Independent Thinking Blog

Going Google

I have a confession to make: My e-mail “system” has been a mess.

Microsoft Outlook was structured to pull & store e-mail from legacy Internet companies with poor Webmail interfaces and small storage capacities.  In came more and more mail, and the only way not to have two-thirds of your inbound e-mail bounced out before breakfast was to download and store it on your PC. This worked pretty well when everyone had only one device–a computer–on which they worked. And played. Then along came Research in Motion offering a seamless way for non-enterprise users (i.e., me) to both access e-mail on the go and still funnel it into Outlook for storage.

Then I went Android. And everything changed.

In 2013, it shouldn’t matter where you are or what device you use. 

But somehow it did. The “best” way I could come up with to make sure I saw my e-mail on the go was to forward a copy of everything to my Gmail account. Clearly this was not a great solution. And, yet, I persevered until my hosting company put in a new spam filter that immediately starting bouncing a lot of valid mail.

Did I mention it was a very crappy spam filter?

Enter the cloud.

I’ve been a little skeptical about the whole cloud computing model. Frankly, I still am. I’m not ready to store financial and other sensitive data online. More importantly, cloud computing depends on having Internet access. Which is not ubiquitous.

E-mail, however, is probably by definition the first cloud computing service. (Or the first one widely used.) So I signed up for Google Apps for Business the other day and moved my domain e-mail account to Google’s servers. The transfer process is pretty simple, and Owen on Google’s tech support team did an awesome job helping me navigate a couple of bumps along the way.

Now I can access my e-mail where I am — and I’m not “cc-ing” myself all over the place. Sometimes it takes entrepreneurs a little while to make our lives easier, but we get there eventually.

What’s your e-mail solution? Have you “Gone Google”?

Photo by Derrick Tyson (Flickr).

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