Announced as part of Google’s I/O conference, you now switch from chatting in Gmail to Hangouts. Click “Try it out” next to your chat list to switch. With Hangouts, you can send messages, have video calls with up to ten people at once, and share photos. Here’s how it works:
I heart IFTTT so much that it now has it’s own category here on FAVES. That’s a big deal. Rrrrrrrrrrright.
- Let the web be your virtual umbrella so you’re not caught in the rain. You can set up a Gmail recipe to alert you if it’s raining in the morning (or if it’s snowing). Now to figure out with umbrella goes with that outfit. (Or you can set up a text message to remind you to put the plants in the garage if it’s below a certain temperature. You’re on your own there. [To create this recipe you need Weather Channel and Gmail accounts.]
- Ever worry about the photos you upload to Facebook getting lost (or ending up in Zuck’s secret stash)? There’s a recipe for that. Set up a Dropbox folder to house your Facebook photos after you upload them. [To create this recipe you need Facebook and Dropbox accounts.] NOTE: You could revise this recipe to work with your cloud storage of choice.
- Want to get out of a really bad date? While I’d love to be available 24/7 to help you, now your phone can do it for you. Use the “text to escape” recipe to send yourself this message (or write a new one for yourself): “Congratulations! You have successfully planned your escape! Right now your friend is in dire need of…well SOMETHING! And it’s up to you to get there! Now! Hurry! Because it’s not like you want to get away from someone else, it’s just that you have to be somewhere else very soon. Now fly!” [To create this recipe you need a SMS channel and a mobile phone.]
- Feel like you neve have time read all the starred content in Gmail? It’s probably because you haven’t built it into your schedule. Use this recipe to schedule time in your calendar to read your super starred emails. [To create this recipe you need Gmail and Google Calendar.]
- Want to publish that killer Google+ update to Facebook? This. [To create this recipe you need Google+ and Facebook accounts.]
- Create a recipe to email someone each time you use a specific tag in a WordPress post. For example if you mention your mom, you would tag her and an email with a link to the post would be sent. You need to edit this recipe as it’s currently personalized for another user. [To create this recipe you need WordPress and Gmail accounts.]
- Enhance your Google Calendar with your Foursquare checkins. Just pop this recipe in the oven and you’re set–you’ll always know where you were. [To create this recipe you need Google Calendar and Foursquare accounts.]
What is ifttt? It essentially puts the internet to work for you by creating tasks that fit this simple structure: if this then that. You either create your own “recipe” or use one another user created. A recipe might be “if I post a video to YouTube then a link to the video should go to a Dropbox folder.” Yes, ifttt helps you do all this and more.
- Sign up for ifttt beta;
- Click the confirmation link sent to you via email.
Remember when your mom or dad used to yell at you to clean your room? Well, this is me telling you to clean up online. Happy New Year!
Here are some of my favorite tips:
I share a lot of links online and sometimes want to reference them for later or just keep track of everything I’ve shared. My two favorite tools for organizing links are:
- Bit.ly and j.mp – In addition to shortening URLs, you can track number of clicks and use to check your “link archives.”
- Trunk.ly – This platform monitors and collects the links that you find interesting across multiple platforms. For example, I have my blog RSS feed linked here in addition to Twitter, Facebook, etc… That way if I share links direct from another source I can easily go back and find them here.
Additional: If you’re on Pinterest, you can also create a board for “Favorite Links” to assist with archiving for later.
Do you give other platforms access to your Twitter account? Do you remember them all? It might be time to clean up or manage third-party access. Here’s how to revoke access:
- Check out your applications by visiting the Connections tab of account settings
- Revoke access by clicking the “Revoke Access” button next to the application description. (For a complete overview on connecting your Twitter account to other platforms, read this from Twitter Support.)
Curate content more effectively:
- Set up Twitter lists to include those you never want to miss.
- Missed Twitter for a day or two? Make it easy on yourself and use a service like Cadmus. It displays the most relevant content you may have missed since your last check in.
- Facebook requests/notifications – Next to each group/game/friend request, you can choose to delete or ignore all requests from that person if they’re a repeat offender. Block off time on your calendar to do this if you find it needs more time. In fact, a recurring calendar entry may help ensure you manage your online requests.
