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Transition to gmail
Old 01-06-2016, 09:17 AM   #1
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Transition to gmail

I'm considering transitioning to gmail and wanted to get perspectives of members who have done this.

We currently use our internet provider's email address (probably for the last 10 years or more).... so we are tied to that internet provider to some extent. While we have been happy with their service and their cost is reasonable compared to alternatives, I want to be prepared in case a better alternative comes along so we can change without having to scramble to a new email domain and can do it leisurely now. We use Outlook on our laptops and prefer outlook to the internet provider's clunky web mail site.

We also both have android phones and currently have to sync addresses, calendars, etc. via a tether and I don't do it religiously and frequently find my address book is out of date. As I understand it, if we transition our address book, calendar and email to gmail then the synchronization of our laptops, tablets and cellphones is seamless since they all attach to the cloud. Is that correct?

I'm somewhat leery of having my email, calendar and address book in the cloud, but OTOH my email is currently on my internet provider's servers so perhaps that is not a huge difference. Any thoughts on that?

My plan would be to 1) send out a broadcast email to all my contacts informing them of the new email address, 2) set up my current email to forward all mail to my gmail account and send a vacation message informing senders of the new email address, 3) set up Outlook so it pulls from both my current email account and my gmail account and 4) over time change my email address with all our vendors and 5) at some point, perhaps in 6 months or so, kill off my internet email account.

So at the end I would have my gmail email account with my address book and calendar and email and it would seamlessly sync my laptop, tablet and cellphone and we could change internet service providers easily. Make sense?

I would appreciate any input from others who have made the transition.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:28 AM   #2
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I haven't changed over to gmail but follow your thinking. When I switched from ATT to Comcast, I ended up having to update my email at about 100 different online places, and now my email is tied to Comcast. Well, sort of. Though I've switched internet providers from ATT to Comcast, my ATT email is still active. I do have regular phone service with ATT so I'm not sure if that's the reason why my email is still active or the companies don't clean up and deactivate when you switch.

Oh...and there still's AOL (works with Outlook too) if you don't want to go on the cloud and don't mind getting folks chuckling that you still have (I do) an old AOL email .
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:34 AM   #3
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I haven't changed over to gmail but follow your thinking. When I switched from ATT to Comcast, I ended up having to update my email at about 100 different online places, and now my email is tied to Comcast. Well, sort of. Though I've switched internet providers from ATT to Comcast, my ATT email is still active. I do have regular phone service with ATT so I'm not sure if that's the reason why my email is still active or the companies don't clean up and deactivate when you switch.

Oh...and there still's AOL (works with Outlook too) if you don't want to go on the cloud and don't mind getting folks chuckling that you still have (I do) an old AOL email .
I thought I would transition from AOL to gmail back in 2010 because that was the cool thing to do (ask anybody! ).

So, I created a gmail account for that, and ended up never using it. I can look at my aol emails from my phone or tablet, so that is not a problem. I guess my motivation to switch over just wasn't as strong as I thought it was, at the time.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:41 AM   #4
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Allow yourself a LONG phase-in time- at least 6 months. You don't know how many places your current e-mail is used till you change it! It should be less of a problem if you still have access to the cable company e-mail address but just aren't using it.


And, if you haven't already, create a separate "spamcatcher" address to use for on-line ordering. I'm still getting e-mails from places 5 years after buying something from them. I could just Unsubscribe but for me this is easier.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:43 AM   #5
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I guess the downside of AOL vs gmail is that it would accomplish the objective of liberating us from our internet service provider for email service but wouldn't sync email, address book and calendar with our tablets and phones (unless we put that info on AOL).

Not to mention the embarrassment of going TO and aol.com email address in 2016!
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:44 AM   #6
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I had the same concern about having to change our email addresses every time we changed providers. What I did was to get my own domain name and use that as our email address for many years. My wife is definitely technically challenged though and would have no idea what to do if her tech support suddenly keeled over. So I moved everything to gmail, our email, contacts and calendar. It is working out fine. I do exactly what you are considering with outlook and pull all of our email into it. That way you can feel confident that you are not missing anything important and eventually you will get everything changed over and nothing will come to your old address except spam!

The biggest problem I have now is the fact that we both have gmail addresses and accounts and you have to be careful to set up your individual devices to only sync to a common contact list and calendar while separating the email. We use my account to keep our contacts and calendar in and keep our email separate but it does sometimes get confused.

