Since people started moving all of their information to the clouds by the Terabyte, many of the web based applications have really stepped up their game. It seems to me like I am always hearing about what Google is doing.
While there is no denying I am a big user of Google’s offering, including Gmail, it never hurts to keep an eye open for what else is available. Windows Live mail (Hotmail) has added a staggering amount of upgrades since I had a Hotmail account. Below are some of the things you may not know Hotmail can do.
Folders are the key to keeping your email inbox clear. Whether you move the messages to folders manually or you use other options listed below, having things sorted and organized will only help you find things later on.
The key to using folders is to make a system that works for you.
This feature is great for those of us who let our inbox go from time to time. Sweeping allows you to select a message and move all of the messages from this sender to a specific folder.
The first use that comes to mind is all of those damned social site updates. If you use Live for the contact email for Facebook, you probably have a lot of notification emails. You can simply check the box by one of them and click on Sweep.
You will be shown the sender’s email address and asked where to move all of the emails to. Select the folder and voila… you have made a dent into the 1000 emails in your inbox.
Once you get your inbox whittled down, you can start making rules for incoming emails to abide by. You can select the a set of variables for any incoming message to be identified. For example, you can use email address, subject, if it has attachments, etc.
After you define which emails need to be sorted, set the destination folder, where they will be forwarded or even to just delete them.
4. Use Hotmail as your main email hub
If you are like may people, you have more than one email address. You can have Hotmail check the inbox of your other email address as if you were using Mozilla Thunderbird, Apple Mail or Outlook.
Having all of your emails going to one spot helps relieve the dread you feel when it is time to check your email. You can tackle all of them in one spot. Because you are using folders and rules, you can tackle your personal emails then your work emails. Then you can read some of those email newsletters you signed up for.
Most email sites and apps have a way to search for archived emails. Windows Live has given you a few preset searches: photos, docs or shipping updates. All of these searches are self explanatory, and commonly used. The one I found useful was the shipping updates; I hadn’t seen that before.
6. Creating a document
This is a feature which can come in handy from time to time. You are given access to Office online. You can create and edit Docs, Excel, PPT or OneNote items. If you use public or many different computers, this is a great feature.
You can now be sure that you are able to open and edit the files you were emailed no matter where the computer you are accessing your email on.
Out of the big three (Gmail, Yahoo Mail and Hotmail), I would have to say Hotmail has really made some of the greatest strides towards improving their email offerings in the recent past. It would be a great option for anyone looking for an easy to manage, all-in-one email solution. Sign up for a Windows Live email account and play around with some of the features to see if it works for you.
What features would make you change your email provider?
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