Tips + Guide to Switch from Outlook to Gmail

We want our email, and we want it fast.  The goal of this guide is to replace outlook as your primary mail collector with Gmail.  I just took the plunge and it’s been such a huge improvement that I want you to benefit as well.  We want Gmail to open as if it’s an application, save it’s position on your screen, and notify you of new emails just as Outlook does.

I am going to assume that you already have a gmail account created.  The first thing you should do is forward any email accounts that to your gmail account that you can.  Some people forward all their emails to gmail, while others want to keep a few business email accounts in tact to send email to and from.  It’s completely up to you, but keep in mind that Gmail limits you to fetch email from 5 accounts.

To add email accounts to fetch mail from, go to “Settings ->Accounts and Import -> Check mail using POP3”, then simply follow their guide.

Add POP Accounts

When you do this, you’ll notice that it needs to fetch ALL of your emails.  If you are ditching outlook, you are going to want your full archive of emails.  It took Gmail roughly a day to download and archive 10,000 of my emails, so be patient while it works.  It’s important to note that Gmail is currently limited to POP implementation only.  But don’t let the lack of IMAP support deter you from using it because they do allow you to keep a copy on the server (just incase you want to use IMAP or check mail elsewhere).

Each new account that you import is assigned a label.  If you have an email account called “[email protected]”, then it’s default label will be “[email protected]”.  Next to each label you’ll see a gray box, clicking this lets you change the label color so it stands out when viewing all emails. (Inbox).

Label customization

Next up, head over to the “Settings -> Labs” option and select any of the additional features that you think will be usefull.  For example, I selected the option to play Google Voicemails right from my inbox.

We also need to enable new mail notifications.  If you checked the option to always use HTTPS when using gmail, then you’ll also need this fix.

Now, probably the most important part is to make sure that Gmail runs as fast as possible on your machine.  To do that, you should install Google Chrome.  It is by far the fastest browser when it comes to rendering pages and dealing with javascript.  If you do not use Chrome with Gmail, then you are not using it to it’s full potential.  Chrome also gives us the option to create a shortcut to Gmail as an application, which means it remembers where the application opens.  Anyone with a dual monitor setup can appreciate this.

To create a desktop shortcut, go to “Settings -> Offline -> Other options”.  Click on create a desktop shortcut.  Or you can simply click on the paper icon in the URL bar while on gmail’s page and select create application shortcuts.

That’s all there is to it.  Now enjoy super fast email without having to worry about constant slowdown by Outlook and random crashes.


Gmail Notifier Not Working? It’s because of HTTPS

I’ve encountered a simple, yet annoying problem when it comes to Google’s Gmail Notifier.  It turns out that if you select the option to always use HTTPS, then the notifier will not work.  The fix can be seen on the Notifier page, which is a registry edit.

Surely Google can do a better job of notifying us of the problem without having to search for it.  How about a message saying if you use HTTPS, remember to download the fix?