Gmail gives you seven gigabytes of free storage, but it’s possible to run out if you like to save every photo and video you ever got. You can get 20 gigabytes of storage for $5 a year, or 80 gigabytes for $20 a year. That’s certainly low cost. There’s more pricing info at

Why use Gmail at all? Having your email automatically forwarded to a Gmail account is a great way to save your sanity. Gmail uses Google’s powerful search engine to make messages easy to find months after you’ve stored them.  You can set up filters to have some types of email skip the inbox and go right into a folder or trash box. A new feature is “canned messages.” You can set up a filter so that a certain type of email always gets a canned response. Our favorite is the one used by the late Senator Metzenbaum of Ohio. It’ started out: “We think we should let you know someone is ending out crank messages under your name.” They also have “vacation response” messages.

We use Google Gears to get our email offline. Offline mail is faster and easier to deal with because you don’t have to wait for web pages to load.  You can set it up to work with Microsoft Outlook, or use it on its own.  Go to to set it up.

3 Responses to “GMAIL TIPS”

  1. Your last paragraph on gmail tips is a little confusing. You mention gears and Microsoft outlook in the same paragraph, but

    “Gears is a plug-in that extends your browser to create a richer platform for web applications.”

    Does it have anything to do with Outlook?

    Does setting up gmail to work with Outlook mean that I can have access to my full historical email in both places – on my PC when i am home and on the web when I am at the office?

    I would love that. How do I do that?

    Thanks for your great column.

  2. Compuserve is gone, AOL is almost gone, could Google ever be gone? That’s #1 reason I loved Eudora & now Thunderbird. I could save all my emails on my computers. Eudora had a great advantage of every folder created could be identified in Windows Explorer and copied for archiving. Outlook on the other hand keeps all folders in one big file. Thunderbird has great search filters. Sometimes setting up a new email is a pain. I also don’t have to give a phone number to set up, like I have had to do a few times with Gmail.

  3. Karl:

    Yes, I’m getting my Gmail within Outlook. I chose the option to “leave email on the server” which means it’s also online at

    It’s been awhile since I set it up, but I know I went to to get started.

    We recommend for some great tech support, but feel free to contact us here with questions.

    -Joy Schwabach