Moving into the cloud
Not too long ago, some others like James and Rob had mentioned using Google Apps as a way of moving service into the "cloud", so to speak. Google Mail is one that has intrigued me for some time. I have a Gmail account, though rarely use it. I knew Google had Apps For Your Domain, but never took the plunge to try it, even though it is free. With some of the more recent chatter about it, I figured it was about time I took the plunge.
The main reason I hadn't before was because I run my own server, and did some hosting for others, so naturally, I had a mail server installed on it and it worked quite well. I had spam filtering on it, webmail, and IMAP, so it filled all my needs, but one thing that I hate about most email is the build up in the inbox, and then the collection of folders you inevitably get trying to organize it.
One key advantage I've noticed so far with Google Mail is how it threads conversations. You no longer need to go hunting back for previous responses. Secondly, the simple "archive" button allows your emails to disappear from the inbox, reducing clutter, without having to necessarily file them in some arbitrary folder. Want to find it later? No problem, got a great search right there. For the things you do want to organize more, can use labels and filters to make things work flawlessly.
The big advantage to Google Mail for me? Finally I have an easily tamable inbox. I get less spam than I did before, a clean organized inbox, and avoid the folder nightmare. Ohh, and I can ditch archive PSTs which love to get corrupted (thanks Outlook for losing 2 1/2 years worth of mail not too long ago).
So I've been using Google Mail for my personal email for about a week now and it is a total success so far. Now, if only Telligent would move its email infrastructure onto Google, I could avoid Outlook all together.