I just learned this the hard way:
If you’re not using Google Apps to run your email, I highly recommend it.
Late last week, The Brain That Is My Laptop crashed. Went down hard and suddenly. The kind folks at the Apple Store took my ‘puter back, and will be fixing it free of charge, but it means being without many of my files for what will probably be a week and a half when it’s all said and done. And, yes, I do regular backups, but my old machine will be back in action with all those old files before too long…so I didn’t really care to go buy a new machine just to reinstall those back-upped files onto.
Being without my primary computer for a week would not necessarily be a big deal – except for my old emails. I used Entourage (think Outlook for a Mac) as my email client and my web host’s mailserver. So, no computer, no emails, and no newer files, either, of course, which meant a couple of new projects I was working on just stopped in their tracks. And that experience has been painful enough that I really don’t want it to happen again.
So, I finally took a friend’s advice from long ago and made the leap to Google Apps. I consolidated a slew of email accounts under my firm’s proper domain name, migrated my calendar, and can now access both from any machine, anywhere, anytime. Zero spam now, and the whole labels-versus-folders thing in Gmail is much less of an issue than I thought it would be, too. In general, it all works brilliantly.
More interestingly, though, is that I am starting to plug some new third-party gadgets into both GMail and get more into Google Docs, too. And those apps in particular are making me rethink everything from the email service provider to the CRM program I use to run my spoke fund. It’s almost a no-brainer to tie it all in together.
So while my original goal in making the leap to Google Apps was to just prevent me from ever being without old emails again, that is slowly morphing into an intriguing question:
Can I run this business from my iPad?
As of today, the answer is “not quite.” I really need a mouse and the ability to multi-task on the iPad, to start. And typing anything over the length of this blog post leaves a little to be desired.
But in terms of being forced to re-think how efficient you are being, I suppose there is nothing quite like a broken laptop.
So, I am now officially a fan of Google Apps. Wish I’d done it early on. Don’t make the same mistake, eh?