Yesterday evening my friend Jason at Google/Blogger asked me, "Got your Gmail account yet?" I said I thought I'd wait until the privacy and intrusion issues died down. My said I should give it a whirl. I just signed up.
In the press coverage of email-with-Google-ads, I'd missed a valuable benefit of Gmail. With a gig of storage, you only need to delete old mail once a decade. In fact, when you push the "Trash" button, this message apprears: "No conversations in the trash. Who needs to delete when you have 1000 MB of storage?!" Furthermore, you don't need folders. You can tag an email with multiple labels for retrieval purposes. When you want something, just search for it. I'll take Google's word for it that their search is faster than that of Outlook or Eudora.
It would certainly be handy if I could upload my past emails into Gmail, so I'd have everything in one place.
For the present, I'm going to forward mail from other email accounts to Gmail. If I decide it's not my cup of tea, I can always cut off the forwarding and go back to my original set-up.
I'll add comments as I gain experience with Gmail.
There's no way to import a contacts file. Agh. My Outlook file has 1,000 names.
The contact list contains a place for free form entry. I may use this for my frequently called directory. (I don't have a PDA and don't really want another gadget in my life right now.)
Pro: I like being able to label emails for easy recall. It's less klutzy than folders and one mail can have multiple tags. Also handy to be able to attach a star to an email that requires follow-up (which you can easily remove when you've done it.)
Con: When I send an email with an attrachment, I am locked out while the attachment uploads from my machine to the mail server. This interrupts the pace of my work.
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