I am so thrilled at this little tool for Thunderbird and Firefox, I feel I have to talk about it. It’s probably most useful for people in customer-facing people.
If you find that you have many snippets or nuggets of information that you are frequently putting in emails or in text fields in browsers such as, for example, salesforce, or gmail. You probably find that it is mind-numbing to wirte the bit of information anew everytime you do need to do it. The more time you have to write something out, the less you think about it and the more automatic the information you are giving out becomes. The first time you write something, your mind is focused on the issue, as it is new and fresh in your mind. By the time you have explained to the 3,456th customer why support is given on a per-server basis, perhaps the message is not as clear.
If any of this rings true for you, you have have set up template emails or use tools like Quicktext ( for Thunderbird ). These have been useful for sending URLs, descriptions of how something or other works, or in my case, details of a range of support options.
The problem with this becomes clear when you have multiple templates or texts saved. Quite often you will try and put in all the information about a particular topic in order to save yourself an email ping-pong match with your recipient. The effect is that you start giving people information on things they don’t need ( I just want to know what Landscape costs for 3 machines, I don’t need a feature list, or an explanation of how the cost reduces once I buy 51 licenses ).
Furthermore, what happens when you use two or three different programs to impart the same information. Somebody contacts you in Salesforce and you reply through the interface in Firefox, which gives your canonical.com email address as the reply-to. When you receive a further reply to your Salesforce-sent message, you need to use your Thunderbird email client to answer it. This means that now, you can’t use your predefined template to answer their further questions, which, infuriatingly, is saved in Salesforce’s email templates system. You can go into salesforce and cut-and-paste, or write the message you want anew. Both of which are time-wasters.
Try Clippings to save your frequently used messages. It can be installed in both Thunderbird and Firefox, using the same xml database. if you add or change a snippet of info, then the change is shown in both applications.
You can then make the snippets very small so that they are specific to one thing only, and use however many clippings you need to get the right information across succinctly. Finally eliminate Gmail/Salesforce and Email-client templates completely.