Gmail, Google Buzz And How To Make The Switch

Buzz Lightyear
Image by DVdaniels via Flickr

Are you following me on Buzz?

With over 800 twitter followers I have a grand total of 14 followers on Google buzz. There are a number of reasons for this but primarily those who want to use Buzz need to have a Gmail account. Many of my friends and folks in my age bracket still use their original AOL email addresses or they have a Yahoo address they started out with many years ago when first getting on the internet. Shame on you if you are using an address from an ISP. Those addresses don’t follow you if you change your service.  If you feel that changing email addresses will somehow get you lost or is too much of a hassle to do, it’s not. Really! ;)

I used to use Hotmail

For example, my original email address, which I still have, is a Hotmail address. When Gmail came along I immediately opened a Gmail account and I then used the 2 addresses for a few years. Now my Hotmail address remains relatively dormant. Any emails I do receive from my Hotmail address are forwarded to my Gmail account. If you would like to use the online Gmail client it’s incredibly easy to forward your emails. But first you must sign up for a Gmail account here….

Here’s how to make the switch

With your Gmail account setup, you click on the settings link, top right corner of Gmail, you then click Accounts and Import, there is then one button you click to import your mail from accounts like Yahoo, AOL or Hotmail and that’s it. 3 clicks and your receiving mail from other accounts in Gmail. It doesn’t get any easier!

You can then respond to all your emails from your old account within Gmail and eventually your friends will get the idea that you have a new email address and they will change it on their end. Gmail also gives you the option to send email from any of your accounts. While using Gmail I can receive email from my Hotmail account as well as respond using my Hotmail account, all from Gmail.

I no longer use Microsoft Outlook to manage my emails. I find the Google email client, which is online and completely free, a much faster and easier way to manage my emails. The Google search is definitely more powerful and since everything is online, I have no problem accessing my account from anywhere. But you can receive your Gmail on Outlook. The settings are here:

Why use Gmail?

Gmail is an incredibly powerful email client that will gives you 7 GB’s (gigabyte) of space for all your emails and it’s all completely free. You can put the power of Google’s search algorithms behind the searches in your own email box and you have access to some of the most powerful anti-spam features in the industry. It’s all online, completely free and, basically, justs works. Gmail also has chat and video chat integrated which means I can have a video chat with any other Gmail user. Most laptops today come with an integrated webcam. This is the easiest way to use that webcam.

There are also themes for Gmail where you can change the look and feel of the Gmail client. Make it look like a mac or get a little artsy. It’s all easy, fun and again, completely free.

What is Google Buzz?

As for Google’s Buzz, it’s another folder in your email box that shows you what other gmail users are saying on twitter and their own blogs. You can follow your friends email addresses, you can comment on their twitter postings, share their blog postings, you can share blog postings you find interesting with your followers and generally keep up with everyone all from one place, Gmail. I find if you are also using Google reader to keep track of your favorite blogs it’s a one click process to share interesting articles with your circle of friends.

So check out the Buzz

I do a little buzzing myself. You can find my Google profile here and feel free to follow me.