced inbox performance, improved user experience, the growing potential of an ad exchange within email and a shift to cloud based email PaaS/IaaS is on the minds of investors of all stripes. The fact of the matter is that email is not dead; it is not the only means of communication for businesses.
However, it’s part of a rich and dynamic mix of media and conversation modalities with one striking difference. Email’s ROI has been measured and unmatched for a number of years and will maintain its importance as a leading communication tool with continued investments, growth, expansion and evolution. Don’t count email out – it’s here to stay.
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