MS Outlook versus Gmail. There is a price.

My emails have been landing in MS Outlook for 20 years.

There have been three major blips in my MS Outlook in the past 18 months.

In India in February, 2017, my entire email address book with 6,200 emails disappeared, plus the folder of Sent messages for December, 2016 and another folder. Mark, my IT man in Totnes,) recovered the missing emails and folders when I returned home. He insisted I switch to Gmail.

Time to let go of MS Outlook and move to Gmail.

There were 103,000 emails preserved in more than 50 folders in the Outlook on my laptop and desktop computers.

Owing to the amount of migration, I decided to switch to GSuite – a monthly service for abut £3.95 per month run by Google.

Jude, my other IT person, spoke directly with Google about the migration. The migration took several hours in various batches. Google migration sorted out the folders on the two computers even when folders had the same name. Google automatically deleted all duplicated emails and non-usable emails. A major clean up. Rather impressive.

The Google team of Paul and John were exceptionally helpful on the phone and would check in with Jude that the process was moving smoothly across to GSuite. Judging from their accents, they live in Ireland.

Comparisons between Google and Outlook

This is a list of 10 Reasons why I am happy to use Gmail.

  1. The excellence of the Search for any email/content. (it is Google after all).
  2. This link shows how to use detailed searches for any email From or To or words in Message or words near each other. These short cuts are very helpful to find any email message.
  3. The threads/communications/conversations keep together the flow of emails with another so easy to see history of communication.
  4. Fine spam filtering.
  5. Easy to get access to Gmail from any computer/mobile phone etc.
  6. Easy to archive emails and to have access to all emails by clicking on All Mail.
  7. 30 gigs of storage space.
  8. Easy to use labels, filters and sorting. The same email can go to numerous labels (folders) instead of just one.
  9. One can send a mass email to numerous contacts and replies go automatically to that conversation.
  10. A helpful system of stars and flags. An unfinished message goes straight to draft if one forgets to place it there if closing down Gmail.

This is not an advertisement for Google. I could give 10 reasons why I am not happy using Google. I have written elsewhere on the blog about Google’s determination to avoid taxes that support the continuity of poverty, massive profiteering from its gambling and pornography websites, the darknet, lack of social responsibility, compromise of integrity through enabling government surveillance, submission to Chinese government demands to gain access to China and swallowing up of smaller companies.

The Wisdom 2.0 conferences, with its mindfulness courses that Google promote, contribute nothing to address these ethical issues.

I still use the beloved GreenNet (, a not for profit Internet service, which forwards my GreenNet emails. It is a privilege to be in the company of many activists using GreenNet along with some of the best social, political and environmental organisations serving the needs of people, animals and the environment.

Google bosses could learn a lot from the GreenNet team in London.

We can appreciate the efforts of Google customer services while calling on the power hungry, profit obsessed Google bosses to engage in some deep soul searching.


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