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Invest Some Time Customizing Gmail So It Works Like You Think (September 21, 2020)

Many small firm lawyers use the free Google email service Gmail to communicate with their clients. There are often questions raised about the security of Gmail because of the ads displayed that can change based on the content of your emails. So when you email several relatives seeing who is attending the cousin’s wedding, it is a little creepy to see ads displayed for wedding planners and similar services in your email. Based on the sheer volume of Gmails sent each hour, I accept Google’s statement that the ads are automatically generated and no one there is reading your emails to choose the ads displayed.

Lawyers using Gmail for business should strongly consider doing two things: 1. Upgrading your free Gmail account to the modestly priced GSuite subscription, and 2. Customizing Gmail so it works better for you.

A GSuite subscription costs $6.00 per month for the basic account and $12.00 per month for the business account. You can review this chart of the features of both types of accounts. There are many online essays, like this one, of why paid Gmail is better than free Gmail. There is more to GSuite than just email upgrades, but the primary reasons I think GSuite is superior to free Gmail are using a more professional-sounding email address (like your law firm website domain) instead of Gmail.com, administrative controls so a staff person cannot access their Gmail account after leaving your employment and the easy-to-use GSuite Sync for Microsoft Outlook.

Today Fast Company posted This next-level hack trains Gmail to work the way you think. This excellent article outlines how customizing Gmail tabs can change your inbox and your working days.

From the article:

“Here’s a little secret, though: You don’t have to use those tabs in the way Google designed them. You can hijack them and make them work any way you want.

“And once you wrap your mind around that possibility, you’ll never look at your inbox the same way again.”

Lawyers sometimes feel that they are too busy for technology customizations. But with most customizations, the hard part is figuring out what needs to be changed. Here Fast Company has provided us a roadmap.