6 Awesome Features That Make Gmail Better Than Outlook, Mac Mail and Entourage Combined

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About a month ago I wrote a post titled Trying Gmail For A Week.  I haven’t thought about Outlook, Entourage, or Mac Mail for a month and I don’t think I’m ever going back.  It took about a week to rewire my brain for how conversations worked and what the keyboard shortcuts were, but not that I’m there it’s just awesome.A few weeks ago Fred Wilson wrote a post titled Inbox Zero.  In it he mentioned two Gmail services he found indispensable – Priority Inbox (from Google) and Unsubscribe.com (from James Siminoff who created Phonetag, another great service.)  I agree with Fred on both of these, but have discovered a few extra things that are killer.  I’ll list them below and for balance talk about a few shortcomings.

Brad Feld is managing director at Foundry Group. This article was originally published on his blog and has been republished with permission

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Google Voice

I've had a Google Voice for a long time but I never fully switched over to it. The Google Voice integration with Gmail has tipped me over. I've been dreaming about getting rid of my desktop phone for a while -- I now find myself almost exclusively doing every call from my computer except when I'm not online (where I have to use my cell phone.) More importantly, video chat and text chat is completely integrated within Gmail so from one screen I have email, my phone (inbound and outbound calling) Skype-equivalent video chat, and text chat. While I still use Skype extensively (I'm bradfeld) I find I'm using it much less as I end up using [email protected] instead.

Gist

I'm an investor in Gist and use it for my unified contact manager. Google Contacts is ok, but has a long way to go. But Gist integration with Gmail at a data level is superb.

I'm still using Gmail's consumer service so the integration is primarily at a data level, but I'm now playing around with a full switch over to Google Apps and the Gist + Google Apps integration (via the Google Apps Marketplace) just rocks. In addition, there's a new browser-based Gist add-on coming out shortly (hint hint) that will provide direct integration into the consumer version of Gmail.

Google Tasks

I am an Inbox Zero guy and I don't keep anything (including paper), but I do have a short task lists of things like blog posts I'm going to write.

I went through an Evernote phase recently but it's overkill for me. Google Tasks is perfect, but I didn't have an obvious way to sync with my iPhone. Now I do.

There are some downsides:

For more ways to manage your email, check out:

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