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I know a lot of our friends and family are using Yahoo for their e-mail, but I’m wondering how many are aware of Yahoo’s OTHER features as well? (NOTE: Even if you use a different program for your e-mail, it never hurts to have another FREE email account. Yahoo could be a great second account for you!)
While not quite as sophisticated as say… Outlook or Outlook Express, did you know that Yahoo can also serve as your Personal Information Manager (PIM)?
Yahoo gives its users (for free) a personalized homepage, also known as a “web portal”, that lets you customize all the info you want to see all in one place — so it’s accessible from your homepage every time you open up your browser. Think of it as a “hub” for everything that’s important to you.
Here are some highlights of what you get (above and beyond an e-mail address) when you sign up for a FREE Yahoo e-mail account…
Yahoo’s Web Portal
Can one single web page be the “page of all pages” on the Internet today?… Enough so, that you would choose to make it your HOMEPAGE and the source from which you view all of your fun, interesting, informative (and useless) information?
What single website could be worthy of such a distinction that it is set as a HOMEPAGE on millions of personal computers across this nation?
That one site is my.yahoo.com.
Here’s why my.yahoo is MY personal homepage of choice, and why I’m encouraging you to make it yours too…
Free Personal-Use Website
First, and foremost, you get a free, PERSONAL-USE WEBSITE! It’s called my.yahoo. It’s private and personal and only accessible by you with a username and password that you choose.
So it’s not for sharing info with others or for showcasing your stuff; instead it’s for organizing all your personal stuff in one place. Period.
There’s nothing to download. No program to buy. No instruction manual to read. Nothing really to learn… everything is right at your fingertips on the my.yahoo homepage. You just need to make the decision to USE it.
It’s your personal website, but you don’t need to know any HTML. You don’t even need to be real comfortable with computers — it’s all pre-set up for you. It’s simply an awesome (and FREE) Personal Information Manager (PIM)!
You Personalize It To Meet Your Needs
With my.yahoo, practically everything that you access on a regular basis from your computer can be configured to run right from this one Internet page. It’s your personalized my.yahoo homepage.
And it’s HIGHLY configurable. You simply pick your colors and how many columns you want. Then, from a big ‘ol list of topics or categories, you personally select what information YOU want to see on your page like:
- …a button to access your E-mail, your Calendar and/or your Notes
- …the Top 5 stories in the news today
- …as many RSS feeds as you want
- …a list of recent DVD movie releases
- …the weather forecast for as many cities as you wish
- …your list of bookmarks/favorites
- …the TV guide for your exact viewing area
- …what’s on at the movies 24/7 at any theater(s) you select
- …WHATEVER you want!
Trust me, my.yahoo is designed for BEGINNERS… dummies… computer novices. In fact, some of my friends are probably cringing at the fact that I’m referring such a simple program. But I’m here to tell ya, I use it on a daily basis, and I’d be lost without it.
Access Your Information From Anywhere
To me, the best part is that you can access your my.yahoo page from ANY computer! So you don’t have “some stuff at home” and “some stuff at work”… it’s all in one place for you now.
To access your page, you can simply make my.yahoo be your homepage on any computer so it’s the first page you see every time you log onto your computer (still have to enter a username and password to see YOUR stuff though), or just bookmark it and go there when you want it.
I always keep MY my.yahoo page running in the background – because I use the Calendar and Notes functions all throughout the day! And, of course, I check all of my personal e-mail accounts from this one page repeatedly throughout the day.
On the PIM side of things, you’ll notice 4 categories of pages that are behind-the-scenes: E-mail, Address Book, Calendar, and Notepad.
These are accessible at all times from 4 separate tabs at the top of your my.yahoo page, making it a cinch to access your personal information at any time.
YOU CAN’T HURT ANYTHING HERE, so just play around and practice. It’s pretty amazing once you realize what you have available to you for FREE here!
To get back to your main my.yahoo page at any time just click on “My Yahoo” at the very top.
The hottest new thing (aside from the virtually UNlimited amount of space you get for storing all your Notes and E-mails and Calendar and such), is the ability to view as many RSS Feeds as you want… all right here on your homepage.
