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You're Going on Vacation - But Your Clients Still Need You
Whether you're going out of town for business or pleasure, many home office workers need or want to keep in touch with clients, customers, and coworkers while on the road. Luckily, with the advent of many new technologies, there are many options for staying on top of your email while out of the office. In addition to the advent of mobile apps for email management, there are tools for automating vacation responses, managing your schedule and tasks, and even forwarding emergency emails to a designated inbox. Just because you're going out of town doesn't mean that you have to lose touch, in fact, when you keep in touch with your clients, they are less likely to worry that you've fallen off the face of the earth while you're vacationing in Costa Rica.
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Email Forwarding and Vacation Responses
One of the first things you should do when you are planning to hit the road, is set up email forwarding and automatic responses in your email. Many email programs allow you to send an automatic response to those who email you. Even if you plan on checking your email while you are traveling, by warning your clients, customers, and colleagues that they should expect slower responses is an important part of customer service. You can simply input something like:
"I will be responding slower than normal to email from x/xx to x/xx. Please excuse the delay in response to your concerns, they are important to me."
In addition, in order to streamline checking your email while on the road, you may wish to set up email forwarding. Doing this consists of having email from different servers forwarded to a personal account or a vacation account. Some programs even allow you to set up filters so that only urgent mail is forwarded on.
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Not for the Faint of Heart: Transferring Your Email Client Files to a Mobile PC
If you will need to have access to all of your email information, you may wish to transfer your email client files from your desktop to a mobile PC. to do this, you'll need a flash drive and you'll need to know where your computer stores your email files.
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Web-Based Pop3 Email Checkers
Luckily, there are a number of free websites you can use to access your POP3 email from any computer. You don't need to register for a user account with these sites and they do not save your email account information. You can use them as frequently or infrequently as you need them. In addition, you can also set your messages to forward to other free online services like Gmail - this is another option for travelers who need to check their email when away from the home office.
Mail2Web is a simple to use website that that allows you check your POP3 email from any browser. You can also compose messages from the site, and there is an encrypted option for security conscious users.
With NetMyMail you can check all your email accounts, both POP3 and IMAP. You can send both plain text and HTML messages from the site, save addresses to an addressbook, and the service supports signatures.
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So, with these great, easy to use tools (did I mention they're free?) you can stay on top of emails wherever you are. Feel free to travel when and where you'd like while letting clients know you're always there for them. Happy Trails!