Archive for the ‘email’ Category

Techie Tip of the Week: Creating Email Aliases Using the + Key

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Many email providers, including Stanford, Gmail, and Hotmail, allow you to use an email address by simply adding a + sign at the end of your username and then adding text before the @ symbol.

For example, if your email address is, you could use the alias

Regardless of the letters or numbers you put at the end of the + sign, the email will be sent to your Stanford email address (or Gmail or Hotmail, if you use those email providers).

So why would you use this?

Suppose you’re a professor in the Psychology department. You teach classes in psych1, psych2, and psych3. You could tell your students that your email address is:

  • for the students in Psych1
  • for the students in Psych2
  • for the students in Psych3

Then, using email filters (rules), you could divert email sent to to a folder or tag named psych1.

Or, you could use the email address when you sign up at banking sites, when you sign up for social media sites, etc.

Best part? You don’t need to sign up for anything to use this service — you can just go ahead and use it!

Techie Tip of the Week: Schedule Email in Gmail

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Last week, we talked about how to schedule an email to be delivered at a later date using Zimbra (Stanford Email). This week, we’ll show how to have the same feature in Gmail.

Unfortunately, the feature is currently not automatically built-in to Gmail. To allow for future-sending of email in Gmail, you need to install and activate the Gmail Delay Send script.

Details, including a step-by-step video showing how to implement the script are found on the Google Code site:

If you wish to uninstall Gmail Delay Send, follow the steps outlined on the uninstall page:

Techie Tip of the Week: Schedule Stanford Mail To Be Sent Later

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Hey, Stanford users! Did you know that you can schedule your Stanford Email (Zimbra) to be sent at a later date? Suppose you want to send an email out next week on Wednesday. But you know that you’re going to be out of the office. Here’s how you would send that email:

  1. Open your Stanford Email (
  2. Compose your email as normal (Mail > New).
  3. To the right of the Sendbutton is a black arrow pointing downwards. Click that arrow (but be sure to click ONLY the arrow, and not the rest of the Send button).Then, click Send Later.


  4. Enter the date and time the message will be sent, and then click OK.
  5. The message will be sent on the date and time you selected!


NOTE: If you change your mind, and want to either edit the message or send it at a different time:

  1. In Stanford Email, select Drafts. Locate and double-click the email. 
  2. Make any changes you wish to make, and then repeat steps 3-5.

Techie Tip of the Week: Forwarding Voicemail Messages as Email

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Hey Stanford users! Did you know that you can have your voicemail messages automatically sent to your email?

Here’s how:

  1. In a web browser, go to
  2. After authenticating, enter your 10-digit phone number and your voicemail password (note: NOT your SUNet ID password).
  3. In the navigation menu, click Options.
  4. In the User Preferences menu, click Forward to Email.
  5. In the View User Parameters window, click Edit.
  6. Check the box Forward All Mails Enabled.
  7. To keep a copy of the voicemail in the voicemail system, check the Keep a copy box. This will mean that you can still retrieve voicemail via the phone system. To ONLY access voicemail via email, uncheck the Keep a copy box.
  8. Uncheck the Do not Forward Automatic Message box. If your mailbox contents reach 80% of the quota, the system will send you a notification message. When you get this message, you will need to delete some messages. If your mailbox reaches 100% of its message quota, it will not accept new messages. Leaving this box selected means you will NOT receive system-generated messages such as quota alerts.
  9. In the Forward to Email Addresses box, enter the email address(es) where you want to receive your voicemail. If using multiple addresses, separate them by a comma.
  10. Click Update to save, or Cancel to return to the previous screen without saving.

You will now begin receiving new voicemail messages via email.

Techie Tip of the Week: Automate Gmail Using Filters

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Last year, we talked about automating the handling of your email by setting up rules using Apple Mail, Outlook, and Stanford Email (Zimbra).

This week, since many are moving to Gmail (undergraduate students were migrated over the summer, and some departments have converted to Gmail), we thought we’d cover how to do a similar function in Gmail.

Filters are rules that you can set up that are applied you open your mail. For example, you can set up a rule to automatically shunt all email from your supervisor into a special label. Or suppose you want all email from your favorite email distribution list to be starred automatically. Or automatically archive or delete email messages. Filters can do that automatically for you!

To set up a filter in Gmail:

  1. Click the Gear icon (located in the upper right corner of the Gmail window) and select Settings.
  2. Click Filters.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of your screen and click Create a new filter.
  4. Enter your filter conditions and criteria.For example, to create a filter to isolate all of the email from your boss, put the boss’s email address in the From field.Or to filter out all the email messages in your account with the word  “widget”, enter “widget” in the Has the words field.

    Then, click Create filter with this search.

  5. Select the desired action.To have the filter also use email that is currently in your Inbox (as opposed to just email that will come in after you create the filter), click Also apply filter to matching conversations.For example, to have messages that meet the criteria chosen in step 4 be automatically starred, the label boss applied to them, and automatically marked as important, check the appropriate checkbox.
  6. Click Create filter to finalize the filter.


Techie Tip of the Week: 6 Ways to Compose Effective Email

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

20120804-131736.jpgThis week, we thought we’d share some tips on composing email and getting desired responses from email you send.

Some of these tips are from IT Service’s Tips for Using Email Effectively; others are courtesy
CBS and Dave Johnson, a former Microsoft employee specializing in computing and technology, writing for CBS.

