Nov 122010

I started writing this blog in April 2009, and I see that the blog recently passed the 10,000 views mark. That could mean that 10,000 individuals stopped by once and have never come back. It could mean that one person has been sitting at home clicking through my website, day after day after day. No, that’s not me. WordPress tells me that they don’t include my visits in their statistics.

I know that many people drop in because they’re searching for something specific, and Google sends them my way. I even know what they’re looking for; WordPress tells me. I have one post that accounts for 40% of the hits on my blog – 40%, that’s not a typo. It is the Smartboard Alternative post. If you haven’t read it, you’re apparently missing out on something. It’s probably the most magic-like technology that I’ve written about. It’s truly a phenomenal idea. You point a Wii remote at the wall, and using an infrared pen you click on the wall to control your computer. How is that not magical?

Here are the top 21 search terms used to find my blog. All of them point to that Smartboard post. All of them. All 1,100 of them.

I’m not sure what it means though. Is it something cool that people just want to try out? I know that must be true for some. Or are people using this in their classrooms? I have some friends who are. Given the cost of smartboards combined with decreasing educational budgets, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Visits to my homepage account for 20% of the hits on this blog. Those are my regulars, most likely including you, visiting my homepage to see what’s new. Thanks for stopping by! You’re who I have in mind when I write. Leave a comment every now and again. I love hearing from you!

The next two most popular blog posts are PowerPoint’s presenter view and using mailmerge to link Word and Excel. Together they account for 15% of hits, almost equally split between the two. I get that. I have no quarrels with Microsoft, but their help files don’t operate like I do. (In all fairness, lots of people may be searching for Microsoft Office solutions simply because so many people use Microsoft Office.) When I’m struggling for a solution, I toss my request to the search engine gods. I ask The Google (or The Bing, or The Yahoo – okay, rarely The Yahoo). Almost invariably I find my solution in someone’s blog or discussion board of some kind. They’re real people asking real questions and getting answers from real people.

And that’s why, 560 years after Gutenberg gave us the printing press, we still have teachers.

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Nov 112010

For those who worry about being misunderstood in email, how about video recording your message instead? The cleverly named Eyejot provides an easy web-based user interface for recording and emailing video. They also provide a bookmarklet, a small program that runs inside your web browser, for attaching your own video commentary to web pages. Their bookmarklet is called “Eyejot This!” You just drag the bookmark to your browser’s bookmarks toolbar. Surf to any website, click the “Eyejot This!” bookmark. This window will appear – with your face on the screen, if your webcam is working. Hopefully you won’t see my face on your screen. That would just be creepy.

Click the red record button. Say what you’d like to say. Hit the square black stop button. Type in the email address of who you’d like to send it to. Send a copy to yourself if you’d like the URL. Eyejot keeps your old videos in your online Eyejot account; you can forward or delete previously recorded videos.

I used the Eyejot bookmarklet to record a video. I then emailed it to myself using Eyejot‘s interface. This is what the email looks like:

The text of the email reads “click on the image below or here to watch video.” When you click the link, this is where you’re sent. Check it out.

Of course you don’t have to tie your video recording to a website. You can record a stand-alone video. When I log in to Eyejot, this is what I see:

My inbox holds Eyejot videos others have sent to me. As you can see that’s empty. The sent tab shows my recordings. The deleted tab is more like the recycling bin. When I delete a video, it goes to that tab until I go in there and REALLY delete it. To record a new message, click “compose new message.” That turns on my webcam and launches this popup window:

When I’m done recording, I type in an appropriate subject line, the email addresses of my recipients, add any written commentary I’d like to add, and include an attachment if I’d like. Click “send eyejot,” and that’s it. To cancel a message, click the X in the top right corner of the video recording screen.

Before the beginning of a new term, I email my students with a link to my course website. Next term, I think I’ll add a little video commentary for a more personal touch. Eyejot is free for users who are fine limiting their recordings to one minute. If you’re on the wordy side, $29.95/year gets you five minutes of camera time.

