Why we use Google Apps for our law office
We used to run an on-site Microsoft Exchange Server for our email and calendars. It worked okay. Anytime we had problems with it though, we’d have to call our tech guy.
We ended up switching to Google Apps about a year ago. The main reason I prefer Gmail to outlook is that it groups everything by conversation. This saves time and is really easy to use. Plus, we’ve never had to call our tech guy about email or calendar problems.
For those in your office that swear by Outlook, they can still use it. The back-end will be the only thing different. But, it will be generally be easier to log on from the internet and sync your phones to it. We had people in our office that stayed with Outlook after we initially switched over. Within two weeks they were using Gmail full time.
One of the really nice things about Google is that they keep making improvements. How often is your Outlook software improved? For example, Google just announced that they’re adding a voice to text feature for their Google Docs platform for use with cell phones.
Here’s some handy stuff/benefits we can use (we don’t use all of them at this time, but it’s nice to be able to easily add the stuff):
- Google Chat (think Instant Messenger if you haven’t used it)
- Adding attachments – it’s very easy to drag and drop them into the email
- Viewing attachments in a new window or tab without having to download them
- Google Search – it runs a lot faster than Outlook and seems to be more exact
- Sign out all other sessions – this will sign me out on any computer I left signed in
- All email in one place (even with other providers)
- Email filtering – I can tag specific email address that will automatically go to a folder. The good thing about this: I can specify if I want it to be in both my inbox and the specific folder (for safe keeping)
- Calendar – It’s really easy to use and we have everyone in the firm’s calendar viewable, so we can easily schedule stuff for other people.
- Google Docs – It’s easy for me to draft a document without having to email it somewhere
- Google Labs – they have all sorts of free add-on. Do you like to have weather info on your calendar automatically updated?
- It just works – whether that’s logging in at home/work/cell phone