I manage four email addresses, each for different purposes like signing up to websites, personal email and mailing lists. Since GMail included POP3 access as part of the service, I have been able to get all of them except Hotmail together in one slick web application.
GMail changes the way email is managed, abandoning traditional folders in favour of labels. This takes some getting used to but has some distinct advantages. If an email fits the criteria to be in more than one folder you’d have to copy it into all of them. With labels you just add as many as are relevant. Add to that the notion of coversations (Google keeps all emails in the same thread together as if they were one email) and your email is easy to keep track of. Especially when you have the power of Google keyword search for all your email.
The efficient SPAM filtering in GMail was the final nail in the coffin for my other webmail apps. Yahoo has a nice drag and drop interface but catches less junk mail for me. The rich interface also makes it slower, especially with all the advertising (which is text only in Gmail).
GMail Mobile is another advantage. You can download a free application for your PDA or phone to send and receive email while on the move or away from your PC. The application is easier to use than most phone email applications and works even if your carrier doesn’t provide email access because it uses WAP or HTTP. Put simply this means if you can surf on your phone, then you can GMail.
Now I can read all my mail in one place, accessible from anywhere. I spend less time deleting SPAM, and I can still download it to my PC to keep it backed up. Now I just have to get organised enough to send timely replies to all those people who are waiting to hear from me.