Thursday, December 31, 2009

Moving to the Cloud Part 2: Email

In my last post, I mentioned my goal of moving all of my important data out of local storage and into the cloud. First, I dealt with my photos. My next order of business was email.

Traditionally, I used Outlook to organize my email and contacts. So I had years' worth of messages organized into personal folders on a local hard drive. Whenever I wanted to move to a new machine, I would export all of these as .pst files and re-import them in a new location. That was annoying, risky, and error-prone.

Now that I am paying for all of this Google storage (as discussed in my last post), it seemed obvious that Gmail was the place to move all of my old email. I wasn't sure off the top of my head exactly how to do that, but a quick search turned up many variations on a simple trick -- enable IMAP in Gmail settings, bring the Gmail account into Outlook via IMAP, and drag-and-drop folders and messages. Perfect!

As for my contacts, I imported them into the Google space (via Google Voice) a long time ago. And I never did a lot of personal calendaring with Outlook. (Online solutions are far better for that now anyway.)

Overall, I was very pleased at how easy it was to migrate away from Outlook. There are two more things that I care about enough to want to move to the cloud -- my music and my schoolwork/teaching/research files. I will cover those in future posts.

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