Thursday, September 5, 2013

Switching Emails

Getting up to date often means switching to a new email carrier. But what are we to do with our contacts? 

The usual reaction is:"I don't want to switch". Maybe we are just afraid of "losing our contacts" in the process. We do not want the hassle, either. Indeed, switching, converting, and transferring can be difficult and time consuming.

The alternative of typing them all in again usually will be quicker and easier than converting or transferring them, but it is still a nuisance. 

So there is a better way, a simpler way. It works like this. First, set up the new email provider. Set up the account and the password. From your old email address send a group email to everybody advising them of your new email address and ask them to email you back that they have received it. Then send another email back to them. 

Your contacts will now appear in your new email contacts directory. 

Here is the process in more detail. 

Search Google for the provider registration instructions, then complete them. Just filling out the instructions might be the worst part of the job. It is important to get the login and password right. I have noticed about half of users get it wrong and thereby get in deep trouble.

Most users are going to Gmail now. Gmail has some security questions and a block of letters and numbers you can hardly read for you to input. Get out your magnifier. Don't worry, if you got it wrong you will get another chance and another and another. Gmail has the enormous benefit that they are not kept locally where you could lose them. 

Now that you're signed up and you have a new email address, and be sure to get that right, go back to your old email and send a group message to everybody that you are about to change your email email address. All the old email carriers have their own way of sending out a group email so that you will need to check out how that is done if you do not know already.

The idea is that you'll be sending a single email to all of your contacts at a one shot. This will be a short email. 

Tell everybody that you will be switching to a new email address and would like to have them email you back to confirm that they have received it and will be using it. You might also ask them to update you on any changes in their address and so forth. Then give it some time and go back to your new email. 

As messages come in confirm back that you have received them. This will automatically place them in your new contacts list. Those who do not reply to you will not be included in the new list, so that your list is automatically updated for only active contacts.

After a few days print out your new contact list and compare to the old one to add any old contacts you still want to include. You may also want to adjust the Gmail settings to forward any mails going to your old address. When you receive them your response will go out with a new email address. Anyone replying to your email will automatically be redirected to that address.

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