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Nov 052010

UPDATE 11/30/2010: On Sunday,  11/21/2010, NudgeMail stopped working for my work email, but it still works with my personal email.  The emails are not showing up in either my junk or spam folders, so I’m not sure what or where the issue is.  Both NudgeMail support and my institution’s IT people are looking into the issue.  Since this service is still in beta, use with caution.

UPDATE 12/3/2010: While other people at my institution are still receiving NudgeMails, I’m not.  NudgeMail support says that the emails to me are leaving their servers.  My IT people say NudgeMail is not being picked up by any spam filters.  It’s a mystery.  But since I quickly became enamored with the service, I’ve been trying out other similar services.  Look for a future blog post on the one I currently like the best,


When you stay at a hotel, do you remember how you used to request a wake-up call? Actually, maybe you still do that. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get a wake-up call for stuff you need to do?

And that’s why I’m excited about NudgeMail, a company that just launched this fall. NudgeMail lets you send reminders to yourself at whatever future date or time you choose. No registration. No login. No software to download. No complicated commands to remember. They really couldn’t have made this any easier.

Let’s say that I have an email exchange with you where we discuss working on a proposal for a joint presentation at an upcoming conference. The deadline for submissions is in two months. We decide to spend some time thinking about the proposal and then check back in with each other in a month. While I could put that on my calendar, if I did that for everything of this nature, my calendar would be cluttered in a hurry. I could add it to my to-do list, but then I would have 40 things on my to-do list. At some point, I stop looking at it. I know because that’s happened.

Or I could use NudgeMail. I just send an email (new email, forwarded email, or cc’ed email) to (for the first of next month), or (for December 5th), or (for December 1st), or (for exactly one month from today). They’ve designed the system to be very flexible.

If I want a reminder later today, will give me a reminder five hours from now. Or if I want a specific time, will give me a reminder at 5pm today. If I want a reminder tomorrow, (delivered at 6:30am tomorrow; this default time setting can be changed) or (two days from now) will do it.

Try it! Send an email to You’ll get a welcome email from NudgeMail, and then you will get a confirmation email telling you that you have a nudge set for today’s date at a time 5 minutes from now. In 5 minutes, you’ll get your reminder nudge.

Alternatively, you can just send your emails to with your time commands in the subject line. For a reminder at 10am tomorrow you can either send a message to or you can send a message to with 10am tomorrow in the subject line. Either works just fine.

Now, if that’s not cool enough, when your nudge arrives, this is what appears at the top of the body of the message:

Not quite ready to deal with this message yet? Snooze it. Clicking a given snooze time will generate an email to with your chosen time in the subject line and the reference number for the email (in this case, Ref#: 2244) in the body of the message. At the time you chose, you’ll get your original nudge message sent to you again.

Want a list of your currently pending nudges? Send an email to Want that list every day? Send an email to (Check NudgeMail’s FAQ for more information on the available commands.)

NudgeMail is currently in beta, so it is completely free. In the future, they anticipate having a free version and a subscription version. It looks like pricing may be dependent on number of nudges per month, but that is subject to change.

Bonus Tip

Have you started using Subtextual (formerly bccThis)? If not, see this earlier blog post. I can send an email to you, put in the bcc field, and then add a note to myself using Subtextual.

Try it!

Seriously, try it. It has the potential to be one of those tools you can’t live without. I’m going to start cleaning out my inbox right now.

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Oct 302010

I have an assignment where I ask students to read a NY Times article on what constitutes good study habits. I ask students to identify the recommendations in the article and then evaluate their own study habits, noting any changes they intend to make. Since this is for an intro psych course, I also ask students to identify the independent variable and dependent variable in one of the studies described in the article. Right now I just let students pick from the few studies that are reported. If I wanted students to identify the variables in a particular study, I would have to describe the study in the instructions for the assignment.

