I use gmail; it’s my main address, and I have reasons for that.
My first address was in Hotmail, and I liked it, but shortly after I set it up, my workplace gave me my own email address, and I used that, and forgot my Hotmail password, and let the account die.
My work address was good but when I was away from my work computer, I had to use webmail, and I found it awkward, clumsy, and ugly. So I set up a mail account on my ISP. Now when I was away from my home computer, I had to use webmail, with the same complaints, awkward, clumsy and ugly. I did learn how to forward email to another account and that worked well for a while.
I also began to notice certain patterns. If you moved and/or got a new ISP provider, you lost your email address. If professors left the college where I worked, they had their address removed. Not forwarded from, just removed. (The students, there for only a couple of years, and with the same addressing convention as professors, got theirs for life. I never understood why the difference.) I decided I needed a web-based mail application so I could access my email from any online computer, and to protect me, I hoped, from losing an address that I’d been using for a long time. (This was before Facebook.)
At the same time I was using Bloglines to follow a number of bloggers I had found I could learn from. Some made references to Yahoo mail. But I’m very sensitive to the connotations of words, and “[a] Yahoo is a legendary being in the novel Gulliver’s Travels (1726) by Jonathan Swift.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yahoo_%28Gulliver%27s_Travels%29 so I just wasn’t attracted. And anyway, gmail was recommended more. Plus, in my mind, “google” was similar to “giggle” and therefore had good connotations, and Google was a known quantity. So I set up a gmail account.
What I Like
I have become a real gmail fan. For many reasons, I’m sure I’ll miss mentioning some.
The most important!
I forward the three other email addresses I use to my gmail account and, this is the really important part, I can reply from the address the message came in on! So no one knows that I’m not actually on my work account; I’m using gmail.
The most trivial
I like visually attractive environments and I like playing and changing. gMail has different themes you can access under Settings on the upper right of the gmail screen.
Conveniences – in no particular order
- gmail search works well, and even a word in a message gets me to what I’m looking for
- From my gmail account, I can easily move to other Google sites, the calendar, Google Docs, Reader, and much more
- I’ve set up labels (in different colours) and I can drag them onto messages, and use more than one per message (unlike folders) plus I can use a variety of coloured stars to help me organize.
- I have a huge storage space!
- I love how I can organize my Contacts, so I have both individual’s email and groups’ emails available for adding with a click – see the image below for some of my Contacts groups
- I love GoogleGroups – it’s such a useful way for members of a group to communicate with each other – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Groups
Last (for now)
You can add all kinds of capabilities to suit your needs using Google Labs, the green jug icon.
I’ve only enabled what I want and that includes the Tasks window on the lower right. As soon as I click on the flat line, it opens and shows my list of tasks.
I was inspired to write this incomplete explanation of why I like gmail so much by http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/7-ways-to-be-more-productive-with-gmail/ You might want to check it out.