Why I ditched Outlook for Gmail

Dec 9, 2011 by

I had a love affair with Outlook, I had emails filed away in Folders all over the place, you name it there was a folder for it.  I felt organised, I could retrieve a message at the drop of a hat.  Sadly, in reality it didn’t quite work that way.  I spend an awful lot of time on my pc/laptop which means they wear out more quickly than normal.  Even with the tech knowledge I possess it still meant that every time I changed my IT I lost some of my emails, many of my settings and I was becoming more and more frustrated that I couldn’t manage my email from anywhere but this one machine.

Then there’s the time the blue screen of death appeared and my email disappeared when it came back.  I’ve dabbled with other systems over the years but never found anything that had the functionality I needed, until now.

I love GMail!

Now before you shout out that I am always telling you not to use a gmail address for your business, you don’t have to!  Let me share with you below some of the reasons I love Gmail so much and have been a happy convert for over a year now.

It syncs!

If like me you have more than one gadget that you wish to access your email from then you will love gmail, I can access it from my phone, my laptop, the iPad, the netbook and from anywhere with an internet connection and its the same inbox, with the same address book and the same settings.  This is one of the biggest benefits for me, if I press delete on one its gone on them all. The other benefit is not having to pay for a Microsoft Exchange account, you can actually have this functionality for free on Google!

I can send and receive from more than one account

I can receive mail from quite a few different email addresses with just a few clicks to set it up and I can send mail from up to five different email accounts, my default account doesn’t have to be a gmail address.

I don’t need folders – I have labels

I know many Outlook users use folders as their main excuse for staying put.  You don’t need to.  Whilst Gmail doesn’t have folders it does have labels, and to all intents and purposes they look the same, but they are so much more flexible and easy to work with.  Using filters which are very easy to set up I have email delivered direct to ‘labels’ effectively separating my inbox out for me so I can work more efficiently.

Archive and Search

You don’t have to delete emails if you think you may need them again another day, just archive it.  The search facility in gmail is amazing, and I can normally find the email I am looking for within a couple of minutes as long as it hasn’t been deleted.

Add Ins

Google has a store of various add ins that you can select to make your email experience more personal and effective for you. These vary from features that change the way you view to reminding you about adding attachments, did you want to send this email to John as well as Mary, and even scheduling of your emails.

Google Apps

You don’t have to go for Google Apps but I chose to, my email goes through the google apps server meaning that if my website goes down I still have access to my email.  It is easy to set up other users on your account, you can delegate access to your mail, with the premium version of Apps you can set various security settings and it’s such an easy to use system.

In summary Gmail has made me much more efficient and given me back control of my inbox.  What’s your favourite email client and why?

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  1. I switched to gmail about 2 years ago and love it. As you point out, so much more felexibility and easy to use. Apparently there is also a tool you can use to backup your gmail account as well althought he name of it escapes me just at the moment.

  2. Helen

    Ooh will have to have a look for that, thanks!

  3. I currently use both, gmail syncs to Outlook (which I like a bit too much) and my Blackberry. Thankfully, I don’t get thousands of emails, but it does concentrate the mind on making sure you don’t receive more emails than you need to do.

    However, the bit you put about labels sounds quite interesting. I don’t use lots of folders, instead preferring to search on names, and one of the most frustrating things is finding emails when the naming convention changes. So will have a look at labels and see if they can help.


  4. Talking to a friend the other day.

    He admitted that he has 11,000 emails in his outlook.

    (I should also say that I am a gmail convert too)

    He was surprised when his PC started to become sluggish and fell over, refusing to play.

    It took a pc support technician a couple of hours to rescue all said messages.

    Richard said he realised that he was subconsciously carrying all that data around with him in his head.

    The irony? He advises factory owners and manufacturers about efficiency…

  5. Thank you for this post Helen. I’ve been wondering for a while if I ought to make the switch… I’m a lover of Outlook too and so far I haven’t been brave enough to do it, but as I also use multiple devices it would make far more sense.
    Bridie Jenner recently posted..How to easily repurpose your contentMy Profile

  6. I’m also a lover of Outlook, but managing various accounts is becoming more difficult. I think I am going to make the switch, my laptop is becoming sluggish which is quite possibly email related! Thanks Helen!
    Jo Harrison recently posted..5 Step Plan for Organising your Social Media UsageMy Profile

  7. Helen

    I have to say I have never looked back Jo, I had similar problems with the laptop being sluggish and just kept throwing in extra memory or a new hard drive! It does make a difference but have to say that the biggest difference is the being able to access my accounts anywhere, anytime, from any machine. That flexibility is priceless!

  8. I use gmail and Thunderbird.
    Lisa Attias recently posted..The way to someone’s heart on Valentine’s Day?My Profile

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