Enter Here I drew a box around the description of the study, then I added some text and an arrow.

There’s no service to sign up for. There’s nothing to download. You just mark up a webpage, click the publish button, and Markup generates a new web address. You can visit the webpage I marked up here:

Here’s how it works. Visit In the bottom right corner of that page, there’s a black box with white lettering that reads “drag to bookmarks bar.” Do that. Click there and drag it to your bookmarks toolbar in your web browser. This is what it looks like in my browser:

[At this point, I strongly encourage you to visit, add the bookmark to your toolbar and follow along as I describe how Markup works. It’s much easier than I am able to convey in this post.]

Visit any webpage that you like. I’ll visit the study habits article. Click on Markup in your bookmarks toolbar. In the top right corner of your webpage, Markup will load this toolbar:

The first icon is a pencil. See the little tiny triangle at the bottom right of that icon? That tells you that that icon has other tools available. Clicking the pencil icon generates this dropdown menu.

The pencil lets you draw freeform. The arrow, square, circle, and line tools provide a more constrained image. They’re just like working with shapes in MS Word.

The Tt icon is for text. Click that icon, then click anywhere on the webpage where you would like to add text. While you can’t see a text box, it is like working with text boxes in MS Word.

Click the red box icon to see the color palette. Click a different color to change colors.

The next icon is a line-thickness control. Want a thicker line? Grab the gray arrow and slide it to the right.



When you’re working with a particular image on the screen, say a box that you’ve just created, the box will sort of glow. It’s a subtle difference.

Box deselected.


Box selected



Click on a box to select it. It will glow to confirm that you did indeed select it. Now you can grab and move it. You can delete it, by just hitting the delete key on your keyboard. You can change the width of the lines with the slider tool, and you can change the color by using the color palette. You cannot resize it, though. If you need it to be a different size, just delete it and draw a new one.

After you’ve added some text with the Tt icon, click on the drawing (pencil) icon. Now when you mouse over the text, you can see the box around the text, and you can grab and move it wherever you’d like. As long as the text box is highlighted, you can change the font size by using the slider (move the slide to the right to increase the size of the font) and the font color by using the color palette.


Ready to publish.

You’ve finished marking up the page and are ready to make it publicly available to your students. Click the i icon.

That will generate this pop-up window.

Grab the green arrow and drag it to the right. If you’re not ready to publish, click the x in the top left corner to cancel.


Sliding to publish will generate this pop-up.

Highlight the URL, and copy it. (To copy, CTRL-C, or right click on it and select copy.) Click the x in the top left corner to close the pop-up.




Sharing the URL.

Give your students the Markup URL that was generated for your marked up page. When they visit the page, Markup loads a toolbar in the top right corner of the page.

Clicking “respond” will let visitors to the page add their own comments and drawings. It generates this pop-up window.

“Keep Marks” lets visitors add to your mark up. “Start Fresh,” unsurprisingly, erases your marks. In either case, visitors to your page then get the original Markup toolbar that you used to create your marks. When they publish, they’ll get a new URL. Your original URL will still take people to your marked up page.

Important note. Markup works by taking a screenshot of the webpage. That means that the hyperlinks no longer work. Clicking I in either the original or the respond toolbars will give the option to return to the original webpage.

As always, if you try it out, let me know how it works for you!

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Oct 202010

UPDATE 9/5/2011 : Be sure to read an even more recent post on this tool.

UPDATE  12/2/2010: Be sure to read my more recent post on this tool.

It’s surprising how much of my email has to do with scheduling. Students or off-campus colleagues ask when they can meet with me in person or via a phone call. I ask when they’re available; they ask when I’m available. Five or six emails later we have a time. For my colleagues at my institution, they can just look at my Outlook calendar and suggest a time. Anyone else is stuck in the email spiral.

