00:46 – In this series…
01:21 – From Outlook to Gmail
03:12 – Advantages of the switch
6:27 – A couple of big tips
8:07 – The search king
13:46 – Have this switched on
15:12 – Intelligent filters
18:19 – The wrap-up
20:05 – What you can do
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James Schramko here. Welcome back to SuperFastBusiness.com. It’s my great pleasure to introduce our special guest from ITGenius.com. Welcome Peter Moriarty.
Peter: James, thank you so much for having me. I appreciate you inviting me on.
James: Now we speak every week because I help you out with things in your business. Your business focuses particularly on helping people be more productive and especially using Google products. So we’re going to be talking about three different elements in particular over this series.
The first episode is going to cover email. The second episode is going to cover the flexibility of using some of the Google products, and the third episode, we’re really going to get into productivity and to see how we can make our business more productive.
I’m really excited about this series because I’ve been through this change with my own business, and it first started probably about six years ago. I think I switched from Windows to Mac. That put me in the situation where I now had to decide, where do I go from Outlook. Of course, most Windows computers operators are going to be using Outlook. Outlook is a pretty strong, powerful program. I was well and truly indoctrinated into it having used it in my last job as well.
So I got to this point where there wasn’t really a simple Outlook for Mac situation to take on. I made the big switch to go to Gmail. I’ve got to tell you Pete, it was actually a lot harder than I thought in the beginning because of the way that they’re so different. Maybe we could highlight a couple of the differences and then I can let you know what happened.
Outlook vs. Gmail
Peter: Yeah. There certainly are some differences. Outlook is very popular in the corporate world and also I guess in the small business world. The big shift that’s been happening over the last five to 10 years is that consumerization of technology, and that includes business technology, so you’ve seen players like Dropbox and Evernote come in, and all of a sudden, small business owners and employees working in businesses have productivity tools that don’t need an IT guy to set them up and run them. They’re able to just be installed all by yourself, and you can send a Dropbox link with some photos to Mum or to Grandma, and they can probably work out how to go to Dropbox.com, and download it, and install it.
Google came along, and they created this thing called Gmail, which was initially a consumer product, but it’s now making the jump into small business and also into the enterprise as well. So lots of changes coming in that kind of space. Lots and lots of businesses are now choosing Gmail over Outlook, which as you said is a bit of jump, but there’s some advantages of making the switch.
James: Well let’s talk about a couple of those advantages, some reasons why we might consider the change. Certainly in my case, one of the appealing things was that it was cloud-based instead of using an app on my computer. So I was able to release myself from being trapped by the laptop.
Now I’m sure some of these other solutions have got cloud-based versions now. But at the time, Gmail was in the cloud. That meant that my computer, I started to release it from being required to more of just a terminal situation. Now I could log in to my email from any device, even if I was at an airport, and I’m not highly recommending that by any means, but if you needed to, you could log in to your Gmail from anywhere.
The second thing is, there’s more of a pro version, isn’t there Pete? I think it was called Google Apps for Work.
Peter: Yeah correct. Google Apps for Work is the business version of Gmail. So the consumer edition is Gmail, and if you’ve got firstname.lastname@example.org or maybe it’s email@example.com or something like that…
James: Those two are virtually interchangeable, aren’t they?
Peter: Yeah, exactly. [laughs]
James: Peter Moriarty, sexy honey. Same thing. All goes to the same place.
Peter: Exactly. They all filter in the same one.
Peter: So those are consumer mailboxes with Gmail. But the business version of Gmail, which is Google Apps for Work, allows you to bring your own domain name. So my business domain name, ITGenius.com, I’m able to have my business email address there. So Peter@ITGenius.com, but it’s all in the same interface. So when I sign in to Gmail, or Google drive, or Google Hangouts, or I use my Google calendar and send an invite to someone, all those applications, I’m using my business address.
What some people do is they use a consumer Gmail address, so an @gmail.com email address, and they forward their business emails into Gmail, and then they send as their business address from Gmail from the consumer version. That’s kind of like a hack way to get the similar kind of effect, but what that happens is if someone sends you a calendar invite and you accept that calendar invite, the calendar invite acceptance that goes back to that person says you’re sexyhoney69@gmail account.
