Now that you’ve set up your e-mail client, you can start sending and receiving e-mail. Sending e-mail is easy: select to create a new message, enter the e-mail address of the recipient (be sure to enter the entire address, it should be in the following format: email@example.com), type in a subject field, then type your message. When you’re done, simply hit Send. If you’re already online, the message will be sent automatically, otherwise you will be prompted to go online or it will dial automatically, depending on your setup.
But there is a lot more to e-mail which you will probably discover after using it for a while. First, you can set up an address book where you store the e-mail addresses from all your friends and relatives. This lets you store them electronically and you can address a new e-mail with one click instead of having to type in the entire e-mail address every time. And when you receive an e-mail from somebody not in your address book yet, you can add this person to your address book with just a click.
Then you can set up mailing lists or groups where you group a number of e-mail addresses, give the group a name, and then are able to send out one e-mail to all members in that group. You could create a group for your relatives, one for your friends, one for your co-workers, one for the people in your French basketweaving class, anything you want.
Rules and Filters
Another neat feature is setting up automatic tasks, they are called rules or filters. This lets you automate certain tasks so you don’t have to do them by hand every time. For example, you could set up several folders to stay organized, then set up rules that move e-mail automatically into a certain folder if the e-mail contains a certain subject, comes from a certain sender, etc. Or if you have received a spam message, you can set up a rule that will automatically move any further e-mail you receive from the same sender into the trash. Or if you go on vacation, you could set up a rule that automatically replies to every e-mail you receive with a message saying that you will get back to the sender after you come back from your vacation. The possibilities are endless.
Then you can send attachments via e-mail, a very handy feature. Let’s say you took some pictures on your vacation with your digital camera and saved them on your PC. You want to share some of them with your friends and relatives to show off what a great time you had getting wasted on margaritas, lying at the beach, and getting such a mother of a sunburn that the doctor at the emergency room asked you if you used to work at Chernobyl. How do you get those pictures to them? No need to save them on floppies, stick them in the mail and pray that they’ll arrive this century in one piece. You can send them via e-mail. Create a new message, address it, enter your text, etc., then click on Attachment (usually a button with a paperclip on it). A dialog will appear asking you which file you want to attach. Simply use this dialog to maneuver to the folder that contains the file(s) you want to attach and select it. If you want to attach multiple files, you probably have to repeat this process for every file. When you’re done and hit Send, the e-mail program will make a copy of the selected file (the original file on your hard drive will remain there untouched, don’t worry) and send it to the recipients. With this method you can send any type of file, text documents, spreadsheets, video clips, sound files, picture files, anything. The only caveat here is that most ISPs limit the size of attachments, common limits are anywhere between 1 and 5 MB. If you have more than that to send, you might have to split it up and send multiple e-mails.
– Alex –