  1. Consider the content
    Consider if email is the best method of communicating your content since it is not always the best way to communicate certain types of information. (Sensitive information, for example, may be better shared in a personal conversation that allows you to gauge the recipient’s response as you share the information.)
  2. Consider the recipient(s)

    Make sure the recipient is the best person to address the content of your email. Since email is an effective way to share information, consider whether the content is useful to anyone other than the primary recipient and whether it is appropriate to share the content with others. Consider cc-ing all those mentioned in the email.
    If your email is a request for action or information, only put one person in the “To” field. More than that reduces the likelihood that anyone will act.

  3. Use an explicit Subject line and put your requests up front.
    Busy people often use the Subject line to determine whether they should read the message now or later. A Subject line should be specific, brief, and meaningful. It should quickly and clearly set the recipient’s expectation regarding the topic covered in the body of the email, and if urgent, entice the recipient to read the message soon. Get your request into the first sentence. Provide the details afterward.
  4. Be clear, specific, and keep it short and simple.
    Recipients are much more likely to read your email if it is short and to the point. When dealing with lengthy content, consider whether you can break the content up into separate emails. If not, consider using headings, subheading, and bulleted or numbered lists to break your email up into manageable chunks and help the recipient focus on the important points. Say what you need, when you need it, and who should provide it.
  5. Anticipate and answer or acknowledge further questions.
    Think about what questions the recipient of your email might raise. Address these questions in your original email to help avoid longer than necessary email “threads.”
  6. Proofread your email before sending.
    Make sure the message is clear and concise. Remember that correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation does matter to some recipients.

Techie Tip of the Week: Use Word’s Mail Merge to Send Email to Multiple Recipients

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Did you know that you can easily create and send personalized email newsletters and messages to multiple recipients using Microsoft Word (coupled with Excel)?  Although the bulk of the content of the email will be the same, you can customize or personalize parts of the email.

Each message will be a unique email, and you can personalize each one — for example, by addressing each recipient by name. The names and email addresses would come from a data source, like an Excel spreadsheet. Since each email is a separate message, you can use the To: field instead of the Bcc: field! This can make it less likely that your recipient’s email servers will treat the email as spam.

For detailed step-by-step instructions:



Techie Tip of the Week: Check out the upgraded webmail and webcal!

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

On February 3, 2012, the Stanford email and calendar servers are upgrading to provide added functionality and improved performance.

This major upgrade includes a number of changes and new features, including:

  • Send email later: You can delay sending a message by setting a delivery date and time for the message. Click on the triangle next to the Send button to access this option.
  • Undo option: An Undo option appears in the banner immediately after deleting or moving messages, contacts, or tasks. This lets you undo the previous action.
  • Preview the Calendar in an email invitation: Calendar invitations now include a snippet from your calendar. You can see how a new meeting request fits into your schedule for the day without switching to the Calendar application.
  • Streamlined New Appointment screen: The tabs for Schedule, Location, and Resources have been replaced by a single interface that will load the availability information of attendees as they are added. Hovering over the availability will show you the details of any meetings, provided you have permission to see it.
  • Restore previously deleted items: You can self-restore messages, contacts, appointments and tasks that have been deleted from your Trash folder. Just right click on the Trash and choose “Recover Deleted Items.”
  • People Search field: You can quickly search StanfordWho by entering a name or address in the People Search field. The search auto-completes as you type.

For information about these changes and many others, see the “What’s New and Different” web page:
or video:

If you have any questions or if you experience any problems, please submit a HelpSU request:

Removing the names and email addresses from the AutoComplete list in Outlook

Friday, September 16th, 2011

AutoComplete is a feature in Outlook which displays suggestions for names and email addresses as you start to type them. these suggestions come from people to whom you have previously sent email.

But suppose you want to flush out the AutoComplete list — maybe your colleague’s email address has changed, or you accidentally sent email to a personal address instead of a professional one. How do you empty the AutoComplete list and start anew?

To reset the AutoComplete list:

1. Make sure Outlook is NOT running.
2. In Windows XP, click the Start menu, and then click Run. In Windows Vista or 7, click the Windows icon.
3. In the dialog box, enter the following, and then click Enter:
outlook.exe /cleanautocompletecache

Outlook will start, and the AutoComplete list will be erased.

Techie Tip of the Week: CSS Rules You Can Use in HTML Email Newletters

Friday, August 19th, 2011

When designing an HTML Email Newsletter, you need to be careful about using the newer web-creation techniques like HTML5 and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).

Several popular email clients (in particular, Outlook and Google Mail) cannot understand or process the majority of CSS rules, so if you use them, the email will end up looking bland and ordinary.

Fortunately, Campaign Monitor (a commercial email newsletter service) has put together a Guide to CSS support in email — a web page version, a PDF version, and an Excel spreadsheet version to help you figure out which CSS rules you can use, and when you can use them!

For more information on creating HTML email newsletters, come to our Techie Festival Lecture Creating HTML Email Newsletters!

These days, email isn’t just plain text anymore. In this class, you’ll learn how to create state-of-the-art-looking emails with colors, fonts, and graphics, laid out into columns and sections. We’ll cover the tools and steps you need to take to create beautiful, professional emails, as well as some of the problems you might encounter (and how to fix them!).

Bring your laptop to play along with the presenter! (Demo files will be provided to participants.)