Mastering business email can be a challenge. Complexities and problems are far too common:
- email isn’t always reliable, it can stop unexpectedly and important messages can be lost
- email is often complex, requiring technical specialists that are hard to get when you need them (and expensive when you do)
- email spam wastes a lot of time and is extremely unpleasant
- email addresses that use an ISP or other provider’s address disrupt your business if you change provider and need to send out changes to your address
Google G Suite works for business email, and we use it ourselves. It is easy, reliable and well supported. A long time ago it used to be free, it now costs $50 USD/mth per user.
And a lot of people are using it.
Google has a lot of different services. The one we are talking about here is called Google G Suite (formerly Google Apps). Google G Suite includes Google Mail – while not as important, it also includes Calendar, Talk and Docs. You can also use Google Mail (gmail) just on its own, however for reasons that will become clear, we recommend you use it as part of Google G Suite. Gmail functions the same whether you use it on its own or as part of Google G Suite.
A Google Mail account via Google G Suite is especially well suited for small business because of:
- Big Mailboxes: Google Mail accounts come with a 30Gb+ mailbox (that is around 30,000MB) that gradually increases in size. A lot of email providers set mail box limits in the tens/hundreds of MB, not thousands.
- Big Messages: You can send or receive individual messages (incuding attachments) of up to 20Mb – a lot easier than messing around with external file sending services
- Mail Client Support: You can keeping using your favourite POP mail client (e.g. Outlook). Or use IMAP. Or use the excellent browser interface.
- Spam Filtering: Google Mail has excellent spam filtering – it is the smartest we have found. Not only that, using the web interface means if you need to scan junk mail you can do it very quickly. You can scan who it is from, the subject and a snippet of the body 100 at a time. This helps turn email spam into a minor inconvenience rather than a major problem. Google Mail also has built in virus scanning.
- Own Domain Support: When you use Google G Suite, all your mail addresses are based on your own domain, for example, firstname.lastname@example.org This looks more professional than an ISP based email address, and no more changing email addresses if you change your email provider.
- Multiple Email Addresses: If you use multiple email addresses, you can forward them to one mail box. From there, you can send messages from any of your email addresses.
- Shared Address Books: Teams can use shared address books and shared email address lists.
- Pricing: The standard edition of Google G Suite costs $5/mth or $50/yr per mail box for the Premium version to get a 30Gb mailbox and access to Google’s support service.
Google is one of the Big 3 mail providers worldwide (the others are Yahoo and Microsoft – between them they operate over half a billion email accounts). Google have engineers who make plans to keep Google Mail running, fix it if it breaks, and provide support around the clock. While Microsoft and Yahoo have larger numbers of email addresses, the features Google has put together make it better suited for business.
Google G Suite
While Google Mail is the main reason for going with Google G Suite, some other parts of the Google G Suite bundle are very handy.
Google Calendar – a web calendar more convenient than Outlook? Definitely. The Quick Add feature in particular deserves mention. Google Calendar is very practical for teams. You each have your own Google Calendar account, and easily let each other view and/or update calendars.
Google Talk means you have Instant Messaging for your team.
Google Docs means you can use Google’s browser based word processor, spreadsheet and presentation software to create shared documents and spreadsheets for the team. Is it a replacement for MS Word/Excel/Powerpoint? Try them and see, perhaps they take care of 80% of requirements and you only need desktop software for those on your team with special requirements.
Administration is easy. One mail administrator can setup new mail accounts for all your mail addresses at your domain. And this doesn’t have to be one of your team (see below).
Accessibility is simple. Each service is available from a subdomain. So you can have gmail.mydomain.com, calendar.mydomain.com, docs.mydomain.com and so on.
You can use Outlook as your mail client with a Google Mail account – if you must. But if you want to simplify your email life, there are several good reasons to consider the Google Mail web interface.
Google Mail and its browser interface make for a very fast experience:
- Starts quickly in your browser
- See a lot of emails at once (50 or 100 at a time), including who it is from, the subject and the beginning of the email itself. All this before you even open the email itself (no more scrolling from mail to mail to preview). It is far easier to scan and clear email quickly this way. Productivity experts recommend it.
- Access your email from anywhere you have internet access.
- No software updates / downloads.
Outlook can be confusing. Multiple mail addresses in particular are hard to follow. Many people seem to find the clean browser interface of Google Mail easier to understand.
You really want to have your junk mail filtered at the mail server, not in Outlook (or any other mail client for that matter). So it helps to make it easy to check your junk mail periodically (at least until you have confidence it is working accurately). If you are using a mail client like Outlook, you have to remember to go back to your mail server and check the filtered mail. If you are using Google Mail, it is very easy to check.
Find out more
Setup and Ongoing Support
If you don’t want to do the setup yourself, we can do your setup for you.
MX records. To send your mail to your Google Mail account, your domain’s MX records have to point to Google. If you have an OM4 website on your domain, just log into your site’s dashboard, then click on Domains, then Domain Email Setup. That screen will allow you to set the MX records for Google G Suite for you (no charge for this).
If you aren’t using OM4, many Google G Suite Partners are available to make the MX record changes for you if you provide your domain password to them. Check with the partner before hiring them.
Google G Suite is an easy way to manage email and calendaring for a small business.
Simplify your email life!
Note we don’t get any fee or commission from Google or Google Partners for the Google G Suite or Partner products/services mentioned here.
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