5 Reasons to Switch to Gmail from Outlook
Despite the rantings of tech startups looking to make themselves the next big thing, email is still very much alive in business, and you can’t run a company without a solid email solution. And there are only two choices for business email - Outlook or Gmail. If you’ve been chugging along with Outlook forever, why would you make the switch to Gmail?
1. Important Emails Don’t Get Lost
Sure, in Outlook, you can set up rules to filter your emails to different folders. And it’s great - when it works. If it breaks, you can start losing important emails. This was the number one reason cited by this tech journalist from ZDnet - his rules kept breaking, despite numerous attempts to fix them. Filters in Gmail act the same as rules, but Gmail uses very basic organization at the top level to ensure that your emails get in the right place - it has a primary inbox that all of your important emails go to first, and it automatically knows which emails are important. If an unimportant email lands in your primary inbox, it just takes a few clicks to make sure that doesn’t happen again - and you can set up filters to ensure emails from specific senders or that contain certain keywords always end up in your primary inbox.
2. Gmail Comes with Email Hosting
Before you yawn and skip this paragraph, it’s important. Think about who you want to host your email - a cut-rate provider who specializes in web hosting, and treats email as an afterthought, or Google - one of the largest and most secure tech companies in the world? Obviously, the answer is Google. With Google handling your email hosting when you sign up with Google for Work, you don’t have to worry about a server going down and losing a business day’s worth of email again. Read more here.
3. Easy Sorting with Tabs
Categories allow you to mimic the behavior of Outlook folders with a clear set of email categories on your left-hand sidebar. But the real magic of Gmail organization is in the ability to create tabs at the top of your menu. You can choose to sort your email into Primary Inbox, which is always the first tab, Social, Promotions, and Forums. The best part about this is that Gmail automatically knows which email goes in which tab, without the need to create any additional filters or rules. It just happens.
4. Searching Is Easier and Faster with Gmail
It’s no surprise that the company that dominates the search engine world has better email search capabilities than Microsoft - but it’s amazing how much of a difference this can make in your workday. Finding an email used to be a case of typing in your parameters in search, then waiting for Outlook to return results. The same search that takes about 10-30 seconds to run in Outlook is done in a blink with Gmail. It seems like a small thing, but it noticeably adds time back into your workday that you didn’t have before.
5. Integrations and Add-Ons
Outlook does one integration well - with any Microsoft product. But try to integrate it with anything else and you’re in for a bit of a headache. Gmail integrates seamlessly with a number of third-party solutions, including CRMs and telecommunications solutions. It’s also easy to extend Gmail’s capabilities with extensions called Labs, where Outlook is not well-serviced in this area. To get them, click on “Labs” after clicking on “Settings”, and search for what you want to do with your Gmail - or browse the available Labs to choose the ones you like. Here is a sample of some of the available Labs:
If you are thinking of making the switch, or have just made it, Google has a helpful learning centre for those making the transition from Outlook to Gmail. Spend a few minutes with it to become a Gmail ninja master.