user experience

Converted by an Android. A short story of Gmail, in parts. (1)

Part 1 in a series exploring the eventual adoption of Gmail in one's daily life, by one once thoroughly addicted to, dependent on, the primarily client-based solution of Microsoft's Outlook, what brought about this conversion, why it took so long, and what should be done to encourage greater Gmail adoption.

gmail_logo_stylized This is part 1 of a short story of personal exploration and development by one new to the daily employment of Gmail.

Part 1: Order and Hierarchy

I was converted by an Android. Now, don’t get me wrong, there was at least a part of me that wanted it, welcomed the change, and even sought it out. On the other hand, it was a conversion much resisted from my terrestrial surroundings where I found myself most comfortable, most at ease in the familiar, the simple.

But to tell you about this miraculous conversion, an event I thought would never come to be, it is important that I preface this tale, and take you to the beginning (or thereabouts) of this transformational journey. And that journey, this journey, all begins with a simple Outlook.

My Outlook

outlook-logo For years I used Outlook to check my email, organize my calendar events, and, in the beginning, prioritize my tasks. Over this time, this tool became integral to my every day being, an extension of who I was. It was organized the way I thought, evolved as my methodologies improved and changed. It contained scores of well formed and refined rules for keeping everything inline, my life ordered and organized; most especially the automated organizing of my email into complex hierarchies of priority and categorization, yet simply and personally in tune with me, and my needs.

Over the years, I found my needs pushing up against my Outlook’s limitations, especially with respect to my email. As my career and subsequent online communication became more prolific, a better means of interchange between myself and others, and across my various devices, became all the more critical to my continued growth and success. And, thus a new method of information Exchange was needed.

The Exchange

exchange This new chapter in my life brought forth new challenges and time saving wonders. No longer did I find myself, into the late hours of the night, synchronizing my read/unread emails between computers, re-sorting that which was already sorted on my other device.

Moments in time, saved in more ways than one. Quantifiably changing my exchanges with friends, family, and more, was the theme. With less time spent on the menial, repetitive chores of before, greater peace and harmony was able to be achieved. My things, my email, my calendar, its dates and times, synchronized, harmonized, connected and interlinked with one another, seamlessly, non-disruptively to ways I have long since grown accustomed.

Oh yes, there was a steep path to climb. At times, straight and direct, being an avid Windows user in this Exchange. And at other times, made steeper more through the challenges, the costs, recurring, to maintain these new found seamless heights. But such strains paled in comparison to my precious things, key components of my days and years, all synchronized between and amongst all those I valued and cared about.

Over time, as the relationships I have become involved in have increased in complexity and quantity, so too have my needs so changed; an increase in mobility, of portability, a need to win more chances at continuing my fruitful journey of evolution and improvement.


I began as a fan and user of Palm, but let me not digress, for that is another story for another day.

HTC-Hermes-256x256 In a most natural, parallel evolution of need and capability, as one cell phone passed after another, and PDA followed PDA, I arrived at the then ubiquitous solution made possible by Windows Mobile. Affectionately, this relationship began, providing new found freedoms …mobility, portability… with those other treasures that I have long held dear, such as cross-device synchronization of all my important information.

Unable to find new emails buried within folders — I lived with its shortcomings; for at least together we could be happy, it giving me greater mobility and freedom than I had ever previously enjoyed, and I now able to more easily, in sync with all my computers and devices, check everything that is in my Outlook, my OneNote (at least the mobile notebook), from everywhere, make updates, all in real-time, immediately, across everything.

My email in sync,
my calendar, too.
New apps installed,
enabled yet more productivity to accrue.

The Next

But, next, came the Darkness, the moment before the moment that preceded that which brought forth the Hero, the Android. But, that, my friends, that part of this short story, I will save for next week.

Subscribe now (click here) to make sure you don’t miss any part of this series exploring the eventual adoption of Gmail in one’s daily life, by one once thoroughly addicted to, dependent on, the primarily client-based solution of Microsoft’s Outlook,

what brought about this conversion, (1) (2)
why it took so long, and (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)
what should be done to encourage greater Gmail adoption. (8) (9)

Enjoy & Tweet!

Jeremy Horn
The Product Guy

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  1. I converted to gmail many years ago. Before that Yahoo mail. I liked the online mail applications for four reasons.

    1. I could access from anywhere I had an internet connection.

    2. I could use any computer not just my own. Since I switch back and forth from my laptop to desktop, this is especially useful.

    3. There was nothing to configure on the computer.

    4. I never had to worry about my email client infecting me with malware.

    With GMAIL you can use a local client if you want.

    The amount of storage space is ridiculous.

    Learning to use the archive instead of folders takes a mind shift but it is much better in the long run.


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