So the Google Apps for Work is a paid product from Google. It comes with support from Google as well. Depending on what part of the world you’re in, you’re probably going to be paying either 5 USD per person per month for the product or 5 AUD if you happen to be in Australia per person per month. That gets you a mailbox, access to storage on Google drive, Google calendar, and that suite of business apps, which is what Google Apps is called.
So if you’ve used Gmail before, it’s exactly the same experience. It’s the same apps. You’re getting the same version. It all looks and feels the same, but you’re getting your business domain name and a business address on there instead of a consumer Gmail address.
James: Right. So how many times have you followed a plumbing truck and it’s got like FredSmith@hotmail.com, or even worse, something like TedTurner@bigpond.net. That is not a professional approach to business.
So number one, first big tip, use a business name for your communications to the world. Secondly, I really liked what you said there Pete, is not doing the Band-Aid version, the one where you use redirects on your hosting or your cPanel because what happens invariably with that is, firstly, you tend to run out of memory at some point where your email stop working. That happens quite a lot. You may find that emails get stuck somewhere along the way. It’s so much more powerful to use Google as your email server so that you’re not pushing stuff through your own hosting account.
Let your hosting account just be for your website. I might add, the same applies for videos and audio hosting. Please, use somewhere like Amazon or Libsyn for your podcasts, and use somewhere like Wistia or YouTube, another Google company, or Vimeo for your videos. Don’t try and run all these media or emails through your host. Keep it away from it.
“Let your hosting account just be for your website.”
The other thing that happens, and we notice this a fair bit with the website hosting side of our business when we had it before we sold it earlier this year is that when you make changes to your site or you move hosting, quite often people forget the whole email thing, and it’s quite inconvenient. So it’s simply a matter of pointing your mail server at your host towards Google and then they handle all your emails. So that’s very simple to set up once. Powerful and for a very low cost, for that $5 per person per month, you’re getting a very powerful email system.
2 great things about Google
One of the great things I like about Google, there’s actually two, one is that they’re incredibly searchable, which is no surprise. That is Google’s thing. The best search algorithm of the planet.
Peter: Absolutely. They’re the search king.
James: So it is like this incredible archive of your emails and you can search for anything. I just went in actually and searched for Peter when we started this call, and I found our show notes that we had drafted. So I don’t have to save it to my computer or have any system other than using Gmail or Google Apps for Work.
Two is they’re really good at managing spam. I’m getting a lot less offers for Rolex, and Viagra, and undiscovered rich gold bars that I can get access to because of an inheritance type of thing. So they have a very good spam filter and a way of deciding who should make it into your inbox and who doesn’t.
Peter: Yeah well, if you think about it, Google have nearly a billion users on Gmail now. Some of our friends at Google told us the other day when we were around there, and if they have visibility into that many people’s mailboxes, if 10 or 100 people mark an email message as spam that’s gone out in a broadcast, it’s pretty quickly going to pull it out of everybody else’s mailboxes as well. So Google is able to do that.
I want to really focus in one thing you talked about there, which was the search, and this is to the listener as well, think about when you got your first email address probably in the mid to late 90’s, that email address probably had a really small limit on the mailbox size. It might have been 5MB or 10 MB or maybe a little bit more if you were using Hotmail. If too many of your friends sent you emails with attachments that would fill up and bounce backs would start happening, you’d stop receiving your emails.
The way that we dealt with that was that we started to delete the emails that were kind of the junk from our mailbox. So anything we didn’t need to keep, we’d kind of delete, we’d do a bit of a spring cleaning and then we would drag and drop the important emails into folders. So drag and drop into folders, drag and drop into folders, very manual process, delete, delete, delete, delete. Try and keep that mailbox trim.
One of the big advantages of Gmail is because the amount of data that you can put into Gmail is next to limitless, it means that you just don’t have to worry about trying to keep your inbox trim just to keep it working, keep it performing well. It’s one of the advantages over using Mac Mail or Outlook because with Mac Mail or Outlook, because they’re apps that are installed on your computer, your computer is still doing the heavy lifting to actually make that email work, to store your folders, and if you lose your computer and it wasn’t properly backed up or you lose the data and all those kinds of things as well. Whereas with Google, it kind of frees you from having to manage that data side of the mailbox.
“Google frees you from having to manage the data side of your mailbox.”
