Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Replacing Outlook with GMail - Part 1

I talked several posts back about my repeated problems with Outlook. I also discussed how to fix a broken Outlook database by using Microsofts recovery tool (scanpst). But what I've yet to discuss is how I solved my issue. I solved it by switching completely to Google GMail.

Google Gmail was something I originally used to run all my mail through just before pulling it into Outlook. You see Google has an amazing spam catching service. My spam went from MANY down to just 1 or 2 a month. Just do a google search for 'using google as spam filter' and you will find pages and pages on how to do just such a thing. So technically I was already using Google for filtering my mail, but I rairly used it to read and organize my mail. but that all changed just a few weeks back......

After my Outlook refused to do anything (oh it would open, but that was it), I was forced to open Google to view my mail. I never liked that I couldn't preview my mail like I could in Outlook, but Google has a setting (in Google Labs) for allowing you to right-click to preview the mail. This was great! So while Outlook was down, I started using GMail every day. I found I liked the filters, the previews, and the add-ons in the Labs area.

Google Labs has many extra features that can enhance the email experience. AutoAdvance through reading emails; Google Docs previews; Hyperlink addresses to Google Maps; Insert images into the body of an email; and Undo sent emails. They have so many more features that take the Canned G-Mail and make it Your-Mail. ok, that was corny, but true.

What already knew, but really really really learned was that I was able to check my mail anywhere. Laptop, phone, work, and my home computer. All the emails stayed in Google so an email I got last week could be referenced anywhere. This sold it for me.... I was staying in the cloud baby!!! No more emails trapped on my computer when I needed them at the office. No more fighting with Microsoft's horrible interface. and finally, No more crashing Outlook.

Next post I'll discuss the quick and easy process of using IMAP to pull/share your email on your computer with G-Mail. It really is the final step to chucking Outlook to the curb.

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