I use Gmail for both my personal and business e-mail. The business side of things is relatively new (within the last month or so). I’ve fortunately been selected as a beta participant for the Hosted Gmail service – so I am using my TECHNOSIGHT e-mail address with Gmail, as opposed to an ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’. In order to get all my TECHNOSIGHT e-mail addresses running through Gmail, the only thing I really needed to do was change my MX records.
Hosted Gmail is going to be a real winner for Google, especially if they decide to offer it as a paid service. I’d gladly pay for it – it is just that useful. I previously was using Mozilla Thunderbird via IMAP to do work e-mails. I actually really like using an e-mail client, as I think most people do. But with that being said, I am a relatively mobile worker and I use multiple laptops. Even with IMAP, it still was a pain to use Thunderbird.
Now, no matter where I am, my e-mail inbox appears the same because I view it through a web browser. Sure, I give up a couple of niceties like fuller rich text editing and return receipts but it’s worth it for me.
A similar service is what Sproutit is doing with Mailroom (see my interview with Sproutit CEO Charles Jolley). My biggest qualm with Mailroom though, is that you don’t get a fully branded e-mail address (e.g., my e-mail would show as ‘email@example.com’).
Over the past month or two, Gmail has been painfully slow. I imagine that it’s because of its popularity. Among my friends (20 somethings), there are few people I know who don’t have a Gmail account. Hopefully, they can do some sort of hardware upgrade in the near future.
I’ll be posting on some tools for mobile workers pretty soon.