Three weeks ago, I switched from using Microsoft Outlook (which I had used since 1998) to Gmail.
What is Gmail?
Gmail is the fast, free web based email from search giant Google. Gmail offers free POP3 access (if you want to download your email into Outlook Express, Thunderbird, etc), 6.5 GB of storage (and the number continually grows), and the best web based spam filter I’ve seen so far.
Why did I switch?
I used Outlook because I could manage my contacts, calendar, email, to-do list, and memos in one program and then synchronize to my Palm Treo. After I purchaed and started to use Vista last year (solely to learn it and to be able to support it), my Treo and Outlook stopped talking to each other. Strike One. This was Outlook 2007 and some of the features I enjoyed (like being able to print just selected text and using just the basic Outlook email editor instead of the slower Word Editor) were dropped and features I knew how to work with in all prior versions were moved, renamed, and/or changed. Strike Two.
I started using Gmail as an experiment on both my desktop and my Palm Treo since Gmail lets you retrieve any other POP3 (standard email) accounts directly into Gmail. After a couple of weeks, I got the hang of Gmail’s Label system which replaces the traditional folder organization in Outlook and all other email systems. I found that I liked the ability to have ALL of my email available to me from ANY computer. My biggest hurdle in leaving Outlook behind was my Cloudmark Desktop anti-spam system. Cloudmark kept my eamil sanity by quietly and efficiently shielding my delicate eyes from the massive amounts of spam I receive every day. Well, after my two week Gmail trial and now my full three week marriage to Gmail, I can say that the Gmail spam filter is every bit as effective as Cloudmark’s. Strike Three!
What do I like about Gmail?
- The always available email from any computer or Internet device (like my Treo) without concern for space.
- Great spam filter.
- Fast and simple interface.
- Labels…after working with Gmail Labels, they make much more since than folders.
- Fast searching of email.
- Wonderful Rules system that makes creating email rules a snap.
- Ability to retrieve external email addresses.
My transition to Gmail has been painless and liberating. If you are thinking of changing email addresses or adding a new one, definitely give Gmail serious consideration. Look for future how-to videos about using Gmail here at HelpMeRick.com.