Use Email Shortcuts for Popular Webapps

Chapman as King Arthur in Holy Grail

Image via Wikipedia

Much like the pleading peasant from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, email is not quite dead yet (it feels fine … it’ll go for a walk … it feels happy). Did you know that tons of the Internet’s most popular apps and services let you interact with them via email?

Yup, you can send notes to Evernote, post a video to your Facebook wall, upload an image to Flickr, send an article to Instapaper to read later, send PDFs or Word documents to your Amazon Kindle, add tasks your To Do list on Remember the Milk, and even post to your WordPress blog—and more—all through email!

The problem is that most of the email addresses you get to interact with these services tend to be a little hard to memorize. Usually, they’re something like r3411y10ng3m4i2314akwhch@yourwebapp.com. If you can’t easily remember that gobbledygook of an email address then you won’t use it.

SendTo Kindle

To help myself take better advantage of these apps I’m already using I came up with a simple address book hack to simplify the process. You can do the same to easily make sense of your accounts.

  1. Create a new entry wherever you keep your contacts (I use Address Book on OS X, but this works equally well in Outlook or even Google Contacts).
  2. Give the contact the first name “SendTo”.
  3. Use the service name for last name.
  4. Add your unique email address (some services have more than one address, go ahead an list them all).
  5. Additional details can be provided in the notes section. Remember the Milk, for example, provides some additional syntax for your tasks.

SendTo RTM Contact

  1. Repeat steps 1-4 for each service you use.

After you’ve organized all your email accounts, fire up your favorite email client and give it a test spin.

SendTo Flickr Screenshot

In the To field type SendTo. You will be presented with a list of services available to you. To illustrate this point I’ve selected my SendTo Flickr email account and attached a screenshot to the email.

Emailing an Image to Flickr

Please note that the email’s Subject became the title of the Flickr image.

Image Posted via Email

So, there you have it. Email once again proves itself useful. It ain’t dead and it ain’t just for mailing your boss your TPS reports. What are you waiting for? Go on and try it out for yourself.

What’s your preferred way of interacting with cool Web apps and services? Sound off in the comments below.

All images are from my flickr, unless otherwise noted.

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