We all rely on email for our business so its important to have something that is reliable, backed up and that lets you work on the move seamlessly. However I come across many people who are using POP3 without realizing the major limitations. If you need to check your email in more than one place - which is standard these days - it’s important to explore your options and upgrade.
POP3 mailboxes get set up when new domain names are purchased without much thought about the other options available. The problem is that kind of email sits on your web host’s server and gets sent to your laptop or smartphone. However, any deleting or sending etc that you do on one device cannot be updated to another. This causes people to set up all sorts of complicated systems to copy themselves on emails and to then check and clear in boxes in different locations- time consuming, frustrating and very unnecessary.
So, what are your options? IMAP and Exchange are much better as they allow email syncing between devices. Some accounts can be upgraded to IMAP which allows emails to sync however better still is to go with Google Apps or Office365.
With Google Apps, you will also have the ability to sync email, calendar and contacts with the Google interface and many love it for its ease of use and third party apps for extra functionality. Personally I use Microsoft Exchange Online with Outlook. It is the most stable and robust platform to use for email and allows you to sync not just your email but also calendar and contacts to as many devices as you want. Microsoft recently released Office365, making Exchange Online accessible to single users for the first time. For just £4+VAT a month you get seamless syncing all your devices, as well as an Outlook web app offering familiar Outlook functionality through a web browser should you ever need to work from an unfamiliar machine.
With Gmail and Office365 there are now 2 great, cost effective, solutions that make the most of the cloud and increase productivity. So if you are still on POP3 my question to you is why?
Francesca Geens runs an IT consultancy called Digital Dragonfly, which specializes in one-person businesses. She is especially interested in productivity and the use of information technology to improve people’s day-to-day business lives. Find out more about how Digital Dragonfly can help you at www.digitaldragonfly.co.uk