How can I use to send email to a group without retyping the addresses each time?
September 14, 2010 2:52 PM   Subscribe

How can I use to send email to a group without retyping the addresses each time? Difficulty: I don't want to add all the addresses to my Address Book app.

I teach. I send email to my classes. The composition of the classes change each semester. Currently, to send email, I log onto the class management system, cut and paste all the email addresses and use them as a bcc. I use for a variety of reasons that make it better than the web interface provided.

I want to be able to set up a group or alias so that I can enter "fall-2010-class" and have the addresses populated in, so that I don't have to go through the cut-and-paste each time. How do I do this?

I know I can create an Address Book group and use that, but I don't want my Address Book populated with hundreds of students' names. I can use a bulk mailer, but there are only 10-40 addresses per class, so that seems overkill.
posted by procrastination to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
If you add a note to each student's card about what class they're in you could find them all easily and just delete them at the end of the semester.

Alternatively maybe you could use a LDAP server, or just make yourself a webpage with a big, ugly mailto: URL on it? (I just tested that and it seems to open fine in
posted by ecurtz at 3:14 PM on September 14, 2010

Do you have internet access? If so, why not use Mail Chimp instead? Does MS Office for Mac have a Mail Merge function that works with
posted by KokuRyu at 3:22 PM on September 14, 2010

You might try an abbreviation expander (they're worth using, regardless) such as TextExpander. So your abbreviation would be fall-2010, and that would expand to,, etc. Delimit addresses with commas. Create a new message, type fall-2010 in the To: field, and Bob's you're uncle.
posted by adamrice at 3:33 PM on September 14, 2010

Nth the text expander idea. There is one built into snow leopard. Preferences | Language & Text | Text. This is where you'd put your list of emails so for example fall10-- could put in the list of addresses in the mailto field.

To get it to work in, right click on the compose window, go down to Substitutions, and click on on Text Replacement.

Another one to look at is Automaton, which has tons of features.
posted by Brent Parker at 4:55 PM on September 14, 2010 [1 favorite]

Brent Parker has it. Use the text expanding feature in Snow Leopard. Or you could pay for TextExpander, Typinator, or TypeIt4Me, which are like the text expanding feature on steroids.
posted by brianogilvie at 7:36 PM on September 14, 2010

By "so that I don't have to go through the cut-and-paste each time" do you mean that you are currently copying each name individually for every email? If yes, I have a solution that may not be quite as simple as you are looking for, but does not require any other software.

I do this by:
1. doing it by hand the first time, entering/copying each individual address.
2. when I want to send again, I search for one of the students' names, and the previously sent email comes up.
3. I cut and paste (en masse) all the addresses into a new email, write the email and send.

inelegant, perhaps, but it works.

If the answer to my lead question is NO, then I guess you're already doing what I describe above.
posted by segatakai at 4:57 AM on September 15, 2010 does this for you. First, create a group in called "foo". Add people to the group. Then start a new message in and just type "foo" in the to: line. Hit return and voila.
posted by about_time at 12:10 PM on September 16, 2010

Oh, it looks like you know addressbook will do this for you. Still, it's the best way as when the semester ends, you can delete all entries in that group.
posted by about_time at 12:21 PM on September 16, 2010

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