I began using gmail in 2009 when I knew I was going overseas for a Virtual Assistant conference. I wanted to manage my email in a web based facility and because I have several email addresses and domains, I didn’t want to be logging in and out of several sites. Research indicated that Gmail could do what I wanted – pull all the emails from several locations and store it in the one place for me to review, read and respond to, and still making it available to download on my computer back at home on my return. I didn’t have to wait for it to download on my laptop because the email was already sitting there in gmail waiting for me. Furthermore I didn’t have to worry about my mail servers getting full and blocked.
I loved the convenience of Gmail and its effective spam filter that I continued to use it after my return home and still do today. And I keep discovering things I can do, or perhaps they keep introducing new things. One of those things is the timed ‘away message’ you can set up with dates of when you’re not going to be around through to your return date. So now I can set up a message ahead of time and not worry about having to remember to switch it on.
One thing though is that obviously the space is going to fill up some time. I’ve been using it for 2 years now and had to start clearing it out a bit last Christmas and it began to get close to full again. Should I pay out for a bigger account (the cost is not that big). However, I thought about whether I really need to keep all of those emails?
I love that I can search for emails, both sent and received quickly and easily with their filtering system but the reality is I don’t need to keep every email I’ve received or sent. So I ran a filter on all the forum chats, Google Alerts and other things that I don’t need to keep forever and deleted them all. Not just from the inbox but also in my sent folder. Now my space is back to being only 41% instead of 94% full. Gmail is free and easy to use and I would consider it to be the more ‘professional’ web based free email system available.