Google Keep

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I enjoy Evernote. It is an all-in depository of things I want to keep. I put reading materials, ideas, notes, documents I need to keep. But sometimes I just want to jot down simple notes and not necessarily make them archivable. It is like Notes in my iPhone. One limitation of Notes is that I do not know a way to sync the notes with other devices. I also like to centralize my notes so I pretty much use Evernote and clean up (i.e., delete) any unneeded notes after I used them. I looked into Simplenote, but again, it’s another service I need to connect to and have to remember. As much as I wanted to use it, I never got around to integrating it into my workflow.

Then I learned about Google Keep. It is pretty much the same as Simplenote but with one benefit: it integrates with Google. I use many Google services so Keep nicely integrates with my workflow. The app (iOS, Android) is fast. The website is minimalistic but functional, and it even integrates with Google Drive.

If you jot down lots of notes while you work, I suggest you look into Google Keep.

New Outlook.com and Gmailify

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Two exciting news items popped up this week. First one is the new Outlook.com. The team at Microsoft has been running the preview of the new look for several months. Now the new version of Outlook.com is out of preview. Here’s what new:

  1. The new Outlook.com is built on the Office 365 infrastructure. One benefit is that it gains more security enhancements used by Office 365. It also adds nifty features like scanning your emails, for example, for flight confirmations and automatically add them to your calendar. As of now, Gmail does not do this.
  2. Add-in support. Outlook.com had this already, but with the new version more add-ins are supported. My favorite will be Wunderlist and Evernote.
  3. Better Skype integration. I now use Skype as my primary instant messenger for personal use. The current integration of Skype and Outlook.com was rather clunky. The new version is a smoother experience.

Coincidentally, Google released a new feature called Gmailify. Gmailify links your existing account(s) like Outlook.com and Yahoo! Mail to Gmail to take advantage of Gmail features without changing your email address. All you need to do is download the Gmail app, sign into your existing accounts, and enable Gmailify. More details at Gmail blog.

Happy emailing!

Making Email Safer

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Gmail is my favorite mail client. It has unique features that make email easier to manage and adapts well to external applications so that you can combine all email tasks within Gmail.

This week, Gmail introduced two new security features that make email safer. Gmail has always used encryption to transmit incoming and outgoing emails (TLS, if you are curious). Now you can confirm whether the sender or the recipient of emails to or from your Gmail account has TLS enabled. You will see a broken lock icon in the message window, next to his or her name. If you click on the icon, you will see more details.

The second feature is authentification of the sender. You can use authentification to verify the identity or the source of the incoming message. This helps you avoid phishing scams. In Gmail, you will now see a question mark as the sender’s icon, or avatar, instead of a person icon or an actual avatar.

You can now be extra vigilant when you are about to open an email message or click on any links within it.

More details at Gmail blog.