- Untag yourself. Invest an hour to untag yourself or delete any photos you may have forgotten about.
- To reduce email notifications of requests, friends, etc., in the “Notifications” setting (located in “Settings” under “account settings”), deselect notifications you no longer want to receive.
- Facebook friends – Use Birthday announcements as reminders to unfriend people you haven’t talked to, don’t know or no longer care to stay in touch with. If you would prefer not to “unfriend” someone, instead “hide” their posts so they no longer show up in your newsfeed.
- Part of your spring cleaning may also mean checking to make sure you have a secure online connection. Did you know on Facebook if your URL doesn’t look like this that your connection is not secure? https://facebook.com. You should consider enabling this option if you frequently use Facebook from public Internet access points found at coffee shops, airports, libraries or schools. The option will exist as part of our advanced security features, which you can find in the “Account Security” section of the Account Settings page.
Here are a few apps and platforms for organizing your Facebook experience:
- TheFriendMail – delivers Facebook to your email and allows you to update your status, write on friends’ walls, view your news feed, like, comment and view friends’ profiles via email. (See review in TheNextWeb)
- Friendly Plus (for tablets) – allows you to manage your Facebook account from a single screen on your tablet.
- Access Facebook from within Gmail
- Facebook Desktop
- Facebook Page Central by Sysomos helps with Facebook page management and analytics for brands (paid platform)
There’s a lot of storage in Gmail so you may not need to delete anything. I typically only delete emails with large attachments (which I save to files) and archive all messages. This has saved me more than once when I needed access someone’s email address and hadn’t corresponded with them in a while. Here are few ways to help organize your Gmail account:
- Use Priority Inbox to automatically identify and sort important email so that the most pertinent mail resides at the top of your inbox.
- Use filters to archive emails and bookmarks into folders, add labels or send incoming items directly to the trash.
- Mark emails needing follow up with “Star” function.
- Run a keyword search for items that can be deleted (think Groupon, etc.) and mass delete.
- To save space, run a Gmail search for “has:attachment” to locate attachments, then delete or save in a file.
Looking for apps or tools to organize your Gmail experience? Try:
- Find Big Mail – Having storage issues? In three steps, this app analyzes your inbox and categorizes mail by size (see review in The Next Web), providing a report of the largest emails in your inbox that can be deleted or saved to create space.
- The Email Game – this app makes cleaning out your inbox fun by a point-based system for tasks such as skipping a message, reply to a message – and you can also challenge your friends. (See review in The Next Web)
- Boomerang for Gmail – This app helps you control when you send and receive email, allowing you to time when emails go out.
Avatar and bio
- Set up a reminder alert on your calendar for the first day of spring every year. Include: update bio and avatar (as needed).
- Take a look in the mirror. Do you look like your current avatar? If not, it may be time to update that photo. Here are “5 Tips for Creating the Perfect Profile Pic.”
- Where is your online bio listed? The majority of active online users have a bio listed in more than one place and they’re typically not synced (meaning you have to manually update each one). Create a Word document with your most recent bio and save it, including the year in the document name. If you need to update your bio in multiple places you can easily copy and paste from this document.
Do you need to be notified every time someone follows you on Twitter? Maybe not. Clean up how your social networks notify you. You can do this one of two ways:
- Go to the social network and update your notification settings. Chances are you haven’t updated them since you signed up.
- Set up email filters in your email account of choice and have them delivered right to the trash.
Smartphone – Removing location tracking
Don’t want your smartphone tracking your location? You can clean it up:
- iPhone – In the Location Services setting on your iPhone (located in “Settings” in the “General” section), either turn off the global Location Services setting or turn off the individual location settings of each location-aware application on your iPhone.
- Android – In the “Location” setting in your Android (located in “Settings”), uncheck GPS satellites.
- Blackberry – In the GPS services setting on your Blackberry (located in “Options” in the “Advaced Options” section), stop or disable GPS.
Why recreate the wheel? Here’s a great post to prioritize and organize Google Reader: Prioritizing and Organizing Feeds in Google Reader.
[PREVIOUSLY SHARED ON PRSARAHEVANS.COM]
What social network spring cleaning advice can you share?