We have been using Gmail at work for the last couple of years as the mail package provided by our hosting service gives us 15MB of storage space and almost no other functionality than very basic sending and receiving.  I switched us over primarily because we would stop getting emails if we didn’t clear things out 3-4 times per day (tricky on weekends in particular).

Initially I set up the old account to just forward everything and we would still send from the other log-in.  Now that Gmail has added the option to send from a separate email account (rather than “on behalf of”), I only log into the old account if something breaks (usually something server side on our hosting end).  I have found a few things that are probably only really useful to my particular situation but I will share anyway.

We only have one email address for the entire office which can be a double-edged sword.  On the one hand, chances are pretty good that every email will be seen by somebody.  On the other hand, since everybody sees it, sometimes things get left un-done because the expectation was that somebody else would deal with it (I am guilty of this myself).  I haven’t figured out a way to solve this completely but I am getting more successful in sorting out the signal from the noise.

My boss uses this account as his only email so all of his personal stuff comes into it as well.  I do my best not to read things that I know are his own stuff but it happens now and again (I found out what my co-workers and I were getting for Christmas because of just such a mis-opened email).  He also subscribes to several investing-related mailing lists so in any given day we will get between 15 and 20 emails, 10-12 of which are not really work-related.  I set up Gmail’s filters and multiple inboxes so that all of his investment stuff goes into one inbox and his personal stuff goes into another (I will have to keep maintaining this and adding new addresses to the filters as more mail comes in).  This sorts everything neatly and keeps the main inbox free for actual work email.

Lifehacker has a lot of useful articles on Gmail but one I’m really going to plug is this pretty straightforward how-to on switching to a Gmail account.  Eventually I will get around to ditching my old hotmail account (which I’ve had since I was 17 and used pretty frequently during this past decade) but right now I have Gmail retrieving everything from it via IMAP and it is handy as a throw-away registration email for various forums and things.

fritter and waste the hours