Now in my mailbox, in eight-odd years of running this business, I haven’t deleted a single email that’s come in. I’ve hit the Archive button, and I’ve moved them out of my inbox, but I haven’t deleted a single email, and so there’s about 26 gigabytes of email in there, which sounds like a lot. Well, in the real number terms, it’s 250,000, which is a huge amount of email, but I can still run a search for emails back in 2011, and it’s going to show up for me instantly, because Google’s doing the hard work for me in that searching. So even on my mobile device, with the Gmail app, it works in the same way.
And if you’ve ever tried to search for an email, maybe in Outlook, or maybe in the Apple mail app on your iPhone, and it said no, computer says no, or it’s crashed, or Outlook said no, sorry, have to reindex, you know, all of those challenges come up when you’ve got a large amount of email. And for us as business owners, we don’t really want to delete our email, because in a year’s time, a customer might come back to us and say, “Hey, well can I have the same price as last year? You promised me something on email and I’d like the same deal.” Or maybe someone comes back and says, “I want to sue you for something that you did two years ago.”
You need to keep a record of all of these emails, and the irony is that our staff and our teams who maybe change jobs from year to year or once every couple of years, they get a fresh mailbox each time, but us as the business owner, we’ve got to keep all of that data. So Gmail has a really, really great way of keeping you productive by just allowing you to store as much as you need in there and not having to worry about manually doing some kind of archive to keep it nice and trim.
James: Yeah, it’s very good, and you just prompted me to at least say this: if there’s one password that you want to make sure is very, very, secure, this is the one.
James: And that is because it’s usually the centralized place where you have password resets, so I’m thinking about whenever I delete things, it’ll usually be a login or a password, as a just in case, because I know that I can access it again. And I also like how it will send you an alert if a new device logs into your account, because of course you can install it on your phone, you can install it on your iPad or your computer, and you can access it from the cloud, from any device, but it will actually send you an alert, so it’s very important to make sure you have a super secure login. Of all the passwords, this is one that I’ve committed to memory, and it is nowhere else. It’s not used for anything else, it’s not available anywhere, no one else knows it. And it’s like the bank of Switzerland, this one.
Peter: That’s a very great point, James, and important that if this is the gateway to your business in that your Google apps account manages the login to your Google drive, which may have business data, financial data in there, may have access to setting up and adding or removing email addresses for the rest of your business, so you know, the control over your team’s email as well, it’s really important to have that account locked down.
Activate this on your account
And something that I can suggest is if you do have a Google account, whether it’s a consumer account or a business account, you must, must, must, must switch on two-step verification. And what two-step verification is, is it’s similar if you’ve got a business bank account and they send you a little key fob in the mail, which is a little security tag, and when you log in, you’ve got to press a button on the tag and it gives you a little randomly generated six-digit code.
Google’s got the same feature built into their account system for free, on consumer and business accounts. And this is called Google two-step verification. So you can go and search that, Google two-step verification, you’ll find there’s a little wizard on the Google website that you can use to set it up, or even have a little pretty link to make it nice and easy for customers to remember to go there. So it’s ITGenius.com/security, and that will redirect you to the Google page.
Now once you switch that on for your account, any time you log in to a new device for the first time with your Google credentials, with your, obviously, your Gmail account or your Google for work account and your password, it’s going to prompt you for a six-digit code that either gets sent to you as a text message, or you can use a little app called Google Authenticator.
Now what that does is it locks down your account even if somebody gets access to your email address and password. Without that six-digit code, effectively from your smartphone, there’s no one getting access to your account. So that’s an absolute must for all business owners, particularly if you’re putting sensitive data in email or in your Google drive as part of your Google account.
James: Great tip there, Pete. Another thing that I love about the way that Google apps work with your email side of things is the ability to use filtering and rules so that when an email comes in, there’s intelligent logic, and you can set this up, it can be who sent it, it can be some word mentioned in it, it can be any number of combinations. And then you can set it up to move emails out of your inbox and into a special label, and it can be multiple labels. That’s what I like as well. So you don’t have to be using the old folder thinking, where it can only be in one place, that was one of the biggest limitations I found on Outlook systems.
“You don’t have to be using the old folder thinking.”
And I’ve got a couple of examples of filters that I’m using, because I’ve got a philosophy with your inbox that the only things that I want in my inbox are things that require me to take an action. Most other things shouldn’t be taking up my valuable bandwidth or attention. So I’ve got things like a support label, so I’m getting copied in on my support desk tickets, but I don’t have to deal with them, because the team does that, but I can scan through and just see what’s going on at our support center, without having to leave my inbox.
