43 Folders

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Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

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43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Desktop or web-based email?

After getting used to Gmail 3 years ago, I swore I'd stick to web-based email. With IMAP now available, I set it up last week in Apple's Mail client on my desktop to integrate better with offline storage, emailing links, etc, and found myself changing my ways.

It wasn't easy: The initial download took forever and I had to work at getting Apple's Junk Filters to cooperate. (I.e., still work on the 2 POP accounts I check in Mail while leaving Gmail's already filtered mail alone).

I'm a convert. I used to open a browser window with three tabs: Google homepage, RSS, and Gmail and check it throughout the day. Now I'm in Mail only when I need to be, and ignore RSS and news until it occurs to me to catch up.

I did really like the Gmail interface, with conversations, shortcuts, etc, but I've been trying to make Safari my full-time browser and it wasn't playing nice. I've found a surge of productivity by sticking to the desktop.

How do others find web-based vs. desktop email to impact their productivity?

peedy's picture

Get what you pay for....

I am a desktop app guy, currently Mail.app (Leopard). IMAP is the only way to go, unless you do like the webmail. However I want to just poing out something about everyone entrusting GMAIL with everything. Guys FREE is never FREE....there is always a cost. Just like Yahoo Groups are free, many times I have seen groups deleted for no reason at all, I even got my Yahoo ID killed and years later still can't get yahoo give me any reason why. Seems like everyone is in a furry to trust gmail with their important primary email, while I am not. When you don't pay for something, what does that service owe you? Nothing. So if Gmail had something like Gmail PRO where I could pay a yearly fee I may be more inclinded to trust my most important email with them because the moment your paying for a service then they owe you something in return.

How many people would be really set back by one day waking up and their gmail account with all their mail is gone, just because google decided to move on or whatever else. What recourse do you have? They don't owe you anything, you wasn't paying for anything, what do you expect for free.

Getting your own domain and own email is so easy these days. Domains are under 10 bucks and hosting can be gotten for under 5 dollars and usually provide email services. Sure people will argue the wonderful spam filter and other features google has, fine...for them they can use Google apps. Im not meaning to bag on Gmail I feel this way about all "FREE" webapps. When google has Gmail Pro or whatever than I might consider moving to a more webmail based system, until then I like my desktop apps with IMAP.




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