I’ve been struggling with my email setup for a while now, figuring out how I want my email to work for me. This is a simple post about what I have settled on for the time being.
No surprise here, I use Apple’s Mail application as the central hub for my email activity. I keep all of my accounts in here that I use from day-to-day and the same goes on my mobile devices as well (an iPhone and iPad). The updates in Lion were very welcome and I have a pretty decent system down for how to work with Google Apps.
However, what accounts do I have?
I used to use a generic Gmail account I’ve had around for years, but I was leery of keeping that as my main address not because I don’t like Gmail (even though I have my complaints), but because I liked the idea of having my own personal domain host my main email account.
So I have settled on Google Apps (Free) to host the email for bobmartens.net. However, that’s the only thing I host here: email. I have disabled Docs, Calendar, Chat, etc. and am running with only Mail and Contacts on this domain. I keep my actual Contacts and Calendar in iCloud.
I was going to move all of my Google services over to my own Google Apps account, but it became a hassle when Google Plus is not enabled for Google Apps accounts and what if I would want to move my email address to another service provider? Then I’d lose all of my Google stuff as well. Not ideal.
I have a similar setup for Deck78.
Martin Luther College moved to Google Apps for Education about a year ago, and that is what I use at work during the day. I have a single Google Calendar as well because that works best for me at the moment. I also use Google Chat on this domain as well because everyone else does and sometimes people will get a hold of me through it.
I had toyed with hosting email at home with Lion Server, but I scrapped that idea in favor of the simplest solution for the moment because I would really like to have a static IP address to do that, but it would cost me at least twice as much per month in order to get that service through Comcast, which I really can’t afford at the moment.
Ultimately, this gives me the flexibility that I require for the future (if I would switch my domains to my own server) while provided some features I need/want right now (like mobile push email). If Apple would open up iCloud to hosted domains, I’d entertain the idea of switching to that, but I’m satisfied with this at the moment.
So, a recap:
- Google Apps for bobmartens.net – email
- Google Apps for deck78.com – email
- Google Apps for mlc-wels.edu – email, calendar, docs, etc.
- Gmail Account – docs, calendar, reader, groups, etc.
I’ll see how long I stick with this setup.
UPDATE: I forgot to add that I am forwarding my old Gmail address to my new personal Google Apps one. That way it is easier for everyone and I don’t miss any important email.