When I first started working for Windows IT Pro, I had never heard of “e-newsletters”—or “UPDATEs” as we refer to them. It didn’t take me long to put the “e” and the “newsletter” parts together. Putting the e-newsletter content together, however, was a whole different story. Back then, our company had a sideways excuse for a tool that was more for launching than creating e-newsletters and didn’t even really send out the final project all that well. I dreaded the day every month when I had to build a new issue. Those days I’d leave the office cross-eyed from prolonged stares at my computer screen and a dizzy boredom from typing and testing HTML code. I pitied those editors in charge of weekly and even <gasp> daily UPDATEs. Now, a new day--and a new way--has come: the eNews Generator.

The eNews Generator is a free HTML and text e-newsletter builder for user group leaders (or, really, for anyone who needs to create content for email). The tool lets you combine your own messages and updates with more than 26,000 articles from Windows IT Pro, SQL Server Magazine, Exchange & Outlook Pro VIP, Scripting Pro VIP, Security Pro VIP, Paul Thurrott's WinInfo, Connected Home Express, and JSIFAQ. You can use our pre-built templates, or send us your favorite template, and we’ll incorporate it for you. The best part is that registering for the tool automatically signs you up for free VIP-level access to all of our online articles, and members reading your e-newsletter don’t have to be signed on or even members of our Web sites to read the articles! A total bonus if you ask me.

Learn more about the tool at usergroup.windowsitpro.com/generator, where you can read FAQs, view example e-newsletters, and watch a screencast in which our Online Community Manager, Chris Sigfrids, walks you through registering and creating your first issue. Despite Chris’s abnormally loud mouse clicks, the screencast is incredibly helpful. I was pleased to hear Chris give out his contact information to those who might need further assistance—a great personal touch. (That is not sarcasm.) I think we should all call him to see if his refrigerator is running. (Neither is that.) Of course, if you want to know more about how this tool can benefit you (and Chris has blocked you from making anymore prank phone calls), you can send me a message, and we’ll get you started.