Archive for Uncategorized

Forwarding Important Email to Your Phone As A Text Message Using Gmail

I learned something new yesterday. I was waiting for an important email to arrive, but also had a great deal of other work to do.

Generally, what happens if I am waiting for email, is that I open and check Gmail every ten minutes or so. Most of the time there’s something interesting there to see or read, and before I know it, I’ve blown away a good hunk of work time.

So, as I waited for this email, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if I could ignore my email and just have that particular message sent to my phone as a text message?”

It turns out that I could do just that.

The first thing you need to do to accomplish this is to find out your phone’s email address. Yes, it has one. Generally, it’s your ten digit phone number @ your carrier domain, but the fastest and most foolproof way to find out the address is to start a new text message on your phone, and put your email address where the recipient phone number or contact name usually goes. This will send an email from your phone, and it will reveal your phone’s email address when you receive it.

Once you’ve got the correct email address, you can set that address up as a forwarding email in Google. Click the Gear icon on the top right hand side of Gmail, choose Settings, then pick the Forwarding and POP/IMAP.

Right at the top of that screen is the place to choose a forwarding address. You might get squeamish at this point, thinking you’re forwarding all your mail to your phone, which would be a mess, but as long as the “Disable Forwarding” checkbox is ticked, you’re safe. Add your phone’s email address and confirm.

Once it’s added (and forwarding is still disabled!) use the link at the bottom of the forwarding tools to create a filter. Choose to filter either by sender email, or by a word in the subject line, or both to make sure you only get the important email sent to your phone, then click, “Create Filter With This Search.”

The next screen will let you choose what to do with matching messages. Choose the “Forward to” checkbox, and choose your SMS email from the drop down select box beside it.

Click the submit button to create the filter, and you’re done! You can stop checking your mail constantly, because you’ll be instantly alerted on your phone when the urgent message appears.

Finding People Online

I never thought that being a people finder would be something I would do. It never even crossed my mind. Then an elderly friend of mine asked me to find his old high-school sweetheart — no, he didn’t want to rekindle his lost love, he actually just wanted to know if she still had his high school ring, since he’d like to give it to his son.

It took a few hours of research to narrow it down to one individual, but not only did I find her current address and phone number, I also was able to see pictures of her home courtesy of Google Street View, as well as interior photos from the realtor from back in 2005 when she and her husband bought it. I knew the price they paid for it, and the post-crash value (ouch!). Searching social media I found pictures of her, her family, her cars… it’s actually kind of scary how much data is out there about a 74 year old woman who doesn’t have a single social media account. She possibly doesn’t even use the Internet, yet her life is all over it.

A few weeks later came another request to find a client’s half-brother. This was a bit of a challenge, as the brother’s name was quite a common one, but since we knew his approximate age and that he had lived in Virginia at one time, I was able to use those items as filters to find all the information needed to facilitate a family reunion.

After stumbling upon those two jobs, I decided to try find my oldest childhood friend. The trick was that I only sort of knew his last name. I knew how it was pronounced, but not how it was spelled. It took longer than I thought it would, but eventually I found myself creeping his Facebook profile. It took a day before I decided to send a friend request. It’s just weird friending someone you haven’t seen in over three decades.

To get to a point, if there is one, while I may or may not continue with this line of work, I can see that as the population ages, there will be an increasing demand for people who can ferret out information on family, friends and acquaintances from the past who hold memories for the elderly.

I have a friend who makes a pretty good second income for her family by doing something similar, except for long lost ancestors. She mostly scours old databases of obituaries, town archives and newspapers to help people fill out their family trees.

People-finding seems to me to be a great work-at-home job for anyone with a passion for research. All you need to get started is a computer with internet access and a telephone, and a bit of advertising to get your first clients.

The Price of Success

From an unknown author comes the all-important question to every seeker for success:

“You want success. Are you willing to pay the price for it?
“How much discouragement can you stand?
“How much bruising can you take?
“How long can you hang on in the face of obstacles?
“Have you the grit to try to do what others have failed to do?
“Have you the nerve to attempt things that the average man would never dream of tackling?
“Have you the persistence to keep on trying after repeated failures?
“Can you cut out luxuries? Can you do without things that others consider necessities?
“Can you go up against skepticism, ridicule, friendly advice to quit, without flinching?
“Can you keep your mind steadily on the single object you are pursuing, resisting all temptations to divide your attention?
“Have you the patience to plan all the work you attempt; the energy to wade through masses of detail; the accuracy to overlook no point, however small, in planning or executing?
“Are you strong on the finish as well as quick at the start?
“Success is sold in the open market. You can buy it–I can buy it–any man can buy it who is willing to pay the price for it.”