E-mail - a grudging goodbye to Outlook

So for the last 12 or so years I have been a hard core Microsoft Outlook fan. Sure, Outlook has some issues and is a bit of a memory pig but it works really well for me. I've always been a highly structured person and used folders in Outlook rigorously in order to organize everything I do - I even use the feature that keep sent items in the folder they were sent from, effectively giving me a way to browse things in a threaded nature.

When I left Vovici it was the perfect time to rethink lots of technology - e-mail being first. Since I had walked away from my e-mail address I decided to use Gmail as my primary address.

 Initially my Gmail account was a throw-away, something I used as a vehicle for web site signups where I didn't care if they spammed me.  Then I started to realize that my Gmail account got a surprisingly small amount of SPAM, and it nearly always plopped it into my SPAM folder. I got nearly zero false positives too.

All in all, I love the switch to Gmail. I even put in my other e-mail addresses and use the Gmail Mail Fetcher feature to just bundle them in with my other Gmail. I didn't have to check a bunch of other locations in order to retrieve my e-mail!

Now that I am spending more and more time on my MacBook, especially since it's my portable machine, I decided to take a look at other e-mail clients. Since Mail is bundled right in with the OS it was the first I tried.

Mail is a nice, simple e-mail client. The reason I like it right now is that it provides full IMAP support, which means that I simply point it at my Gmail account and I have access to all of my Gmail messages. I haven't played with the rules on it, preferring to keep those up on the Gmail service and running 24 hours a day, not just when I'm running my Mail application.

So now I have the best of both worlds: if I want immediate access to all of my e-mail, wherever I happen to be, I simply go to Gmail. Everything is there and easily searchable. Those Google guys have searching down pretty well for some reason.  Then when I'm using my MacBook (which I'm finding happening more and more) I use Mail to access the exact same account.

Sorry Outlook - it was a great ride.


co said...

I actually left Mail for Thunderbird. For some reasons Mail just wasn't working for me in terms of its UI and integration with my school email and gmail. Did you try Thunderbird?

Tom said...

With Mail, make sure to try out Smart Folders. They are similar to Outlooks Search Folders, or the GMail labels, and are quite powerful. I have a setup at work with my major different categories of e-mail showing up in different smart folders (project 1, project 2, automated systems, etc) and also some time based folders to show me all my e-mail in the past day or two, or what messages I have looked at in the past day.

Zachary said...

I would love to use Mail for email purposes but it does a terrible job of Exchange support, so I'm stuck with Entourage. Oh well.

Hendrik said...

I am using Gmail from as well. What I especially like in Mail is the auto-discovery of events. It extracts the relevant bits from the email to quickly create a new iCal event. Gmail has a similar feature, but somewhat surprisingly it never worked all that well for me.