If you use Google Calendar, YouCanBook.Me solves this back and forth email exchange. (Since my work life exists inside of Outlook, I sync my Outlook calendar with my Google calendar so any changes made to one are reflected in the other. Click here to learn how to sync Outlook with Google Calendar.)

I have granted YouCanBook.Me access to my Google Calendar. They generated a fully-customizable webpage ( for me that looks like this.

Everything in green is an available time slot. Everything greyed out is already a booked time in Google Calendar (and, by extension, Outlook). When I add an appointment to my Outlook calendar, Outlook syncs with Google Calendar, and Google Calendar syncs with YouCanBook.Me. YouCanBook.Me then greys out the time covered by that new appointment.

Clicking on Monday, October 25th, 9:00am brings up this page. The person requesting an appointment just fills in their email address, name, the reason for the meeting, and the code that appears.

Clicking ‘confirm appointment’ seals the deal. YouCanBook.Me makes the change on my Google Calendar which syncs with my Outlook calendar, and I’m sent an email informing me of the appointment. The person requesting the appointment also gets a confirmation email with a link to use in case of the need to cancel. Clicking the link causes the appointment to disappear from my calendar. The requester also gets an appointment reminder 4 hours before the appointment complete with that same cancellation link.

The Dashboard

Let’s take a look at the dashboard for YouCanBook.Me. This is where you can customize YouCanBook.Me to look and act like you want it to look and act. Directly below the dashboard is a preview of what the page will look like. Any saved change to the settings generates a new preview. To save space in this blog, I’m not including the preview image in my screen captures.

On the ‘basic’ tab, I can change which of my Google Calendars are accessed, the title that appears at the top of the page, what URL I want to use (‘’), a URL for a logo (notice my college’s logo in the top right corner of the schedule page), instructions for visitors, and how many people I want to be able to sign up for a given time slot (one is fine for me). On the right I can set the first time available, the last time available, the time slot length, days per page, and which days I’m available. Of course if I’m traveling or doing something else that makes me unavailable for an entire day, I would block out that day using Google Calendar or Outlook, and that day would show as unavailable in YouCanBook.Me.

See the little blue question marks in each of the dashboard screen shots? At YouCanBook.Me, click those to learn more about each area of the dashboard.

On the ‘advanced’ tab, I’ve set the minimum notice to 12 hours. That means that the earliest available appointment is 12 hours from now. (A visitor at 8am cannot schedule an appointment at 9am.) I set the time zone to Pacific Time since I’m on the west coast, but visitors can change the time zone to their location. For instance, if an east coast colleague would like to schedule a time to call me, s/he could change the time zone to Eastern Time and avoid doing the math.

The ‘booking form’ tab contains one of the most powerful features of YouCanBook.Me. Each line is a separate field on the booking form. Want more fields? Just add a line. Want the field to be required? Put an asterisk in front of it. You can even add checkboxes if you’d like. (In the dashboard, click the little blue question mark at the bottom right of the field to learn how.)

The ‘afterwards’ tab lets you determine what is displayed on the screen after someone has made their appointment, the email address where you want to be notified of new appointments, whether you want to send a confirmation email, and what it should say.

The ‘reminders’ tab lets me set an appointment reminder for me (none), and lets me send an appointment reminder for those who set appointments and determine when I’d like it sent (4 hours before the appointment time).

Finally, on the ‘appearance’ tab, customize the colors of your calendar. If you want to use your own cascading style sheets, you’re welcome to do so using the ‘css’ field.

Try it out, then leave a comment on how it works for you!

[UPDATE 11/24/2010 : Check out a newer post that offers some ways to customize YouCanBook.Me.]

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Oct 092010

I use a student response system in my classroom (iClicker) for low-stakes quizzes and for ungraded questions that give me a sense of what my students are getting and what’s still a little fuzzy. If your institution doesn’t have funds to support this technology, or if you’re not sure you’d use it enough to make it worth the expense, consider trying Poll Everywhere.

