Just last week, I learned that Gmail can now download my regular POP3 mail to the Gmail interface. Previously, it only worked the other way around, meaning you could download Gmail messages via POP3 to your standalone mail client.
Well I essentially jumped right in and made Gmail my mail client of choice. It now downloads all my traditional mail, processes it via the Google Brand™ junk-mail filter, tags it and places it right in Gmail. Essentially, what used to be a standalone mail account only, is now accessible as webmail.
Today, slightly more than one week later, I think I made the right choice. There are simply so many benefits, that it outweighs the downsides.
I love the fact that I can access all my email, in one unified place. If I’m at work, at a friends place, at the library or even on the other side of the world—the email is all there. I love the fact that there are built-in junk mail controls that work reasonably well (not as well as my well-trained Popfile, but close enough that spam doesn’t annoy me). Finally, the ability that lets me mail from Gmail posing as my POP3 mail address seems to work as intended. To the extent that I have tested, the email sent in this manner will look as though it’s coming from the correct POP3 address.
I find myself, having switched, not missing my old Thunderbird. All my previous woes when reinstalling or migrating machines have effectively been eliminated. The only downside I can see, is that what mail I used to read, ad-free, now has ads placed along the side. I think I can live with that.