Friday, December 26, 2014

This Christmas marks my five-year anniversary of using Google Apps as the primary platform for my work communication and collaboration. We were a little apprehensive as a technology department migrating an entire district to GAFE because at this time Google Apps didn’t have its wide-spread popularity among schools and now increasingly businesses. Although I had used Gmail for personal uses for years, the shift to using it for my work brought a new set of needs, and therefore, uses. Quickly I became one of the biggest Google Apps evangelists. I remember the migration just like yesterday…

’Twas the night after a Google Apps migration, when I sat in a small office in my house.
I awakened my computer by jiggling my mouse. 
I went to Google and entered my email address with great care. 
In knowing that messages migrated from my old email system would soon be there.

My children already were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of scattered, unorganized emails messages danced in my head, 
And, I clicked the app launcher, the 9 little squares in top-right of my screen.
Selected the Mail icon afraid to see what the migration would bring.

When there in my inbox sat all my old messages that had always been so scattered. 
I clicked on the first few messages admitting most were too old to still matter.
I went to my settings, I clicked to show the “All Mail,” “Spam,” and “Trash.”
Clicked on a message, then selected the box in my toolbar with the arrow and dash.

I began archiving all the old messages including -- old requests and items for sale,
Knowing the messages would still be nestled in “All Mail.”
When what to my wandering eyes did appear, 
But a number reporting that I still had nearly 30 GB of space clear!

With the power of Google’s search, finding old mail became more quick.
I knew in a moment that this change to Google Apps would be slick. 
More rapid than eagles, my search results came, 
Finding matches before I could even finish typing a name.

Search names! Search subjects! Search words and phrases!
On sent mail! On received mail! On attachments and date ranges!
To find email from people! To find someone’s number that I wanted to call! 
Now I could search about anything! Now, I could search it all!

And then I noticed labels, which are like folders, but much slicker. 
Messages can be tagged with multiple labels making finding them much quicker. 
I clicked the dropdown next to a label adding some color - like red, blue, or green. 
I saw that I could move items to the labels or keep them in my inbox so they’re easily seen.

And then I explored filters which can label incoming mail in an instant.
They helped keep me organized. It’s like having a personal assistant!
Mail also became neatly grouped together by subject - organizing all messages that it contains.
This unique “conversation view” makes managing the flood of email a little more sane.

Clicking the settings let me change my display view from comfortable, cozy, or compact. 
And clicking the drop-down on Mail, let me access my contacts.
The drop-down next to mail also allowed me to manage a Task List,
A handy little tool to ensure all the to-dos in my head are not missed.

A bundle of options all available. There was little it lacked. 
I knew that after using Google Mail, that I’d never go back. 
Starring messages -- makes them twinkle! Cute emoticons are so merry!
Spam gets automatically filtered, and suddenly doesn’t seem so scary!

The more that I learned, the more I wanted to know,
And all these features are available no matter where I go!
When setting up email on an iPhone, I selected the option to use Exchange.
(This actually provides more options. I know that may seem strange.)

On the Android, setting up email was definitely a snap. 
And on the iPhone, I also added the other Google Apps. 
Google Mail was the gift that kept giving, liking having my very own elf. 
It helps me feel more organized, in spite of myself.

In wink of an eye, messages are now more quickly read;
Going through email became something that I didn’t have to dread. 
It’s also not just Mail that I began using in my work.
It was Calendar, Drive, Groups, Hangout, Sites, and other perks.

I now can collaborate and communicate in even an easier flow,
And no longer do I have to remember to save before I close. 
So Google Apps is a great tool - both intuitive and fun. 
And with this great tool, I feel that I can now get more things done.

So, now I want to exclaim to all within sight. 
Switch to Google Apps! It will just feel right!

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