I've talked about Christ Fellowship's transition into using Google for our communication (or as I've branded it, CF+G). It's been a great experience thus far. I'm currently doing some training sessions teaching our staff how to use the Google suite for all that it's worth.
Here's a list of 10 things that are worth repeating from the training:
10) Google Notifier
If you use the web-based email application, or you use the calendar, then you REALLY NEED to install Google Notifier on your computer. Even if you're not logged onto the website, you get immediate notification when an email arrives. Notifier also makes the web-based email option become your "default email" application. Works for Mac & Windows - sans Windows ME users...
9) Never delete an email
Straight up, you have almost seven gigs of email space. Unless it's junk mail or spam, DON'T DELETE! "Archive" your mail instead!
8) Search, and you will find
The strength of Google is their ability to catalog and analyze text data (ever use their search engine?). Feel free to search your entire email system. Type the name of a person, or their email address, or key words that would be found in an email. See what happens.
7) REPORT SPAM button
Occasionally, SPAM will trickle through. DO NOT DELETE SPAM. Instead, click on the checkbox next to the email, and click on the "Report Spam" button. By doing this, you will help Google prevent other people from getting SPAM. Good for you!
6) Multiple Calendars, one user
The strength of Google's Calendaring system is that you have the ability to share appointments with other people. But maybe I don't want everyone to know when Amy's birthing classes are going to be. If I create a separate calendar for my personal events, I then can share my work calendar with the work folks, and keep my personal calendar just for me (and Amy).
5) Text Messaging is your friend
Can't tell you how many times this saves me. Get a text message 15 minutes before a meeting reminding you, "Yo. Dummy. You got a meeting." (Note: SMS=Txt Messaging)
4) Remember the Milk
One thing missing from Google's suite is a good Task Management (read: to-do lists) option. Vivian pointed me to RememberTheMilk.com. Stupid name. Great site. If you use to-do lists. Go sign up for this. Great stuff! Plus, it integrates into start.cfmiami.org
Visit start.cfmiami.org - click on add stuff, and then copy/paste the URL into the search field...
My Church Life - http://gadgets.acstechnologies.com/mychurchlife/google.xml
Small Group Metrics - http://gadgets.acstechnologies.com/smallgroups/google.xml
2) Separate Email Account to register on all websites
The best way to cut back on SPAM is to never give your email address on any website. I promise you, if you've ever put your email address on a website, mass email list, discussion board, chat room... they've sold your email address to someone else, or better yet, their database was broken into and data stolen (that happens, too!)
The way around this is to have a separate email account that you JUST HAVE FOR SPAM/JUNK MAIL. Since you're familiar with the gmail account interface, sign up for your free extra account here. For some of you the damage is already done, but if you take the measures above, the SPAM should get better over time.
1) Outlook? Never heard of it...
The #1 Tip I can tell you is that you should totally forget that Outlook is on your computer.
Qs, you know where to find me.