gmail imageUntil about three months ago, I used an iPhone, even though my desktop is a PC. I would sync everything through Outlook — connected with a wire. Problem was, if I forgot to sync at my desk, I would be without some important information on certain days. I also got an out-of-my-home office. Remembering to sync all of my tasks/notes/calendar items started to become crucial. If I forgot, it became a real problem.

By means of some goading from my husband, I made the switch to Gmail as my primary source of email/calendar/tasks/notes/life. I did not change my email address: I just got a gmail account and had my existing email pop into that account. I could answer my emails from either the new gmail or the existing account.

Now, the good stuff: because I’ve switched entirely from Outlook (Calendar, notes, tasks, email), I have all my information in real time, synched anywhere I go. Because all of my information lives in the cloud, I no longer depend on getting back to my desktop so that my phone/notebook/desktop all have the same information. They just do, because I’m doing everything with Google.

I used to be as sharp as a tack. I’m a little duller now (I blame the kids). I would like to take as many duties off my plate as possible. By having my data live in the cloud, it’s one less thing I have to think about.

Admittedly, the Google package is not as elegant as Outlook: getting graphics on signatures is less than easy, the calendar doesn’t have color coding like Outlook and the tasks are surprisingly awkward. Still, they all work and only take a little getting used to. I have augmented some of the things that are lacking by picking up an Evernote and a Reqall account, to manage Notes and Tasks, respectively on my computer as well as my phone.

I just got a flashy new Android G2 phone, very geeked out, still easy to use. When I switched from my old Android Phone to this new one, I didn’t have to load in my information. All I did was tell it my gmail account and brilliantly, it was all there. Because it lives in the cloud. (Are you still confused about this “cloud”? Click here.)

If you travel, or even if you have both home and work offices, this is the way to go. Let me rephrase that: this is the way you will eventually go, so you might as well start testing out the waters. You could also have your documents live either on Google Docs or on Evernote.

You want more reasons to abandon your current tools:

  • Outlook is very difficult to back up, especially as your data grows. What would happen if you lose your archived emails?
  • Yahoo mail gets hacked a LOT, not to mention it’s very ad-centric (yes, Google survives on ads, but not in your email, like Yahoo)
  • MobileMe is extremely buggy, as of this writing. My’s husband’s IT service business struggles on a daily basis with its clients’ issues with their MobileMe accounts.
  • Gmail search engine is quite robust in finding archived emails
  • Gmail has its own hardware: The Android Phone — this means that the software and the hardware are meant to work together and there are added fluencies if you are on gmail and use the android
  • Android phones are much less expensive than iPhones and have the same apps — the app issue is over.

If you take away anything from this blog, I would hope it’s this: DUMP OUTLOOK/yahoo/mobileme/hotmail and get on the Gmail package.  (Google does not pay me. But listen up Google: I’m not above getting paid.)

Never be without your information again!