A few weeks ago I took control over my email. Not only did I clean out my inboxes, but I also converted everything over to Gmail. Why would I do this?
- Always online and availabe to me.
- Doesn’t take up space on my webserver.
- The labeling system is fantastic. I didn’t really know this until I really started using it.
- Integrated nicely with Mail.app or other email applications like Thunderbird and Outlook.
- I can send and receive email from multiple accounts via one Gmail account.
- iPhone ready.
- Email is up even if website is down.
- Google has the best spam protection I’ve seen.
So how did I move years worth of email to Gmail?
1 – The first thing I did was organize my inbox. This step is optional, but it helped me to have things in order.
If you are doing Google Apps for your domain, make sure to move all your email into local folders in your inbox. This includes your inbox, drafts and sent if you want to keep them. Get them off the server so you don’t loose them when the MX records are changed. Then go ahead and follow Google’s instructions on getting things setup and work with your host to get the email records updated. Once that’s in place, continue.
3 – Go into your Gmail account and enable the IMAP settings.
Settings -> Forwarding and POP/IMAP -> Enable IMAP
4 – Follow Google’s configuration instructions on getting your account setup in your email client.
5 – Once that’s done, you should now have two separate email accounts in your email application. One for your old email and one for Gmail.
6 – Setup Gmail labels to match your folder structure that corresponds with your email.
7 – Copy all your email from your old account to your new Gmail account. Since it’s setup via IMAP, all the email will be copied to Gmail and available online. This step may take some time if you have a lot of email. It isn’t hard, it’s just time consuming to upload all those emails.
Really that’s all there is to it. It’s quite easy. It took me some time to complete, but that was because of the large amount of email I had.
This will work on Mac or Windows or Linux; Thunderbird, Mail.app or Outlook. The only real requirements are a Gmail account and an email application capable of IMAP.
Since moving my email over to Gmail, I’ve moved over to using Gmail as my email application via Mailplane. Google’s labeling system is just so smart! 🙂