One of the inherent problems we all have is that Email is so unreliable, if your email goes down even for an hour, you hit the roof and generally feel disconnected from the world around you. Steps need to be changed and better systems put into place, upgrades, back ups and very commonly 2nd, or 3rd reserve emails are set up.
It all makes things very complicated. It's quite unnecessary:
- KISS - Keep it Simple Stupid
Stick to as few email addresses as possible... you don't need one for this and one for that, it just leads to confusion as you try to work out which ones is doing what.
- Do Not Rely on Email
If running and e-commerce website - then refer to the Database - because that's where your orders are keep. Try and avoid depending on email for important information. Email is inherently unreliable by it's very nature (see Spam note).
- Clear Your Back Ups
It's fine to have your emails sent to a back up email address - but clear them up periodically or it's useless. Back up email address can build up GB's of data over time, it's all useless, out of date information. I have seen accounts with 30,000 unread messages - no-one is ever going to read them... Back up should be limited to at most a single month's worth of email. Remember all email is generally responded to or deleted.
Then there's Spam and perhaps more importantly the fight against spam. Having Spam filtering and anti-spam software can easily lead to bigger headaches than it is often worth. All your good message disappear into the Spam folder and friends emails become marked as Spam.
Increasingly the fight against Spam is also been dealt with at Server level, so Spam is filtered even before it reaches you, so email simple goes 'missing'.
The bottom line is that due to Spam (which accounts for more than two thirds of the worlds email) causes email to be unreliable as a communication tool.
So what is the best set up: I'll explain what I do:
- I have 1 email address email@example.com
- I use Google Apps and Gmail is an exceptionally reliable email system
- I forward email such as firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to my main email
- I channel all my email through 1 email address
- I do not bother forwarding or backing up
- I have never lost an email since 2003 (famous last words)
- I go through ALL my spam
- I have a back up email address firstname.lastname@example.org - should I need it
- And sure I have signed up to loads of 'free' services like Hotmail and Yahoo - just in case, but I've never even considered using them.
- And finally - I am increasing using LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to contact people.
So that's a few pointers on email - that might not appear very robust to people, but actually think about it and it's a lot more robust than it first appears. I only have one email address to worry about, I am using a world wide first rate service from one of the worlds biggest companies, Google, I am taking into account the possibility that even Google might fail with my back options available to me and finally I am NOT creating any extra work for myself with having to 'manage' a back up solution.
To me that all sounds like common sense, but I'd be delighted to hear other peoples views and possible corrections I could make.