How to Switch Your Email to Google Apps

Friday, March 06, 2009

wedding technology expertWritten by guest expert Terrica Skaggs of Fabuluxe Inc.

In the world of vast amounts of applications that you could use to keep in contact with your clients - are you currently using the right choice for you and your business? Your choice should be based on usability, interface and the many benefits it could provide in easing your workload. I was a die hard MS Outlook fan as it had all of the functions I needed: email, RSS reader, calendar and contacts. I couldn't imagine switching over to anything else.

Then, Google Apps happened.

It needs to be noted that running your business account through a free Gmail account is not the same thing. I had tried this intially, but felt that if my clients were paying me thousands of dollars, having "on the behalf of" when receiving emails from me or my staff was inexcusable. For that reason, I moved grudgingly moved back to Outlook. However, when my PST file crashed for the umpteenth time, I knew I had two options: burn my laptop in a crazed, obscenity-laced fervor, or research some other options. That other option was Google Apps. (For the purpose of this post, we will only introduce the email feature of Google Apps. There are other many ways to incorporate the other offerings of Google Apps into your business).

With Google Apps, you can run all of your email accounts through Google's fast and dependable program. While it isn't a software program per se, you do have the option of the new Offline feature. Additionally, you benefit from Google's 99.9% uptime as well as email features such as labeling, starring, and more.

To begin, you need to have access to where your email is currently hosted (not where you purchased it, but where you actually set up your email accounts). You must be able to change the DNS records for your email's accounts. This is imperative if you want to set up Google Apps correctly. Fill out the brief form and you are almost done.

Once you have completed the form, you are introduced to your new dashboard. This could (and should be) the new hub for your online workspace. Click on the email link to add different addresses to your account. For example, you may have an address for PR, prospects, members of your staff or your blog (pr@, blog@, etc). You will now be able to manage them all with the power of Google. It is strongly suggested that you add these accounts first.

Next, you will have to change some tech stuff like MX and/or DNS records where you currently email host your email, but it is very quick and painless. For security purposes, you will also have to verify that you own the domain for which you are setting up. Don't let this scare you - these are very easy things to change. The benefits, however, outweigh the time to get setup. This becomes extremely helpful if you have a staff and want to make sure that they have full access to their email. Instead of using programs like Outlook or going a bulky route of routing your business email through Gmail, now your staff members can go to and login to receive their email. And guess what: no more "Jane Doe Events on behalf of" showing up in your clients' and vendors' boxes. Instead, they will see an email that comes from your business domain.

I didn't think I would be able to function without Outlook, as well as having to deal with a strictly online email client. Today, however, I can say it is the best choice I have ever made and has increased the productivity of myself and my staff. In the next segment, we will talk about real life practical uses of the Google Apps email feature and integrating it into your business.

Terrica is the resident tech guru for The Smart Planner and will be sharing tips and advice on all things tech each Thursday.  Have a tech question for Terrica?  Shoot us an email at info{at} with Tech Guru in the subject line and we will try to answer it here.

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