Poll Everywhere uses your students’ cell phones as ‘clickers.’ All you need is a live internet connection in your classroom.

Cost: If you choose ‘higher education’ you can collect up to 32 responses per question for free. If you would like more students than that to respond, you’ll need to invest in the $700/year upgrade. The upgrade also comes with some additional functionality, like being to link each student’s response to their name. For the purpose of this post, I’m going to stick to the features of the free version.

When you visit Poll Everywhere, you’ll create a login. After you register, click “Create New Poll.”

For this post, I’ll walk you through creating a multiple choice poll. In the free text poll, students can text whatever they’d like. Depending on your class, this might be a bit risky. In the paid version, you get to see what students are texting and have the option to approve it before it’s displayed.

Type in the question you’d like to ask, and then type in your possible answers. Poll Everywhere defaults to 3 responses. If you want more, click the ‘add an option’ button. If you want one less, just leave one blank.

Here’s a question I created.

Right under the question, it reads “Text a KEYWORD to 22333.” Students pull out their cell phones, and send a text to the number 22333. In the body of the text, they punch in the number that corresponds to the name. In the free version, Poll Everywhere assigns a number to each response. In the paid version, you can decide what the keyword will be. If I were using the paid version, I would choose each person’s last name as the keyword, so instead of 15662, students would text gage.

Students can respond in other ways, say by computer or smartphone. On the right side of the screen, select ‘Ways People Can Respond,’ and check off the relevant boxes.

After sending in my text, the screen updates in less than 5 seconds. At the very bottom of the graph, you can see that 1 person has voted, and all 1 of us agrees that Gage would be the person to have coffee with.

If you’d rather not leave your (PowerPoint, KeyNote or Mac PowerPoint) presentation to ask your question in class, select “Download as Slide.” In the downloaded file, the first few slides offer instructions and tips. The last slide contains your question, although it doesn’t look like it. This is what it looks like.

To paste it into your existing presentation, on the far left side where all of the slides are, right click on the last slide, the one with your question that you can’t see. Select ‘copy.’ Open the presentation that you want to put the slide in. Of the left, right click between the two slides that will bracket your new slide. Click ‘paste.’

You can treat this slide just would any other slide. The box with the big X in the middle is where Poll Everywhere will import information from their website.

When I run my presentation, this is what my slide looks like.

This slide will be updated in real time as students vote.

If you don’t want your students to see how everyone else is voting, mouse over the left side of the question stem. See the 6 little transparent boxes? That’s the ‘instructions’ icon. Click it.

That will hide the results and only show students their voting choices.










To show the results, mouse over the left side of the question again. This time a transparent ‘results’ icon appears. Click it to show the graph.

Mousing over the right side of the question pulls up the settings icon.

Clicking it provides a menu with 3 options at the top. Try out the various settings to change how the slide is displayed. All 3 sections will allow you to stop the poll. You can also choose to ‘clear the results.’ That’s desirable when you have 32 students in your current class with another 32 coming in right after them.

All of your questions are stored in your Poll Everywhere account. Just log in to add new questions or edit your existing question. If you edit a question, any presentation file that already contains that question will automatically be updated.

Standard text messaging rates apply. In other words, if your students don’t have unlimited texting, the text to Poll Everywhere counts against their monthly allotment. Smartphone users and laptop users can go to and just enter the 5-digit keyword next to the answer they’d like to choose. No text messaging cost that way. The poll is open. Try it!   See the live poll here.  (Remember that 32 is the maximum number of responses.  When it hits 32, leave a comment, and I’ll reset the question back to zero.)

Create your own sms poll at Poll Everywhere
<script language=”javascript” src=”″ type=”text/javascript”></script><div style=”font-size: 0.75em”>Create your own <a href=””>sms poll</a> at <a href=””>Poll Everywhere</a>
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Oct 052010

It’s been a few months since I posted, and I’m emerging from my technology sabbatical. Fall quarter is in full-swing; it’s time to share what’s new.