I have been considering setting up just one common account for us and using labels to sort the incoming email somehow. That would simplify things considerably and make life a lot easier. Get a new device and just sign into the account and sync everything and your done. No need to try and figure out what goes where etc. Like I said if I keel over or lose my mind everything would get messed up pretty quick and she would have no idea.

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Old 01-06-2016, 09:44 AM   #7
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I transitioned to yahoo back in 2002, when using outlook often meant one would get any virus going. I've switched ISP's a number of times since then and always maintained my yahoo address. Oh, and I very rarely see spam, unless I open up the spam folder!
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:45 AM   #8
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Gmail is probably the most fluent online email address of the options I've dabbled in. If you're using Android then it will easily sync all of your address to the address and transfer seamlessly between phones during upgrades. Additionally Google now offers unlimited automatic photo backups online for your gmail account as well meaning that one could theoretically throw their phone into the ocean, buy a new phone and log back into gmail, and have lost nothing.


What I did when I switched over was put an automatic forwarding from my old email to my gmail, then in gmail create a tag that labels any emails originally sent to my old email address. Then I told everyone about my new email address, updated all my websites, and used gmail going forward. Whenever I'd get emails from my old address they'd have a nice reminder label on it so I could easily remind the person of my new address or log into that website to update my mailing information. It worked well and painlessly for me.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:45 AM   #9
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Sounds like a good plan of attack.

I think I did something similar, but it was a long time ago. (Yikes. Just checked, and the first email in my gmail [sent] folder was 5.31.06; a really long time ago....)

We love the updating of having everything tethered to the google account, but it is a little scary to think about!


Edited to add "Sent"
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:46 AM   #10
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I think you've got it. The syncing is really nice especially when I get a new phone or laptop. I just login with my gmail account and everything shows up. No export/import steps or anything like that.

For step 3) can you easily tell which account the email was sent to? Some people need a second reminder and even ignore vacation messages and bounces. It'd be nice to see who is still using the old address months later without having to closely look at the headers. I just use gmail in a browser rather than outlook so I don't recall what it can do with multiple addresses.

I probably wouldn't kill the old email account until I had to. Certainly not after 6 months if I had a choice, because there is probably something you get on a yearly basis that you won't remember.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
Allow yourself a LONG phase-in time- at least 6 months. You don't know how many places your current e-mail is used till you change it! It should be less of a problem if you still have access to the cable company e-mail address but just aren't using it.


And, if you haven't already, create a separate "spamcatcher" address to use for on-line ordering. I'm still getting e-mails from places 5 years after buying something from them. I could just Unsubscribe but for me this is easier.
Yes, I have no immediate plans to ditch my internet service provider so I would have a long time to phase in. Also, if/when we transition, I'll go first and then we'll do DW who is less patient with technology.

Good idea on the spamcatcher address.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:49 AM   #12
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I've got email accounts from 5 different places but I only use 2. I use my Comcast as my primary, and have two AOL screen names (not gonna give them up ) that I use regularly. My old att is active and unused, along with a Yahoo. I also have gmail but only signed on for Youtube and not the email.

Like the OP, I use an email reader instead of the providers' clunkier webpages. Set up with filters and rules, my email reader places the messages to folders I created. Plus, with a good spam filter that's quite accurate, I'm content.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:51 AM   #13
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Great replies. Thanks. Keep them coming. I'm leaning more to doing it than I was an hour ago.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:51 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by RunningBum View Post
I think you've got it. The syncing is really nice especially when I get a new phone or laptop. I just login with my gmail account and everything shows up. No export/import steps or anything like that.

For step 3) can you easily tell which account the email was sent to? Some people need a second reminder and even ignore vacation messages and bounces. It'd be nice to see who is still using the old address months later without having to closely look at the headers. I just use gmail in a browser rather than outlook so I don't recall what it can do with multiple addresses.

I probably wouldn't kill the old email account until I had to. Certainly not after 6 months if I had a choice, because there is probably something you get on a yearly basis that you won't remember.
To see which account the email was sent to you just have to create a filter. It's been awhile since I made one but took about 5 minutes to find directions and set up. It's even color coded to my liking
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:52 AM   #15
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I've been using gmail for many years. Your transfer procedure sounds fine except that it does not take advantage of the opportunity to spring clean and eliminate some annoying contacts. I suggest the following:

1. Edit your contact list. Purge all deceased contacts, people you can't remember meeting, and commercial services that you no longer wish to deal with.
2. Send a broadcast email to your clean contact list advising contacts of the change to gmail.
3. Set up current email to forward mail to gmail. Set up an Out of Office message that this email address will no longer be in use as of (date). Do NOT include your gmail address.
4. As email arrives to gmail, transfer any unwanted emails to the Junk folder. These folks won't bother you again, unless you invite them in.
5. Reply to emails from contacts you want to keep, including a reminder to update their contact lists with your new gmail address.
6. Why do you need Outlook?
7. Update vendors.

