Why I use GMail

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.

2 Responses to “Why I use GMail”

  1. Karl Stanzick Says:

    Excellent Simon. As an old dog who is still using PINE, my concern about moving to Gmail would be my “from” address. Can you configure Gmail to “send” differently depending on where the mail is from?

  2. fruey Says:

    Hi Karl, good to see you commenting here :-)

    I was back to using PINE before switching to GMail; Mutt on Windows doesn’t cut it. My mail server for caperet.com was marking SPAM by adding [SPAM] to the subjet, so PINE could filter it on loading the Inbox. However, I also needed access from other machines via webmail, and the webmail app (an old version of SquirrelMail) available from my hosting provider http://www.sivit.fr has no way of automatically deleting messages based on a filter, so I’d have to manually delete SPAM (ouch).

    GMail allows you to set up sender addresses as you see fit, and allows you to reply automatically via the email address that the mail was sent to. It adds a certain level of spoofing security by sending you an email to the email address you set as your sender address, with a confirmation code you have to use to validate that address. Only after this validation can you send as that address.

    I’ll send you an email from GMail as @caperet.com so you can check out the full headers; Google do it pretty clean, so that you can see it’s from the @gmail.com interface, but the From: part is correct.

    -Fruey