It’s often the day-to-day kinds of activities where a little change can make a big difference. My focus in this post will be changing a default setting in Outlook that affects the order in which Outlook shows you messages.

Outlook assumes that you want to start reading the most recent message first. After deleting or filing the first message, Outlook takes you to an earlier message.

But that’s not how I read my messages. I start with the earliest one I haven’t read and then move forward in time toward the most recent message.

If I had no other mail in my inbox, it wouldn’t be a problem. However, mail I haven’t decided what to do with yet stays in my inbox until I have time to get to it. For instance, in the example I’m using, I may begin reading with the email marked with the arrow below.

After I delete or file that message, Outlook automatically takes me to the message below it. But I’ve already read that message. I want to move to the one above it. To do that, I have to use the arrow keys or the mouse to navigate. Or I can change Outlook’s default setting so that it moves up instead of down.

In Outlook, go to the File tab and select Options. Click Mail. Scroll down to the very bottom of the screen. In the dropdown menu, select “open the previous item.”

Click OK.

Now when you delete or file email messages, Outlook will automatically advance to the next most recent item.









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Jun 252010

A few years ago I started letting students send me their assignments electronically if they wished. I found that I was writing more on the papers I was grading electronically, and my typing was much more legible than my handwriting! A year or so ago, I made this a course requirement. All assignments now need to be sent electronically. I’ve written before in this blog about how I manage this; for those posts, type ‘grading’ in the search box.

As much as I’ve enjoyed going paperless, I’ve discovered an unintended consequence. I’m having a harder time learning students’ names. When I had paper to pass back, I got practice in learning names. Without that, I have to make a greater effort to use student names in class. For students who are vocal in class, I get much practice calling on them. For the quiet students, it’s much harder.

It’s technology that’s caused this problem, so I turn to technology to get me out. For a pittance of extra credit, students email me photos of themselves. I keep my grades in an Excel spreadsheet, and using the ‘comments’ feature, I mouse over a student’s name to get a pop-up of that student’s photo. Because you can’t just add a photo to a comment, you have to do a little work-around. Essentially, you fill the background of the comment with the photo. See this article for an excellent step-by-step explanation of how to do it.

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Jun 022010

On one of the teaching listservs I’m subscribed to, participants were having their periodic row over using PowerPoint versus not using PowerPoint. But this time, rather than simply defending themselves, the PowerPoint users went on the attack noting that using the whiteboard was not exactly the idyllic world the non-PowerPoint users were making it out to be. Whiteboard markers, they argued, were often dried up, and colors other than black weren’t bright enough to see. Throwing away all that plastic is bad for the environment. And they stink! Literally.

While I enjoy my pixels, I’m not opposed to writing on a whiteboard. In fact, sometimes it’s exactly what the situation calls for.

I knew that there were low-odor whiteboard markers, but I wondered if anyone had gotten around to making refillable ones. A quick internet search turned up AusPen, an Australian company that makes no-odor, refillable whiteboard markers.

I promptly ordered a set. AusPen will ship anywhere except Canada or the U.S. For those of us who occupy all but the most southern section of North America, we can order from EcosmartWorld.

I chose the “Starter Kit.” Six markers, six refill bottles, and a little orange wrench come in this handy carrying case. If you’d like to forego the kit, you can order markers in packs of 6 or 12. Ink, or course, can also be ordered separately.

(Images courtesy of EcosmartWorld)

The markers are aluminum, so you feel like you’re holding something that’s going to last. The refill process is easy. Unscrew the marker and unscrew the ink bottle cap; if either is a little too tight for you, use the enclosed wrench. Squeeze 10 to 12 drops of ink into the marker. Screw the marker back together and replace the cap on the ink bottle. You’re back in business.

