Like it or not, email is an everyday part of life for an attorney. You have to be able to deal efficiently with the email problem, and not let its stringy fingers suffocate you. For me, I prefer to manage my email using Gmail or through Google Apps for my business. I love that Google offers very affordable pricing for a very robust platform. I also love that the Gmail platform integrates so well with my Android devices.
I’ve found that the easiest way to integrate my email, especially for the non-Google-hosted accounts like my email for this site, is to import my mail from the other account. Gmail makes this easy with its simple settings (Settings > Send mail as: > Add another email address you own). Once set up, mail will flow into Gmail for management. This feature is great because you can send a response as your “true” identity, or quickly select the alias. I also like that Gmail will group messages together so that I can follow strings of conversations, rather than scrolling through multiple emails to find a series of messages. This is great for managing listserves and forum conversations.
Sidenote, I have three separate Gmail accounts, one personal, one business, and one for the Solosez listserve, though I could easily merge all three into one. I prefer the separate for my own sense of “security” and separation.
Once you properly set your email accounts, managing Gmail with an Android device is simple, since Android is inherently connected to Google.
On Android, I connect or link my Google (Gmail) accounts to my tablet or smartphone. By default, messages get pushed to your Android device, and synced using IMAP protocols. Therefore, the messages on your mobile device are the same messages in your Gmail account.
I prefer the native Gmail app (free) for managing mail. I link my three Gmail accounts to my Android phone and tablet. However, I only set notifications up for two: personal and business. I turn off notifications for the other account (because of the amount of emails generates – perhaps 100-plus, per day) since it’s not an “urgent” account, and prefer to check emails once or twice per day. Alternatively, I could link only the two accounts I wish to have on my device, and check the third account through my preferred web browser (free). Gmail on mobile is still pretty sweet, and functions much like the desktop app:
Some users may prefer K-9 Mail, which offers some more robust email handling. While it’s a fairly simple process to set up K-9 Mail, there can be some snags. Be sure you have all of your information before beginning. K-9 also improves on some of the features that the Gmail app lacks, such as the ability to select multiple messages at once. Though I’m not bothered by the missing feature, admittedly, it’s nice when you need to quickly delete 100 messages.
Gmail makes Android a powerful email management too. I love how easy it is to manage email on my Android smartphone or tablet. When you’re ready, you may want to “upgrade” your Android email experience with Gmail Tap: