April 20, 2007
Going Google?
Posted by Gordon Smith

With my impending move to BYU (and the resulting change in my work computer), I am contemplating another change in my work environment: going Google. I have been a Microsoft user from the beginning of time, but this seems like the right time to change some of my software. I would substitute Gmail and Google Calendar for Outlook; Google Spreadsheets for Excel; and Google Presentations for PowerPoint.

Ok, maybe not that last one. Google doesn't have a presentation program (yet), and I am invested in PowerPoint more deeply than I am invested in Outlook or Excel. If Google wants me to use its presentation software, it will need to provide a converter for all of my PowerPoint slides.

By the way, "Mail Fetcher" and "Better Gmail" finally put me over the top on email. I haven't tried Google Calendar or Google Spreadsheets, yet, but my needs in both areas are simple. I also plan to use my Personalized HomepageGoogle Reader, and maybe even Google Talk.

If you have taken the Google plunge already, I would be curious to hear your thoughts or advice.

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Comments (6)

1. Posted by David on April 21, 2007 @ 5:56 | Permalink

Good spreadsheets still has a LONG way to go. I find it clunky even for the most basic of operations. Also, if you like using folders for email then gmail can be frustrating.

2. Posted by David on April 21, 2007 @ 10:33 | Permalink

I use gmail and google calendar, and am very happy with them (I use open office for office software). The biggest difference between outlook and gmail is how you access messages. Outlook's model is one of folders and filters. I've set up far more than my share of filters, and it can be pretty effective once you've made the initial investment. Gmail doesn't do folders or filtering. It's search. If you want all of your messages from a particular class or student, you just search, and the search results function as a temporary folder. (Fwiw, Outlook is designed for a small number of messages, in part because it's written by people who work under Microsoft's 30 day document retention policy, so it's really slow once you have more than a few thousand messages.)

I don't do much with my calendar beyond clicking and adding appointments. I've heard good things about 30 boxes (a reference to the number of days in a month).

3. Posted by Vic on April 21, 2007 @ 11:16 | Permalink

Gordon - I've switched back and forth twice now, and settled on Gmail and GCalendar. I find search to be much more efficient than outlook folders, and Gmail seems more reliable from my phone.

I've experimented with Docs and Spreadsheets, but I haven't taken the plunge yet.

I also use Google Reader (better than newsgator or bloglines, in my opinion) and Google Talk.


4. Posted by Eric on April 21, 2007 @ 18:50 | Permalink

Add my vote to the Go Google column (at least for email and calendar). Another great Outlook alternative, if you want a non-browser email client and calendar, is Thunderbird with the Lightening calendar add-on. There's even a Thunderbird add-on to sync your Google calendar with Lightening. And, if you use ScheduleWorld, you can sync everything together and put it all on your iPod.

As you can see, I spend way too much time fiddling with such things.

5. Posted by Joey on April 24, 2007 @ 9:34 | Permalink

I've used gmail for nearly 4 years now, and have loved every minute of it. I started using the calendar product shortly after it was released, and I think it's very user friendly. Once nice feature is that you can create separate calendars for different parts of your life--example my husband and I share a calendar for all of our family stuff, and I have that overlaid on my student one. It's handy.

I haven't used the spreadsheets program, but I do used the faux Word product, and it's heavenly. I like being able to share specific docs with specific people and then having it track revisions for us.

6. Posted by AILA on March 2, 2012 @ 9:50 | Permalink

I find search to be much more efficient than outlook folders, and Gmail seems more reliable from my phone.

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