Three months ago I tested Gmail in depth. I’ve been using for ages, but wanted to look at it with a fresh pair of eyes.
My plan was to spend a week running all incoming email through Gmail on my Windows desktop, laptop and hand-held computers. I previously used Microsoft Outlook.
I wanted to move all my email accounts on all my systems through a single application as a way of simplifying things.
In practice it worked well. Routing my Gmail, POP3, Google Apps and Yahoo accounts through one in-box made sense.
Seeing the same messages through the same interface across my three systems made sense. The experiment was so successful I stayed with it for three months.
Windows integrates Outlook search
There is a problem with Gmail: integrated search. It is easy to search Gmail messages. Email search is faster and more efficient than Outlook search tools.
I missed not being able to search Word and OneNote documents, text, HTML and email documents from a single, central location. But I figured this was only a minor irritation.
Then Windows 7 came along, with improved integrated search. It is noticeably better than Vista search and it works better with Outlook 2007. So much better, that I’ve reinstated Outlook 2007 as my main mail hub. I can use it on my desktop and laptop, but not on my Palm hand-held.
This hardly matters, the Palm is not the best device for writing email – though it is good for reading emails. And anyway, I suspect my trusty old Palm TX is not long for this world.
Update: I forgot the other bonus. Outlook 2007 integrates nicely with OneNote while it is a pain moving messages from Gmail to the application.