How to configure emails in Google Apps in a typical small business?
Lets say you want to be smart and use MyName@MyDomain.com instead of MyName912@gmail.com - I won’t insult your intelligence telling you why. If you have never used Gmail, just register MyName@MyDomain.com as an account with Google, then follow instructions. More often however you have a Gmail account already and just want to use your own email to login and give to public while keeping all of the benefits of your current Google Account.
So we are talking about transition from Gmail to your own email. To do that you have to add your new email to your existing Gmail account. Go to Google Account, Personal Info > Email > Other Emails > “Add a new alternate address” and add your new address.
If you get “MyName@MyDomain.com is already associated with another Google Account.” error, you are out of luck – you have 2 accounts and no way of merging them. Close one of the accounts, then use the remaining to add the email from closed.
If that step worked correctly - all what is left to do is redirect all emails from MyName@MyDomain.com to your old Gmail account (probably deleting the original copy) – that would take care of receiving email and Gmail will take care of sending.
This is similar to “Add another email address you own” feature in Gmail Settings > “Accounts and Imports”. But this option requires you to use your own SMTP server. Why not always use the Alternate email addresses option that we’ve discussed above? – you can ask. Because it can only be associated with one Google Account at a time, so it won’t work in a scenarios when you need to use an account as a shared group email.
Toggl is a cool time tracking application by a company in Estonia that seems insanely simple. It allows you track time right from a browser, computer or a smartphone. The main premise is that you just type what you are working on, hit button Start and a timer starts ticking. When you are done – hit Stop button.
For up to 5 users you can use either Free or the Pro plan. If you have more than 5 users, you have to use the Pro plan that is $5/user/month. The Free plan leaves you with no Excel exports, no company logo on reports, no Tasks, no report sharing, it is harder to calculate billable times, no option to limit who creates the project and no integration - compare the plans for more details. It is available for every platform. Below is a detailed Toggle review with a lot of screenshots and text – if you are in a rush – just skip to the Summary.
Imagine how cool would it be: you are on vacation on a beach when you receive a panicked email from your client telling you he has lost all his data. You take your smartphone, log in to SqlBak.com, press “Restore” next to the last backup and in a few minutes tell the client that his database was restored. This is as close to James Bond as a database administrator could ever get! Well, it is not a dream any more.
Employee monitoring is ubiquitous these days. If you work in an office or on a company equipment – it is safer to just assume that you are being monitored. How can you get rid of monitoring programs or at least detect it?
Time Doctor is one of the programs that combine time tracking with basic employee monitoring. Screenshots are taken at random intervals, then all of this is uploaded online for managers to review. Below is a detailed Time Doctor review, there are a lot of text and images, so if you are in a rush, just skip to the Summary.
It is very convenient to open Google Apps account and use Google as your mail server. However the simple email forwarding becomes a challenge when for example you want two people send and receive emails using lets say firstname.lastname@example.org account. This post will explain how to setup email redirects in Google Apps. This assumes you are an administrator and know how to get to your domain management dashboard (from gmail’s wrench menu select “Manage this domain”)
Note that Google does not offer Google Apps for free any more:
“Prior to December 6, 2012, Google offered a free edition of Google Apps—also known as the Standard edition—that had a reduced set of business features. As of December 6, 2012, Google stopped offering Free edition to new customers.”
Email forwarding with forwarders in user’s account (simple)
- Create a new regular user (like email@example.com)
- Login as this user to Gmail
- Go to Settings > Forwarders and set up your own email (like firstname.lastname@example.org) as a recipient “Forward a copy of incoming mail to” - this will take care of receiving emails sent to the new account
- Note that this won’t work if you need to forward to multiple emails. In this case you are better off using filters to forward all (*) email
- Now login to Gmail as yourself (email@example.com) , go to Settings / Account and add the new email to “Send mail as” section – this will allow you to send email from the new account
Email forwarding with Groups
Create a group – all of it’s members will receive a copy of the email to this group. Sending from this group is also possible, but recipients (in Gmail) will see “firstname.lastname@example.org via gmail.com”. Some claim it is unprofessional. We think it is minor. This method also saves you from creating new users – in free version you are limited to only 10.
- Click Groups > “Create a new group”
- Name the group and check “Also allow anyone on the Internet to post messages”
- Add members (recepients)
Recently we have encountered a question of selecting a reliable and fast DNS service providers. Why? The main reason was that 1and1 – the registrar for some of our sites has the most terrible domain control panel ever that does not allow configuring TXT records that we need for SPF. See the comparison below.
Employee monitoring software has become commonplace. Many apps take monitor screenshots, capture keystrokes and mouse movements, monitor active applications and visited sites and, in extreme cases, can even take pictures using webcam. It seems to be fair to track what your employees do when they are being paid for their time. After all, if they exchange their time for money, it seems fair for the employer to know what they are paying for. So, why does it still feel morally inappropriate in some cases? The question is far from being just theoretical. If a wrong decision is made, a company may suffer from lawsuits, experience a backlash and overall productivity drop (opposite from what was intended) from their employees or suffer damage to the company’s image. Let’s review in more detail what employee monitoring practices can be considered valid and what should be avoided.