I’ve never been comfortable with Google’s business model.

Selling my information to advertising companies has never had me clamouring to use Google’s services. I know the information is stored anonymously, but there is enough there to potentially an individual on the back of only a few pieces of information.

It’s the stuff of George Orwell’s ‘1984’. Only even sneakier…

So, wherever possible, I choose to avoid Google’s services and products: it all feels a little bit creepy.

Google’s search is unavoidable though– Bing and Duck Duck Go just don’t stand up alongside Google’s powerful search engine. Aside from search, I use no other Google services (that I’m aware of!).

Until now…

Enter Gmail

This was clearly not something I took lightly but I made the decision to migrate my business email to Google’s Gmail service earlier this week.

I had been considering it for over a year for my own email. It has a number of benefits over standard IMAP email—though it works in a very similar fashion—the main ones being:

Knowing all of this, it would still be a big job to move things across to Gmail’s servers from my own. Especially as I’d be flying blind. And Google’s documentation (as I can now confirm, having made the switch) is confusing at the best of times. So I sat tight.

Motivation

And finally it happened! A new client I’ve been working with was having problems with their email and it made perfect sense to recommend moving their mail to Gmail’s servers.

Not being one to use a client as a guinea pig, I felt this was my opportunity to get familiar with the set up process and began the daunting task of migrating my email to Gmail.

Benefits beyond the obvious

As if that first list of benefits wasn’t enough, I’ve come across some other great features that would be of great benefit to my clients. Here are a few of the highlights:

There are also lots of other useful-looking features such as Chat, categories, Mail and plenty of experimental add-ons in the ‘Labs’ section.

Before you dive in

As with everything, I should mention that there are some downsides, beyond the privacy issue mentioned at the start of this article:

How about you

How do you feel about using Gmail for your business’s email? Are there any important pros or cons that I’ve missed? I’d love to hear your opinions in the comments below.