RSS Feeds are cool because you no longer have to trek to all of the individual websites you enjoy visiting on a regular basis. Instead, just tell my.yahoo their “RSS/XML address” (most websites post this info on their homepage), and from now on you can view the headlines (and brief descriptions) from ALL of your favorite sites right here in one place!
The Notepad Itself Is A Lifesaver
It’s a GREAT organization tool for me… I use the Notepad feature to store tons of ideas and tidbits that I come across when I’m surfing the Net and I keep all of the articles I’ve started for our websites here. See, I just start them in a Note, then I can add to them over the next few days, weeks, or months.
I currently have 118 individual “Notes” stored in 11 different categories. (Some of the Notes are 28+ “MS Word” pages long… and STILL I’m only using up 2% of the 1 GIG of space allotted!) Plus, there’s even a search feature, so if you don’t remember where you put something, just “search” for it!
Plus, even though there’s a “warning” at the bottom of each note that says “max. 5000 characters”… I’ve discovered that you can actually store more like 60,000 characters (and spaces) in each note. That’s about 40 pages in a regular word processing program… per note! And if you need more than that for a particular subject… just start another note, and title it “part 2”.
Tip #1: Save A Lot!
My only word of caution would be this: Just remember to hit SAVE a lot — if you’re writing in Notepad, or compiling a long e-mail, for example. Since you’re working within an Internet browser, if you ever hit the Back key OR go to another website while you’re in the MIDDLE of writing a Note or E-mail message… you will lose what you were working on. (When you think of how browsers work, that will make perfect sense. But until it’s happened to you once, you won’t appreciate the suckiness of it.)
That, and we all know how temperamental Internet connections can be… You don’t want to get caught up in writing something — coming up with the perfect word choices and having all your facts in order — only to lose it because of a bad Internet connection or something.
Tip #2: Use Folders
Take advantage of FOLDERS in the E-mail section, and FOLDERS in the Notepad section. That’s what helps you organize stuff in a meaningful way. It’s how you categorize and sub-categorize stuff so you can find it quickly.
Tip #3: Save Your Bookmarks Here Instead
Take advantage of the Bookmarks section. Rather than simply saving bookmarks in your regular browser’s list of favorites/bookmarks, try saving them INSTEAD in Yahoo’s Bookmarks section. That way, you’ll have access to those bookmarks from ANY computer — home OR work!
And you store up to 1,000 bookmarks in my.yahoo — so you’re not likely to reach a limit or anything!
Summary: Why My.Yahoo Is The Best
Just think… if you could free your mind of all the little details and quit trying to REMEMBER everything — like “things you need to do,” “what you need to buy at the store,” “when everyone’s birthdays are,” “that great introductory paragraph you thought up last night for your next article,” “gift ideas for friends and relatives”… blah, blah, blah, blah.
…then you would likely:
a) accomplish a lot more in a day;
b) feel less like a loser for forgetting to do something;
c) get better control of your time; and
d) have a new-found sense of peace that all of the DETAILS are stored away safely in my.yahoo — freeing YOU up to just enjoy your day.
That may be too deep (or superficial for some), but I’m telling you, it’s MY personal philosphy and it’s served me well for many years now. Yeah, I’m detail-oriented and quite organized… but I wasn’t always. It took products like this to MAKE me that way!
And this one’s FREE, so what have you got to lose?
So, what’s YOUR homepage?
Mine is my.yahoo.com!
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I got my first computer in 1986 and immediately started writing, saving documents, and organizing my entire life on it. Thus began my love affair with gadgets and all things tech. I built my first website in 1998 in old-school HTML code — before websites were "a thing". Blogs weren't invented yet. It was the same year that Google was born. My husband and I created TheFunTimesGuide.com in 2004 — before YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, and Mashable were launched. That was the year Facebook started and 'blog' was the Word of the Year according Merriam-Webster. Ever since then, anytime a new electronic gadget hits the market… I have to have it. (My husband's impulsive nature to try out every new tech gadget invented is even worse than mine!) When I'm not trying out fun new tech gadgets, you'll find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).