Almost a year ago to the day I got my hands on a gmail account. They were a lot harder to aquire then they are now. Now I have 100 invites to give out which replenishes itself every month. I was giddy with anticipation at the newness of the account. Gmail’s interface was, and still is, unlike anything I had ever used before. The concept of labels (as opposed to folders) was a radical concept that instantly lended itself to fun possibilities.
But with that was also apprehension of leaving my in place MUA, Thunderbird. Thunderbird held nearly five years of emails, all of my contacts and was customized to work within my needs. Truely a testament to a glorious application, unlike other corporate code heaps I know. *cough*Outlook*Cough* I also didn’t like the prospect of advertising a new email address, it is always a major pain in the neck. So my new shinny Gmail account lay unused for nearly a year because the change would be to disruptive to how I work.
But recently Gmail added a new feature that revitalized my longing to use that account. Basically, the feature allows me to send emails from Gmail as if they from another email address. This combined with forwarding my current emails to the Gmail account wouls allow a seamless changeover for everyone who emails me. So seamless, they don’t even realize I made a change at all. Well that is one obstacle down.
But my corpus of email was still stored in Thunderbird with no nice way transferring it to Gmail. Doing a simple forward wouldn’t work, I’d lose all the useful metadata (sender namely) of the original emails. So I hit the search once again to find a solution. And stumble upon I did the Mail Redirect extension that allowed a true forward of my emails. Sweet!
So I implemented these changes sometime last week and I must say I am loving it. I’ll be honest, Thunderbird can be a memory hog if you don’t give it candy every hour. To not have to run it 24×7 is such a relief.
I have also made the same changeover with my work address. Gmail just became my email client for two of my email accounts. And I can add some many more, it’s great. I will miss Thunderbird. It served me well. It deserves every ounce of my respect. It is just time for me to move on because the need for mobility is becoming very high. Gmail offers me that mobility in a way Thunderbird never can (unless Mozilla creates an Exchange-esque email server).
More to come as Gmail and myself evolve.