Mark your calendars for Wednesday, April 26. It’s Administrative Professional’s Day.
Note: This article was originally published Thanksgiving 2010. It has been updated for republication.
So Thanksgiving is over, nearly everyone is overstuffed with the post-holiday leftover turkey, dressing, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes and yams, and deviled eggs, and lots of us are feeling the effects. For many, the warm glow of family and friends is being suffused by a chill in the air (at least here) and the rampant commercialism of holiday shopping. Me, I'm going to celebrate Christmas with my family as I was taught and have learned to appreciate. In the meantime, it's back to work and likely overstuffed inboxes rather than turkey, and rampant calendar crashing rather than shopping.
But, there is a way to stay thankful and productive…
Happy Thanksgiving! It's that time again. Halloween decorations are coming down, Christmas, Hanukkah, and Yuletide decorations have begun to go up in many homes, cities, and businesses, and the annual holiday rush is already beginning. Many people are preparing to travel on the busiest travel holiday of the year, and many more are preparing for visitors. Without a bit of planning and perspective, it quickly can get to be too much. Here are a few suggestions to help keep you thankful this Thanksgiving, and to help keep you productive whether it's at work or at home.
After having a couple of email accounts fail to connect to Gmail due to an unspecified error, I spent a couple of fruitless hours attempting to troubleshoot the problem. I even re-created the accounts in Mail on my MacBook to see if some artifact within the existing account setup was causing the problem. Unfortunately, it didn’t work.
So, I spent another hour scouring Google’s search results for a solution, and despite reading quite a few articles and posts about how Gmail and Mac Mail ought to work together, none were recent enough to address this new problem that only manifested itself on OS X Mavericks. It may now be appearing on earlier versions of the OS, but I don’t have any machines running earlier versions, so I can’t tell.
Multiple posts have suggested adding the passwords in multiple places for both IMAP and SMTP, including in the Accounts setup within Mac under Mail > Accounts in the Mail app. Those posts were old enough that they didn’t acknowledge that two-factor authentication is theoretically functional within Mail. I say theoretically, because when it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. And neither Google nor Apple have identified why anywhere I can find, and Mail specifies no useful error message.
Fortunately, I decided to ignore the enter-the-passwords-in-three-locations advice and access the account setup advanced features directly through Mail > Preferences in the Mail app.Â This method avoids Mail’s attempt to access the Gmail two-factor authentication and allows you to enter app-specific passwords directly.Â You will need two app-specific passwords for each account.Â Yes, two.Â It’s ridiculous, but that’s how it is for now.
So, here are the steps that worked in under five minutes total:
- Open Mail > Preferences in Mail and navigate to the account you want to fix.
- Open a web browser and log into the same Gmail account as the one you want to fix in Mail, and go to My Account, then app-specific passwords.
- Create an app-specific password for SMTP.Â Call it whatever you want, because Gmail doesn’t care; just make it something you will recognize later when you check the app-specific passwords list again.
- Switch back to Mail and go to the Advanced tab for the account you want to fix.Â Add the app-specific password and navigate back to the main settings screen for the account.
- Switch to Gmail and create a second app-specific password.
- Switch back to Mail and enter the new app-specific password in the main password field.
- Navigate to another account or close the Preferences pane to save the changes.
- Wait a few seconds and enjoy the stable connections that no longer ask for passwords that don’t get accepted.
Take care, and enjoy life,
It’s annual appraisal time for many, many people. And part of that is the often-dreaded self-assessment, self-appraisal, or yearly accomplishment review. Regardless of the name it goes by in your organization, it’s the document through which you evaluate your annual accomplishments for use by your supervisor, manager, or executive. And he or she uses it (hopefully) as an input for his or her assessment of your performance. In this post, I address ways to make this process more effective, less stressful, and more useful for everyone.