It never ceases to amaze me how Google continues to add the value-add to their products. Gmail is far and away the best web-based email application available today. It blows away all other web based email applications that I have used in the last 10 years…Outlook Web Access, Yahoo, Hotmail, Rocketmail, Squirrelmail, and Horde all pale in comparison. Here’s why Gmail’s on top:
- Keyboard shortcuts: I live all day long using my laptop(s) and it’s critical that I can navigate quickly between emails. One fingered archiving and replying is brilliant. Gmail combines the accessibility of the web, with the keyboardness of Mutt.
- Integrated chat: I don’t have to run an additional client to be accessible via chat — open up one browser window and I’m connected to my personal enterprise email as well as my professional chat client. Also, today it would appear that Google announced the ability to access your AIM chat via GTalk in GMail, so now I can stay in touch with not only my GTalk friends & colleagues, but also my friends who have AIM accounts. Now that’s value-add.
- Anywhere email. With GMail as my primary email account, I don’t have to worry about which client I have loaded on a particular computer nor which platform I am accessing the account from. I don’t have to worry about IMAP access to my Exchange server not being quite up to snuff. I don’t have to worry about developing an anti-spam solution…no, with GMail, anti-spam is there and it just works.
- Google Docs — with my Google account, I have immediate access to gigs and gigs of storage where I can store all sorts of web-based word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation files. In addition to having browser-based access to these documents, I can also invite other colleagues from around the planet to collaborate with me on these docs. No training, no costly apps, no training them how to use a wiki…it’s just there, and it works, and it’s free.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to switch.