Why use Gmail?

Why Use Gmail

I'm always recommending Gmail to people and when they ask why each time I write various bits about why... well NO MORE.. I'll just send them here:)

Gmail is google's answer to email. Its free and fantastic. Here are the pros and Cons:

General Gmail Pros

  • Gmail is very fast. When I think back to the old days of waiting for outlook to send and receive... well... frankly I have nightmares. Gmail is modern and fast web-app page that loads and refreshes in an instant or two and there are all your mails. The only thing that is slow is the downloading of attachments, but that's only if you want to download them. In normal use this aspect of Gmail alone will save you about two days a decade.
  • Gmail is very secure. You cant really get infected is you use Gmail. I mean, maybe there is some exotic exploit that could in theory drop a malware nuke right on your hard drive, but Ive never heard of the possibility. If you just used Gmail I think you wouldn't even need a virus checker.
  • Gmail No Spam. I get more spam than the guy who has been joining porn and mortgage sites, on the same email, since 1995. Right now I have many thousands in my Gmail spam folder but they are of no concern. All the power of all the gmail users and The Google itself combine - Gmail is the best spam filter, period.
  • No backup Required. - I have had an email address since about 1993 and I have lost all my emails many times. With Gmail you don't need to worry about backing up, Google does it all. And frankly, id rather trust them than me to manage back ups.
  • Never Loose A Mail - Because you never delete mails with Gmail you never loose them.
  • The Conversation - Gmail groups emails into conversations. Its hard to get your head around when used to linear emails but its a huge huge huge shift in productivity.
  • The Other Google Apps - With your Gmail account you get seamless access to the vastly useful other Google Apps like Google calender, Docs, blogger, Notebook, Photos..... and on and on.... Google Docs is one of the most important applications for two decades in my opinion.
  • Search fantastic - This is one that I hadn't really thought of until this list. With gmail you can find any mail or mails so easily using the full power of the Google's engine on your Gmail. If you need it you also have the full set of google search expressions at your disposal on your inbox.
  • Office Anywhere - I can walk into a cafe in any country in the world and I have all my emails, documents, bookmarks, photos... everything... right there safely in the browser. Ahhh the liberation of technology!
  • The Inbox Task List - Way before Gmail I was using my inbox as a task list, but gmail makes it sio easy. Just archive the actioend emails and its done.
  • Google Mobile - Gmail works so well on mobile phones using either Opera Mina or the free Gmail mobile java applet.

Gmail Cons

  • Contacts - With Gmail you don't need an address book really. If you have send an email to fred@ it will ALWAYS remember that. That's great, but if you do want to have Freds phone number etc, the contacts system is pretty crap. I'm sure it will eb improved but for now accept that its cruddy.
  • You Are Googl's Bitch - I blogged about this here. Its as much of an issue as you want to make it. Until I have reason to believe otherwise I'm 100% happy with The Google having all my stuff.
  • Offline - This is the big gripe some teccies have with Google Apps - that you cant work offline. And its true, we have had issues in the Sri Lankan office where some net downtime meant we just couldn't work. Google are pioneering some pretty funky technology called "Google Gears" to address this exact problem. Its still in beta,but looks very promising - it is currently available just for Google Reader.

I may add to this list as time goes by.