I found myself once again wishing for a better email solution after a clients web host (cough, site5, cough, cough) lost email during a server migration. The customer, who travels a lot, had converted from POP mail to webmail on his own (iMap or leave on server with POP would have worked) and any email which was not downloaded to his local machine during a 3 day period was lost forever. Damned if you do damned if you don’t. It got me thinking again about the importance of email and how hard it is to manage. Can improved email software help save the world or is it simply how we use what we have?
I’ve used Pegasus, Eudora, Pine, Outlook, Lotus Notes, The Bat, Entourage (with & without Exchange), Outlook Express, Evolution, Pine, Opera, RoundCube, SmarterMail, Horde… and more I’ve surely forgotten. I love and hate bits and pieces of them all. At work I’m using Exchange and Outlook, does the job pretty well. At home I have 12 years of email stored in my ThunderBird 3.0 beta client and the poor stuff has been through some hard times – servers, protocols, local based, server based, backup, restore and forced into about any mail box format there is. Until I installed Copernic Desktop search a few years back it was getting hard to manage productively.
My ideal email tool operates locally but leaves mail, contacts and calendaring accessible from anywhere. It’s highly searchable, (Exchange wins here, Gmail can’t search my attachments yet and not sure I want them too!), cross platform, and uses standard portable calendaring, contact and mailbox formats. A Frankenstein of Outlook, Thunderbird and Gmail perhaps.