Tuesday, September 17, 2013

I'm a Google Convert - Mail and Calendar

As a long time Outlook user, I always liked to keep my calendar on both my work and personal laptops. Lately, I've had to use Google calendar sync to copy items from one calendar to the other.  It was a strange set up and it seemed to be more complicated that it should need to be.

I've also been a long time user of SpamArrest to block most of the dozens of spam messages that I get every day.  I was happy with the SpamArrest service, however I'd heard good things about the Google spam blocking ability, and thought I'd try it.  Since I was paying about $50 per year for SpamArrest, it saves me a little money.  It's also nice to not have that extra email address embedded in everything any more - a lot of people had started sending me everything at both my main email address (Comcast) and SpamArrest, which made me get duplicates.

Outlook served me well but I was ready for a change.  I'd had enough of the confusion of having an extra email (@spamarrest.com), and the cost, so I decided to try Gmail for mail and calendar.

So this summer I made the big change - I dropped SpamArrest and started using Gmail's email program rather than Outlook.  I no longer have to sync my google calendar into Outlook to keep my two laptops in sync.  I'm finding that I get very little spam anymore, and Google is really good at catching them.

The nice thing is that Gmail is able to pick up ALL of my email addresses - from Comcast and my website both.  So I can use it just like I used Outlook, to read all of my email in one place.  I'm getting used to the user interface and I like the flags for "important" and "starred" to help me stay organized.

My son is actually going to learn how to use some of the Google apps in school this semester, so I'm curious to see how those look, as well.  I really haven't used much other than mail and calendar (and instant message with Google Talk).

Stay tuned as I learn other Google programs or other useful things to make my digital life smoother.

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