Lessons from the 1st Week with Google

Gmail_logoWhile we’ve a relatively smooth first week with Google, there are some things we’ve learned that would be good for everyone to know.

1.  Check your “Spam” folder in Gmail.  Google is providing use email content filtering.  It’s apparently a bit more aggressive in what it classifies as spam, too, that what we have used in the past.  I have found several email messages there that would have normally ended up on my inbox for my PrairiePride account.  You can find the Spam folder by scrolling down you folder list.  If you are using the Gmail web interface, you may need to click the “More” link.  This is particularly important to check periodically as Google will automatically delete messages in this folder after 30 days.

2.  The Gmail web client is really, really good!  I guess I should insert some sort of Captain Obvious reference, but the Gmail web client is better than Outlook, in my opinion.  This is a bit of a surprise for me.  I had intended to use Outlook after the conversion.  However, after just a couple of days, I have completely abandoned Outlook.  I’m using Gmail on the web exclusively.  The tipping point for me was the address book.  Using the web version, just like with Outlook, all I need to do is start typing a name and Google will suggest a recipient (a staff member, student, or group).  It’s suggestions are better than what Outlook would make.  Also, of course, having all the the tools integrated (Drive, Calendar, etc…) is really nice, too.  So, I would suggest that everyone at least give the Gmail web version a strong look.

3.  Should you use the new(CRPrairie.org) or old (PrairiePride.org) email when sending new email?  I would suggest, until we turn off the old PrairiePride server later this fall, that you use the PrairiePride.org address.  Sending to Prairiepride.org will ensure that both accounts receive the note.  If you just sent to CRPrairie.org, people who have not made the conversion and are not checking their new account will not see the email.  Once we are all converted, this will be a non-issue, since we will all be on the CRPrairie.org domain.  Again, we will keep forwarding on from Prairiepride.org on indefinitely.  That way you won’t have to let anyone know you have a new email address.

4.  Address book update…  This is really the last major piece of the puzzle for the email conversion for staff.  We have the address book working in the Gmail web client.  It also works for the Windows version of Outlook.  We need to do some work to get the address book working for the Mac version of Outlook.  This will likely take us a couple of weeks.  Again, if you find you need the address book in the short term, please use the web version of Gmail.

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