What's in Store

Meet the Authors, Writers Doing Right, Book Reviews and More!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Why I'm Breaking Up With Gmail

If you're like me, you dread opening your email. Yes, there's a warm, fuzzy feeling when I get a message from a loved one, and the excitement of receiving my discounts and cash back from various shopper programs gives me a high--for about one minute. The rest of the time I'm wondering how I wound up on so many notification lists, and the unsolicited special offers creep me out. I feel violated, as if a traveling salesman kicked in my front door and settled down on my couch.

Over the years, I've opened different accounts, all of them still open. They were impulse purchases of a sort, and I'd hoped each account would be for something specific to help keep me organized. It hasn't worked.

It's time for a game of Terminator, and Gmail just made the choice easier.

Recently, I opened my email to find folders, determined by Gmail, to "help" me sort my mail into Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates and Forums.  Their criteria is sadly lacking in logic. My bills are going to Updates, my favorite blog subscriptions are in Promotions, and we differ on what I consider Primary. And I believe I'm not getting all the important emails I was getting before the change.

One of the silliest things about Gmail is that there isn't any way to sort by sender. That option could save me a lot of headaches. In Hotmail, you can "sweep" through your account and eliminate all emails coming from, say, YOUWIN.com.

SBCGLOBAL lets you sort by sender AND, when you search, they group together the senders involved in the search results, which is huge. I've searched for all emails from DSW.com before and had message from my editor included in the results. Listing the senders on the side lets me avoid deleting the good with the bad.

I have one client who has my Outlook account address, so that has remained clean.

It's going to take a lot of work to figure out how to save old emails I want and transfer them to the new account. Then I'll have to figure out who has my gmail account and notify them, change my email on various bill pay sites, and keep an eye on it for a month or two, but I think I'll finally reach email nirvana.

What works for you? I'd love any input you have to offer.