Know that gmail automatically flags certain emails as junk and transfers them to the junk folder. Some are obviously junk, like the penis enhancers, but occasionally, legitimate emails end up in the Junk folder. Being part of a large mailing list is often the trigger. So check your Junk folder periodically, as well as when you don't receive a message you expected.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:53 AM   #16
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We switched to Google a few years ago. Made sense for us at the time because we did not have a home/fixed address for a year while we travelled and rented temporary accommodations.

Fast forward three years and this will make it so much easier to switch providers.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:54 AM   #17
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I guess the downside of AOL vs gmail is that it would accomplish the objective of liberating us from our internet service provider for email service but wouldn't sync email, address book and calendar with our tablets and phones (unless we put that info on AOL).

Not to mention the embarrassment of going TO and aol.com email address in 2016!
You've got that right!

My small address book is on AOL so no problem.

When I was working, I used Outlook's calendar and loved it. I don't really need a calendar very often now that I am retired. Instead of keeping a real calendar, I just jot down stuff in Excel at home.
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Old 01-06-2016, 09:56 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Greencheese View Post
Gmail is probably the most fluent online email address of the options I've dabbled in. If you're using Android then it will easily sync all of your address to the address and transfer seamlessly between phones during upgrades. Additionally Google now offers unlimited automatic photo backups online for your gmail account as well meaning that one could theoretically throw their phone into the ocean, buy a new phone and log back into gmail, and have lost nothing.


What I did when I switched over was put an automatic forwarding from my old email to my gmail, then in gmail create a tag that labels any emails originally sent to my old email address. Then I told everyone about my new email address, updated all my websites, and used gmail going forward. Whenever I'd get emails from my old address they'd have a nice reminder label on it so I could easily remind the person of my new address or log into that website to update my mailing information. It worked well and painlessly for me.
The automatic photo backups are nice too. You take a picture with your phone and it is automatically backed up to your account. I don't have to worry about the phone dying or being lost and losing all my pictures!

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Old 01-06-2016, 09:59 AM   #19
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I have been considering setting up just one common account for us and using labels to sort the incoming email somehow. That would simplify things considerably and make life a lot easier.
I hate getting emails from a couple. It's confusing (why is an email about a women's activity coming from someone called John?), I don't know to whom I am replying and do I'm not sure what I can write. In fact I find it creepy, as if the SO is "watching".
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Old 01-06-2016, 10:03 AM   #20
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I've been using gmail for many years. Your transfer procedure sounds fine except that it does not take advantage of the opportunity to spring clean and eliminate some annoying contacts. I suggest the following:

1. Edit your contact list. Purge all deceased contacts, people you can't remember meeting, and commercial services that you no longer wish to deal with.
2. Send a broadcast email to your clean contact list advising contacts of the change to gmail.
3. Set up current email to forward mail to gmail. Set up an Out of Office message that this email address will no longer be in use as of (date). Do NOT include your gmail address.
4. As email arrives to gmail, transfer any unwanted emails to the Junk folder. These folks won't bother you again, unless you invite them in.
5. Reply to emails from contacts you want to keep, including a reminder to update their contact lists with your new gmail address.
6. Why do you need Outlook?
7. Update vendors.

Know that gmail automatically flags certain emails as junk and transfers them to the junk folder. Some are obviously junk, like the penis enhancers, but occasionally, legitimate emails end up in the Junk folder. Being part of a large mailing list is often the trigger. So check your Junk folder periodically, as well as when you don't receive a message you expected.
That sounds very good. Thanks. Why do I need Outlook? Good question. I guess I'm just comfortable with it and assume that gmail is as clunky as my internet providers webmail utility. Also, I can draft emails on my laptop when I don't have internet access and send them out later. Perhaps, I'll do both for a while and see if I can get along with just the gmail interface.

I agree it is easier if I scrub my contact list first. That may take a while as I have 461 contacts.

And BTW, penis enhancers is not junk mail!
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