A Simpler Guide to Gmail – the fifth Edition

2020 has been a strange year. It’s taken a while but I’m updating my website again and what better way to add to the site and put all the books I’ve made in 2020 on it! I published a Simpler Guide to Gmail in January this year but I’ve only just realised I didn’t put it on my own blog. I blame Covid 19, home schooling and the new puppy! Anyway, if you are new to Gmail and want to get to grips with the online software, A Simpler Guide to…

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The Parent’s Guide to Kid-Proofing Your Devices

Technology has changed the way we live our daily lives. From being able to get reports about what’s happening around the world to allow us to pay our bills easier, technology is a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, the same rings true for many children. Children are often rambunctious to the point that they are unpredictable, and that behavior mixed with technology can spell disaster. Here are a few tips for keeping your technology and devices protected from your kids. Phone Having a phone — and often a smartphone…

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A password keeper for every taste from animals to diesel engine repair

Password keeper

Looking for a password keeper? I’ve made a range of password journals to fit different tastes. Love animals? How about a password book that looks like a kitten or puppy password book? Like Knitting or love tinkering with car engines? Then there’s Knitting for Beginners and a Diesel Engine Repair Manual made just for you. Every password keeper has alphabetical tabs running down the right hand side with space for all your important login information for websites. Hidden in plain sight What makes these books really special is that can…

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Dropbox vs Google Drive

Question about Dropbox vs Google Drive. Answer based on the Quora question: Is Google Drive better than Dropbox Both Dropbox and Google Drive offer storage and collaborative-working services They both have their advantages and of course their disadvantages. This blog post looks at some of these. Dropbox vs Google Drive, which would you choose? I use both Dropbox and Google Drive for different purposes. This is the beauty of online storage, there is nothing stopping you from using one over the other or from using both. This can be for…

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Home library: Storing books with no shelf space

Question about a home library. Answer based on the Quora question: What is the best way to organize books if I don’t have a bookshelf? If there is no shelf space available in your home librasry then sometimes the only way books can be stored is in a box hidden in a cupboard, the garage or even the attic. The question then is how do you find a book once is it is stowed away? Fear not Ceri Clark, former Librarian has the answer. I used to be the library manager…

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Q&A: Organising hard and paperbacks in the home.

Question:  Home Design: What is the best way to organize books if I don’t have a bookshelf? I don’t have money to invest in a bookshelf, but would like to better organize my books! I have perhaps 3 bookshelf worth of books, and would like to be able to browse them. You could always box them up out of sight and use software called Calibre to catalogue your books. You could then browse them like a library catalogue but on your home computer.  Calibre is very versatile and you can…

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Q&A What is the difference between marking a message as read and archiving it?

Question: What is the difference between marking a message as read and archiving it? A read and archived message are different things. You can have a read or an unread email that is archived. When a message is archived, what you are really doing is removing the inbox label from the email. This means it is removed from the inbox. It can be read or unread at this point. When you read or mark an email as read, Gmail will change the colour of the email on the homepage but…

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Q&A What’s the best way to organize my inbox such that I can mark messages which I still need to respond to differently from ones which I am waiting on a response to?

Question: What’s the best way to organize my inbox such that I can mark messages which I still need to respond to differently from ones which I am waiting on a response to? In my book Email Management using Gmail, I advocate the use of creating three inboxes. Urgent messages stay in your primary inbox and others are filtered automatically by filters you set up or are moved by you to the new folders to be dealt with in order of urgency when you have time. The three inboxes I suggest in…

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Q&A How do I find my new emails in Gmail?

Question: How do I find my new emails in Gmail? Gmail will usually put new emails at the top. The exceptions are if it is considered spam or you have filtered your emails to go into folders (labels). How can you tell they are new? It will also usually be white and go grey when you have read it. Filtered emails If it has been filtered or moved by Gmail look in your All mail label/folder on the left of the browser screen when Gmail is open. Your email swill be in date…

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Q& A How do I archive drafts on Gmail?

Question: How do I archive drafts on Gmail? There are draft emails that I’ve written. I don’t want to send them or delete them. I don’t want them clogging up my drafts inbox (which serves kinda like a to-do list). Yet I want to keep them just in case. How do I archive them? If you want to keep them as emails I would send them to myself and then add labels to them. You can use the label “Archived drafts” but more specific ‘folders’ may be appropriate as well. The great thing…

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Email Management using Gmail gets a 5* Review

Readers’ Favorite Review Email Management using Gmail by Ceri Clark shows ways to automate one’s email organization, specifically aimed at users of Gmail. It helps one in doing more productive work, rather than fighting the monster of email overload. It begins with a general discussion on the use of Gmail, a quick start guide where the facilities available and how to set them up are demonstrated. Use of labels, filters, groups and related particularities are treated at length with an overview of housekeeping of mails in general. Operational tips and…

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Q&A What is the best font for email signatures? Why?

