How to manage your daily emails more effectively

How to manage your daily emails more effectively 1000 450 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

It feels like everyone has a different way of handling email, yet nobody claims they have nailed it. I feel the same way. I think we all receive too many emails and it’s hard not to feel constantly over whelmed, or that I have missed or forgotten something.

This is how I attempt to approach email, and it’s the same with my work day. It’s all about large outcomes for what I am trying to achieve. I try not to get caught in the trap of just working away on things that have little impact, “try” being the operative word. Here is what I do:

  • Check email around 3 times a day 10:00am, 1pm and around 3-4pm. Not checking emails first thing takes discipline and I don’t manage it every day. It is great to start the day knocking off things from my list first as I find I am fresh and ready. It’s a waste to use my fresh brain deleting spam emails or reading some email someone has cc’ed me on just to cover themselves.
  • I have all notifications disabled on email and on my phone. This helped my sanity a lot.
  • Everything needs to be actioned/deleted on the spot or put onto my paper list this gets the inbox to zero every time it’s checked. I only want to have one list and that’s my paper list.
  • I don’t move email into separate folders I just search the one inbox for anything I need. I did try the folders for every email system however I found I could never find anything as the sorting was not consistent enough.
  • I am ruthless with deletion if it’s in the “I am interested however not now category” then it’s gone.
  • I then work on the items on my paper list by largest impact.

I realise that this won’t work for everyone as I have a management position, and generally a lot of the requests are not time critical. I also have the luxury of being able to delegate a lot of requests.

What is your system? Does it make you feel less anxious and stop things slipping through the gaps? I would love to know.

Microsoft Remote Desktop App – Apple and Microsoft play better together in the Cloud

Microsoft Remote Desktop App – Apple and Microsoft play better together in the Cloud 150 150 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne


Up until recently, the ability to connect to a Cloud Windows-based server from an Apple device was limited to relatively unsecure connections and fraught with headaches and issues of compatibility.

Whilst it was possible, the Remote Desktop (RD) client from an Apple device to a Windows-based Remote Desktop Server (RDS) had few options for creating any kind of security between the systems primarily due to the inability of the RD client to support connections via a secure gateway– meaning that if you were previously connecting to your RDS from a Windows-based device, you would not easily have had access to extra security.  As a result this lead to the development of a myriad of third-party tools and apps that attempted to provide these features.  Few of them did this well and the ones that did were not user-friendly and came with a price tag.

So users were left with few choices.  Either only being able to connect to their cloud service via relatively unsecured means, buy a third-party application for every device they would like to connect from or not be able to access their RDS environment from their Mac, iPad or iPhone at all.

Come a month ago however, Microsoft decided it was time for change and to give the Apple community the advantages and security that only Windows users had been able to enjoy.

In mid-October Microsoft released their new, polished and aptly named Microsoft Remote Desktop tool that finally provides the long needed and secure means for Apple device users to easily connect to their Windows-based cloud environment.  Built on customised acquired technology Microsoft Remote Desktop allows Apple users to connect as easily as Windows users with all the same benefits such as RD gateway security, printer and drive redirection and without the previous incompatibilities between the two systems.

The Microsoft Remote Desktop App is now available on the App Store and also works on your iPad and iPhone– and best of all, it comes absolutely free.

Greenlight has developed a Cloud Based Remote Desktop Server platform called inCloud.  This is a robust, proven, secure environment where you can host your line of business applications and data at a per user / month price point. 

Going Mobile With iPhone Tethering

Going Mobile With iPhone Tethering 150 150 Greenlight Managed IT Support Services | Sydney | Melbourne

Recently I have had a few conversations with people who were looking to shop for internet access points. You know, the little pocket sized devices that provide you with internet access (usually via Wi-Fi). Some of these are really useful, and many people even use them at home instead of your standard ADSL or cable internet service. None of this is surprising.

What WAS surprising was that a lot of these people were unaware they could use iPhone tethering (or on Android) to connect their laptops to the internet. Many mobile service providers offer decent data packages (4GB+). Tethering may not be ideal if you are looking at streaming the latest episode of Game of Thrones, but it is certainly good enough to browse an online newspaper, send a few emails and so forth.

The thing you will want to consider before activating a ‘personal hotspot’ for your laptop is whether you are on 3G, 4G or LTE (this will depend on your carrier). I’m personally very wary of how many websites will stealthily throw videos in your face, so I like to stick to 3G just to be on the safe side, as 4G/LTE will buffer VERY rapidly and go through your data plan pretty quickly, too.

But enough of that, let’s jump into how to set up a personal hotspot on your iPhone.


Step 1. Open Settings from your Home Screen




Step 2. Open the Personal Hotspot Settings




Step 3. Set a password. You will need to type this in when connecting via your laptop or tablet. Make it something easy for you to remember, but hard to guess.




Step 4. You can connect via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB. USB is the safest and most reliable, and will save battery on both your laptop and iPhone. Bluetooth has a shorter range than Wi-Fi, and uses less battery life.


That’s half the battle won. iPhone tethering is a great backup solution for when you need to get a little bit of extra work done. Some notes on the different types of connections:

Wi-Fi – battery consumption on Wi-Fi is pretty significant, so bear this in mind. Make sure that you choose a secure password that is hard to guess, to avoid other users piggybacking your connection. Your iPhone’s Wi-Fi network will appear automagically on your list of local networks.

Bluetooth – a reliable and battery-efficient alternative to Wi-Fi, the only caveat being that some devices will have Wi-Fi adapters but no Bluetooth.

USB – the least practical option (due to the cable), connecting to your iPhone via USB will provide the most reliable and secure connection. An obvious downside is that you cannot tether your tablet to your iPhone.