We have a locked cabinet in our classroom, so we just keep the set in there. With the carrying case, there are no worries about individual markers going missing. When you put them back in the case, you can see that a marker has been left out. That means you probably won’t have any uncapped markers lying around. If you do manage to leave a marker uncapped, AusPen assures us that it won’t dry out for another 72 hours.

The markers truly have no odor; they’re xylene-free. EcosmartWorld says the markers are “low, low odor” but my nose can’t pick up anything at all.

You have a nib choice: Bullet or chisel. The nibs are also replaceable so don’t feel like you’re making a permanent decision.

How do the markers work in the classroom?

I was really pleased with the brightness of the colors. With other markers, I found non-black colors tough to see. That’s not the case with these markers. Here’s a photo I took in my classroom. I don’t think the photo quite does these markers justice, but you get the idea. (The AusPen kit is bottom center; it gives you a sense of the size of the box.)

Cost-benefit analysis.

Office Depot sells a box of 12 low-odor Expo markers for $14.99. That’s $1.23/marker.

AusPen says each refill bottle holds ink equivalent to 40 regular whiteboard markers. With the starter kit, you get 6 filled markers plus 240 refills (6 bottles, 40 refills each), for a total of 246 markers. The kit is $69.95, so that’s $.29/marker – including the carrying case. Ink refills, when purchased separately, are $7.95, making each marker refill $.20.

Any way you do the math, refillable markers are less expensive.

Try them out.

I haven’t found an administrator yet who wasn’t interested in saving money. If you try them out, I’d love to hear what you thought of them!

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May 082010

Update (5/8/2012 ): Subtextual appears to be out of business.  A number of users are reporting that it no longer works with their system.  The website is still up, but no one is home.

Update (11/3/2010 ): bccthis is now Subtextual. Their web address is still, however.

As you know, bcc (blind carbon copy) allows you to add recipients to an email message without the other recipients being aware of it.

Let’s say you reply to an email message, and you want your department chair to be aware of the exchange but you don’t necessarily want your recipient to know you’re making your department chair aware, so you bcc your chair. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to give your chair some background information in that same message?

For Outlook, Gmail, or Blackberry, the bccthis add-in (updated 11/5/2010: a free version and a pro version, currently $6.99) allows you to send an email to one person or group while at the same time bcc’ing comments to another person or group. In February, bccthis opened for beta testing. Since then the improvements have come fast and furious. If you install now, look for updates that improve this already powerful and user-friendly product.

This is what it looks like in Outlook. Open a new email message or reply to an existing message like you normally would. Type addresses into your To, Cc, and Bcc fields as you normally would.

Bccthis adds a box at the bottom of your message and automatically populates the address box on the right with the email addresses you added above. If you change those addresses, click the ‘reload’ arrow directly above those addresses to refresh the list. Check the boxes of the recipients to whom you want to send a bcc message. If you add someone to the bcc line, but don’t check their address in the bccthis box, they’ll get a copy of the original message, but they won’t get your additional comments.

Type your message to the “to” recipients where you normally would, and then type your message to your bcc recipients in the bccthis box. That’s it. Hit send. Your “to” recipients get a normal looking message. And this is what your bcc recipients receive. Your recipients do not need the bccthis add-in to read your message.

Replies to a bccthis message go only to the sender. The other bcc recipients are unaware that there are other bcc recipients unless you tell them.

Bccthis includes emoticons. Click the smiley face and select your emoticon. It’s just an image, so feel free to copy and paste or drag that emoticon into your “to” email message.

To save a ‘note to self,’ add yourself to the bcc line or use the “Bccthis Batch Quick Links.” This is just a quick way to bcc yourself. If you’d like, create a note-to-self folder in Outlook to store all of your notes-to-self. Use Simply File to quickly file these messages or always add special text, like #note, and use Outlook filters to automatically file the message for you.

If you use it, use the comments box below to let me know what you think!

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