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How I manage my company email with Gmail instead of Outlook

A few years ago I made a career change and moved from a large multinational organization to a smaller size company. If you ever worked in a big company then you probably know that in most cases everything related to IT is regulated and standardized.

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I moved into this new company that had no MS Exchange, no Lotus Notes, no Google Apps, just a 200 Mb email address that you used with MS Outlook. As I did not particularly like using Outlook and having to back up the data files I searched for an alternative.

Gmail instead of outlook

I discovered an alternative in Gmail, I noticed that I can very easy forward all my email from my company server and also use the send email as feature in Gmail. In this article I want to show you how you can use Gmail as a cloud based email client to manage other email addresses.

The process

In my case the process was simple and straightforward:

  1. Forward all my email from the company server into Gmail and delete it
  2. Setup Gmail to send email using the company server
  3. Small tweaks and optimizations

Forward all into Gmail

I found this to be the easiest step, although in your case it could be more difficult. My company server is managed using Roundcube webmail.

Roundcube does not have a forward all option, however it has filters. So I created a filter for all email I receive with that purpose in mind.

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Send email as

Up to this point all my company emails arrive into my Gmail. What I want to do next is to send email as I would be using my company webmail. I will do this using the send email as feature.

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Make sure that you uncheck treat as an alias.

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And afterwards you put in the required email settings that you do also in Outlook.

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And you’re done with the send as feature, like in Outlook for each email that you send you can choose from which address.

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Tweaks and optimizations

The first one is to set the company email as the default, so you don’t have to change the From address every time you send an email.

Gmail instead of outlook 7If you want you can set your company email as the default when replying to each email, or reply from the same address the message was sent to.

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What about problems

I am sure that there are lots of problems with what you suggest in the long run.

I’ve been using this tweak for more than 2 years now, did not face big issues. There is a little inconvenience when you reply to an email that you initiated because it tends to reply to your address.

Other hacks

What about you, what other hacks do you know and want to share.

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  1. Recommend the ActiveInbox extension for Gmail – turns it into a grown-up email client almost immediately and encourages a great work-flow seeing emails as tasks with due-dates etc…


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