Total Google Email – 6 months later

As many of you know, I made the decision several months ago to switch to a totally web-based email system. Of course my preference was Google’s Gmail so naturally I went with Google Apps for my domain.

6 months later – I don’t regret it at all.

There are just too many advantages to name them all, but let me list a few:

  • All my email – everywhere. I have migrated email dating back to 2004 up to Google’s servers. This means I can search my archives anywhere I have a connection.
  • Searching using the power of Google – Lets just say that searching with other email systems is silly compared to Google’s. I can find anything I need quickly and efficiently.
  • Labels – only when needed. Rather than put 1 email in 1 folder (traditional way), you can put multiple labels on the same email. Efficient and just works.
  • Unbelievably powerful filtering for dealing with email.
  • SPAM filtering that is top-notch.
  • Integrated calendar, RTM Tasks, Chat w/ SMS, Google Docs – shall I go on?
  • Ability to easily backup my email using a local client (Thunderbird) or one of several apps such as Gmail Backup.
  • Easily export or import contacts.
  • IMAP and POP support if needed (for backup, etc).
  • Persistent SSL connections now.

So far these are the only disadvantages I’ve found.

  • No offline email unless I have a current backup in Thunderbird. Not really a big deal though.
  • Attachments are 1 at a time. That can be a pain – but I can always use Thunderbird with IMAP for multiple attachments if needed.

Once you start using Google (Gmail or Google Apps), there is really no turning back. Yes, the interface is simple looking – but that is part of its beauty.

What if Google fails or has an issue?
I periodically backup my email locally and those are backed up online. There have only been a few times that Google has had problems. Compared to previous issues with ISP’s, etc, Google comes out a winner again.