Posts Tagged ‘email’

Outlook issues

October 28, 2009

I thought I would document this one in the interests of others as it took several man hours (IT help, colleagues and me) to resolve.

We frequently scan bits of paper and email the PDFs to ourselves and others.

Suddenly about a week ago I suddenly wasn’t able to receive the scans from the MFD (multi function device- or big machine that copies, prints and scans) that is in the library. I could receive from any other machine but it was a pain to walk up to the other end of the building to do it. I logged a call with our IT people for help.

After a bit of testing it arose that I was the only one with the issue. My colleague in the desk next to me could get scans emailed from the same machine just fine. It was getting very weird. the first thing I thought of was the junk email folder but that was empty.

A bit more testing from IT at the exchange resolved that it wasn’t an MS exchange issue either but somehow the emails were getting auto permanently deleted. (Thanks Jeremy). If a scan was sent to me while I was shut down the email went to the web mail just fine so the issue was my local setup.

Then I  got worried.  Around the time the problem started there were several updates to key bits of software. I started looking at what I could uninstall and also looked around at any Outlook add-ons that I had.

All this testing was a pain to my colleague (thanks Aimee) – I had to change sites and was ringing her every 5 minutes to ask her to try sending me another scan from the questionable machine.

I don’t know what made me look but I found it.


In the “Junk email options” I had ticked ON “permanently delete suspected junk e-mail instead on moving it to the junk email folder”. Now I remember turning that on several months ago after seeing nothing but true junk in the folder and getting sick of deleting it. Clicking it off and getting yet another test sent proved it. The test went straight to the Junk folder.

The mystery is why Outlook suddenly decided that the MFD address was junk. Adding it to the exceptions has, hopefully, now solved it. But I am also now worried that there has been other emails that I have missed in the intervening months.

So this is a warning. However well you think Outlook is handling your junk email DO NOT be tempted to select the “permanent delete” option as “permanently” in this case does NOT mean “move to the delete folder” and you can’t see and monitor what Outlook is deciding is junk.


Why use a RSS reader??

June 15, 2008

For those doing their online reading by visiting and revisiting individual web sites selling the advantages of using an RSS reader is easy. You can just point them at the wonderful video from Commoncraft.

But what about those subscribing to updates by email. Well thats OK because that may be where they live. (see previous post). But if they have never tried an RSS reader they may not know what they are missing.

So what are some reasons for subscribing to online reading by RSS into an aggregator rather than by email?? What are the really basic selling points.

Email overload
We all complain about email overload and there are reems of books and posts on methods to overcome it. Why not start by only using email for what its best at? Email isn’t bad it just needs to know its place. Email is at its best used as for lengthy communications between two people. Not for sending or receiving broadcast messages or collaboration. See this RWW post for a great analysis and this from Library clips on alternatives to email.

your reading can be more productive than reading in a piecemeal fashion as in comes into your email box.

Email folders and rules only work so far and, especially if you are practicing GTD in your email, your subscriptions are just adding to your inbox maintenance.

Post Control
When you subscribe to updates by email often you are getting a digest when contains many posts. Some may be relevant and worth reading or saving, some may not be. In a reader you can mark individual posts for reading, sharing and saving.

Subscription control
To subscribe to a feed you need the URL and usually will get it from the originating site but after that unsubscribing can be done in the reader with a click. No need to revisit the site. FeedDemon has a “dinosaur” report that lets you easily see with feeds are no longer updated.

The better readers have better search options, for rereading that half forgotten post, than Outlook.

A lot or organizations put limits on your email inbox. If you shift your subscriptions to a reader then you can archive in the reader. The web based ones are limitless, the desktop ones are dependent on your PC .

Most RSS readers offer many ways to share an article with colleagues and clients beyond email. For example, depending on the source of a post, FeedDemon will let me email, send the post to any blog that I own, add a post to or digg, add the post to a folder that can be shared by RSS.

Subscription Simplicity
Not all websites that provide RSS feeds provide an email subscription option. Restricting subscriptions to email means that you would need to use a third party RSS to email service and a lot of clicking and pasting or URLs to set it up. Using the RSS directly usually means one or two clicks to subscribe to a feed depending on your browser and your reader.

Spam and security
Using a RSS reader limits the number of places to which you are handing over your email address.

Extra Tip
You can take one more step and turn those email list that don’t provide alternatives into an RSS feed with this howto from Lifehacker

What else??

For some of us this is basic stuff that we take for granted but how do we communicate it to our colleagues and clients? The points above are just the possible selling points of using an RSS reader over email that I could think up for now. I am sure that there are more and I would appreciate additional suggestions via the comments.

[UPDATE: Richard Ackerman commented this via Twitterrss reader is controlled info flow. Reader + other web tools (share item/bookmarking/friendf) is participation in websocialnet “ ]

[UPDATE 2: Richard Ackerman’s second  comment also via Twitter “the other thing that occurs to me is that by reading RSS headlines/batches, you can see trends as they emerge”]

Them and us

June 14, 2008

I had a couple of email conversations on Thursday which lead to a couple of conversations on Twitter about people’s uptake of reading online using an RSS Reader rather than email.

After mulling over it (I need time for reflection – I learnt that at a recent train the trainer training session) yesterday morning I had a realization.

I live in my browser- other people live in their email client. They aren’t wrong just different. but that is where my barrier is in talking to them about some things.

Actually at home I live in my browser. I work I have dual screens. One generally has my email client and the other my browser.  This is because the preferred communication method in my organization is email.

This post took a couple of days to write and in the mean time Richard at Science Library pad says the same thing (only much better).