I also have rules for any kind of word. Like “refund”, for example, will trigger a label, “Refund”. So that’s when someone is asking for a rebate or a refund or when I’ve got a refund coming back from something, I want it to show up.
And then there’s other ones like “sales”, because as crazy as it will sound, when you’re making sales every hour or so, or more in some cases, certainly some of my students every few minutes, you don’t need that coming to your inbox, it can be annoying after a while. It’s very, very exciting at the beginning, but after a while, you want to be able to just click on your sales tab and see what’s selling, what’s coming in, what’s come through.
Then you want to have other filters for things like “unsubscribed”, so that you can perhaps follow up, even though that can be automated, I do have automations. I also want to be able to see who’s unsubscribing, and then I can go and get some research, or some feedback. Then there’s other little filters like “tools”, any kind of recurring subscriptions we have for software tools, including the Google for business ones, they’ll show up there. Because they don’t require action, but they do require me to keep an eye on it.
James: We’ll cover that actually in one of our other episodes, we’re going to get into productivity in the third episode, and we’ll talk a little bit more about how you might go about doing this, and what are some of the other things that you and I have discovered, that make our life easy, because it’s my genuine discovery that the thing that’s holding most entrepreneurs back from being successful is they’re just not managing their email very well at all. And both you and I have created courses on this, because it’s so important. You dial this is, you’re going to be on track.
So let’s just wrap this up and see where we’re at. The first main point is why we might consider using Google Apps for Work: because it’s a very powerful brand with a solid system that is super able to be used on any device that is easy to search, very well-organized. It’s both simpler and more effective, which is just amazing. You can have your strong business branding happening, because you’ve got your own domain name and not some Hotmail account. And you can use it on any device.
You can manage your email through Google’s server instead of on your own hosting, which gives you a lot of flexibility, depending on how you want to run your business. You could run your business from a Facebook page or a Wix website or anywhere, now you’re not dependent on having your hosting in cPanel, which can be a problem for you. It’s very secure with this two-step verification process that Peter’s mentioned.
And as you’ll see in the next episode and the episode after that where we’re talking about flexibility and productivity, you’ll see how all the other things that you get with Google Apps for Work can bring your business back to one centralized place, which for $5 per person per month is a bargain. I’ve got a fantastic story to share with you about a couple of other tools that I’ve used. I’m going to talk about why I’ve moved away from Dropbox, and why I’m not using Evernote anymore, and how Google solutions have actually replaced them for me. The big move for me in productivity was to get into that Gmail environment and then to make it a professional version of it.
So moving forward to talking about the up and coming topics in the next few episodes. Pete, thank you for sharing this introduction module and giving us a basic overview. So the steps are: if you’re on Outlook, or if you’re using an unprofessional name for your business, or if you’re finding it very hard to manage your email, and you’re not currently using Google Apps for Work, that is the action step from this episode. Go and pick a domain that you’d like to run your email from, set up – where do you go, Pete, to get this going?
Peter: There’s two options. You can go and have a crack at it yourself, Google provide wizards and those sort of things.
James: By the way, that’s Aussie for “try and do it yourself”.
Peter: [laughs] Try and do it yourself.
James: Have a crack.
Peter: Yeah. And look, for most business owners who value their time and aren’t super savvy with tech stuff, if the thought of DNS records or SPF records scare you and you don’t have a weekend to spend on the phone to support, then we recommend you engage an expert to help you out. We can obviously help with that, our whole business is helping businesses get onto the Google Apps platform and then help those business owners be successful by using it properly and help them to bring growth and change in the business. So we can help out as well.
James: That’s ITGenius.com.
Peter: That’s right, ITGenius.com. And even if you’d just like to learn a bit more about the product and what it does, we’ve got some videos, we’ve got some webinars, we’ve even got a podcast on there as well, with lots and lots of information about using Google in your business and how that can help you be more productive.
James: Yeah. I highly recommend it, it’s what I use to run my business, and we’ve had over 60 users on the platform, one of the best things in my business is this Google solution.
So get that going before the next episode, because when we come back, we’re going to be talking about all the other stuff you get when you get this Google Apps for Work account, and we will be able to show you how to make things a little bit easier for running your business. And if you have a lot of users, or you got a complicated setup, then definitely get help from a professional.
Thanks Pete, I’m going to catch you on the next episode.
Peter: James, I look forward to it. Thanks very much.
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