At Journey, we use an email solution called Google Apps. This is basically Gmail but branded for an organization – using their domain and usable as web-based groupware (word processing, spreadsheets, and calendars – all collaborative). A major benefit of Google Apps is that it allows over 7 GB of storage – over 100 times more than most Exchange setups. Most people are used to storing their email on their computer, but with IMAP, the best place to store email is on the server. This also makes it easier to access elsewhere. So, to get to the practical part, here’s how to switch to IMAP.
First, enable IMAP within Google Apps. For Journey, go to mail.takeajourney.org and sign in (don’t include @takeajourney.org but just the part that proceeds it). Then click on Settings in the top right. Then Forwarding and POP/IMAP. Finally, Enable IMAP and Save.
This enables IMAP for your Apps account.
The next step isn’t as simple – enabling IMAP in your mail client. Most staff at Journey use Outlook or Apple Mail. First, familiarize yourself with the Google Apps Help for Users. The link there for email just goes to the Gmail Help page, which will give you tons of info. Getting more specific, check out Troubleshooting IMAP. Finally, here are the links for the clients I’ve seen in common usage.
So I don’t get it. Why do companies still use Exchange and give users 10-50 MB size limits on their mailbox? Especially schools and non-profits? (Check out Google Apps for free solution for your domain.) I’m just going to write some lists:
Pros/Cons of Exchange:
- Pro – Stored on site for security
- Con – Less people monitoring uptime
- Pro or Con – runs with Windows well (pro for those using it, major con for anyone wanting a better OS)
- Con – Major limited storage capacity
- Con – Only as fast as your internet connection
And now for a pet peeve/rant. Use IMAP! If you are using POP3, stop it. You won’t be able to organize your email from more than one device. Since most people want to be able to check from their home desktop, work desktop, laptop, phone, and via the web when somewhere else, steer clear of POP3. With this comes a change in the storage location of your email. It will now be on the server instead of your PC/device. I think I’ll write a blog post about this switch with more details soon. For now, /rant.
Journey now has a new web site. I flipped the switch on it yesterday afternoon at 5:12pm, and it looks to have trickled through the big internet DNS servers by now. We’re now using Google Apps as our email solution, and eventually I need to introduce the staff to the rest of the benefits of Apps, but as for now, it’s just our email solution.
Edit: We’re using Vimeo for our video solution. Works great, and even support HD!
So at Journey we’re about to migrate web hosting, and with that, our current email solution for staff. I’ve talked with various people about using Google Apps, including a large church that uses it for staff and a medium-sized university that uses it for their student accounts. Apps integrates Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Video (for payment), Sites, Chat, and maybe more for each user. Gmail allows every user on your domain to have 7.2 GB of disk space and Docs allows for 10 GB of disk space.
Has anyone used this for a domain? I’d really like to implement it, as it relies on Google’s uptime and not that of anyone else. Anyways.