The question: What is the best font for email signatures? Why? Email signatures need to be clear and easy to read. Readers need to get pertinent information quickly and easily. Sans serif fonts are best like Arial and Verdana because they are clear and also because most if not all people will have them on their computers. I would like to add as someone with visual problems that the size should be ‘normal’ or at least 12pt. Most important of all, grey writing and lighter coloured text should not be used. Even…

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Why a Gmail Inbox beats all other email accounts to save you time

Business woman in corridor with a Copy of A Simpler Gyuide to Gmail

I have used Google’s Gmail for my main email for years. I have also used Hotmail, Yahoo, Outlook and various smaller email addresses like [email protected] That email address doesn’t exist anymore and I’m still waiting to be that millionaire! My book, A Simpler Guide to Gmail, does go into why Gmail is such a great option for sending and receiving email but if you have bought my book you already know how great it is. This blog post is for people undecided among the big free email providers. Here’s why…

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Q&A My books have gone from Calibre, how do I get them back?

My books have gone, how do I get them back? A quick tip from A Simpler Guide to Calibre. It can happen that when you first load Calibre your books all seemed to have disappeared. This is usually because the software has been told your e-books library has moved to a different folder and is now pointing to the wrong place. This has happened to me during upgrades for example. Another reason may be that a special file called metadata.db (which is in the folder where your books are stored)…

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Q&A Have a small library but cannot afford a library management system (LMS) like Oliver, Unicorn or IS OXFORD? How about trying Calibre the free ebook library software?

I worked in libraries for over 11 years before giving up work to look after my son and write books. I understand that sometimes small libraries whether they are school libraries or corporate information departments don’t have the money to buy a full-blown library catalogue. When you work in these organisations you may not need all the features of a full-blown library management system. If that is the case for you, give Calibre a look. Calibre is free software downloadable from the internet. You can install it like any desktop…

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Why students should use Calibre to organize their ebooks, papers and other documents: A Simpler Guide to Calibre – the perfect gift for students

It is not so long ago that I don’t remember what it was like as a student. Ahhh the life, drinking to the early hours while philosophizing about life, the universe and everything. Rocking up to the occasional lecture or watching daytime TV with a tin of baked beans in one hand and a spoon in the other. Oh wait, that wasn’t me, I was the goody-two-shoes who turned up at EVERY lecture, did her homework, went to the library and looked jealously on at the students nursing hangovers in…

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How Calibre can help authors organize their research and convert their books before uploading to Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)

I love Calibre. I love it so much I wrote a book on it. As an author, what’s not to like? It’s free. I should probably say that again. It’s free (very important for the cash strapped author). It can do so much like organizing your books, it is an ebook converter and you can read books on it and did I mention it’s free? Calibre is a powerful tool in an author’s arsenal. It can save you time in more than one way. If you have found this article…

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Updating CeriClark.com

Oh procrastination, how I hate thou. Nah, I don’t really, How could I, we’re the best of chums. We meet every day before breakfast, after breakfast, have an early morning meeting before agreeing to meet up for the afternoon. Of course I wouldn’t want to offend my friend so we regularly meet up in the evenings as well. My latest flirt with procrastination was rebuilding this site. I have a confession, I lurve messing with websites, the frustration of plugins not working, the tweaking of the themes – manna from…

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Cyber crime and hacking from the eyes of the bad guys

Have you ever wanted to know about hacking and cybercrime? Well I’ve been hooked since the eighties although I usually reserve my curiosity for for films and TV programmes with hacking in them.Last week I attended the HP Labs lecture in Bristol about cyber crime. Usually I go to HP Labs lectures for the free food and alcohol at the end (my husband goes for the techie lectures) but since I am up the duff the alcohol has been off limits so it takes a really good lecture to get…

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Designing the Myrddin Publishing website

After leaving my previous publisher, I joined a group of authors who decided to group together to create our own ‘true’ cooperative. We were all very excited to do this. We would all be Indie authors but have the support and combined experience of the group. We all have talents we could share and with the enhanced marketing and bulk buying power of several people we thought we could try something different. The beauty of the cooperative was that any author could stay in the group even if they were…

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