Google has been in the news lately for reducing the options served in its employee café. I can’t fault them but most of us love any free lunch, breakfast, and dinner.
Although you’re not a Google employee, you can still take advantage of the “free lunch”. In this case it’s not food for the body, but food for your computer and maybe your mind.
I’m often surprised by the number of people who do not take advantage of the free services offered from Google. If you’re reading this blog, I know you like to save money, so I hope you’ll take the Google gift horse.
I often tell people of the value of Gmail (Google’s free email service), only to hear that they don’t want to change their email address from Verizon, AOL, or Comcast, etc. While I totally understand the hesitance to change, the benefits out way the fear.
Most ISPs give you an email address with service. That’s great, but I believe it’s just a trap to keep you from switching ISPs, as you fear losing your email address. They have you hooked!
You can break the cycle. Get a Gmail account and gradually get your contacts used to the new address. This way, if your ISP doesn’t satisfy you or if you can find a better deal, you won’t loose you email addy when you switch.
There are many benefits to Gmail. Aside from the aforementioned ISP independence, Gmail is
1. Free. No strings attached.
2. POP3 Capable. Post Office Protocol allows your mail to be stored locally on your machine via an email client like Apple Mail, Thunderbird, Outlook, Eudora, or Entourage. The advantage here is that finding old message is faster and easier. Also, you have access to downloaded messages even if you’re not connected to the Internet. You can also draft messages to be sent later. If you have your laptop, but you’re traveling and not connected to the Internet, you could reply to messages and those replies will be sent when you connect to the Internet.
3. Surprisingly not crowded. Many email addresses are still available. You don’t have to be jsmith12875839@_____.com you may be able to actually get your name or preferred handle.
4. More professional sounding than aol or yahoo. I have been to some sites, downloading trial software, that did not accept yahoo addresses.
5. Very user friendly. The web interface is easy to use and can be easily customized. The help files are detailed and just a search away.
6. Extremely powerful. Gmail allows you to modify your email address to keep track of where mail is coming from. For example, if your email address was email@example.com you could also use firstname.lastname@example.org, for all of the recipe websites where you register. Then you can easily filter +recipe mail to a specific folder.
So switch to, or at least get, a Gmail account.
There will be more Google freebies in my next post.
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