Forum Question: Should I Use Gmail Web Alone or With Lion Mail?

I’m new to the Mac world and loving it. To get the full experience I’ve been using all of the apps such as Mail, iCal, and Address Book rather than just continuing to use these things with Gmail on the web. I synced everything up so that all of these Lion apps interact with Gmail, but in the back of my mind I think I’m just going to end up going back to Gmail web only sooner or later. Here’s why:
1. When I delete a message in Mail it still remains out in Gmail in the “All Mail” folder. I don’t want it there, I want it gone. I end up having to cleanup Gmail weekly.
2. If I add or update an address book entry in Lion it doesn’t sync back up to Gmail. So again, I’m doing double duty keeping things in sync.
3. If I add an event in iCal it doesn’t sync back up to my Google Calendar. Again, double duty.
I like the idea of having everything available to me even when I don’t necessarily have my Mac with me. I travel a bit with my job and while I haven’t travelled yet with my Mac I just don’t think I’m going to lug my MacBook Pro around with my work laptop the latter of which I need. So I don’t want to end up in a hotel somewhere looking for someone’s e-mail address or phone number and not having it available because its only on my Mac.
FYI – I don’t have a smart phone. I don’t travel enough to have one and short of that I can’t justify the expense.
Tom Abbott

Comments: 7 Responses to “Should I Use Gmail Web Alone or With Lion Mail?”

    12/26/11 @ 9:43 am

    When it comes down to it, it is a matter of personal taste. But let me address your points:
    1. I think you misunderstand how Gmail labels work. Gmail doesn’t use folder, it uses labels. Any message can be labeled with one or more. So something cab be labeled “important” and “work” — this would be different than folders where the email must be in exactly one folder.
    But since Apple Mail uses folders, then folders map to labels in Gmail. So if you had folders “important” and “work” you might see the message in both, but it exists only once in Gmail, it is just labeled with both of those labels.
    “All Mail” is a special label/folder that is for everything. The idea is that you don’t delete message in Gmail, ever. Gmail gives you tons of space, so you should never run out. Archive any messages you are done with, but know that you could always return to your All Mail label/folder to find things you were done with days or years ago. There is no need to clean it up. Just leave it as an archive. If you like, never view it. You can even go into Gmail IMAP settings on the Web and tell it not to sync All Mail with clients like Apple Mail so you won’t even see it.
    And if you use the web interface, the All Mail label is there too, of course. So switching from Apple Mail to web-based Gmail won’t change things.
    2. No, Gmail addresses don’t sync for some reason. But if you use iCloud to sync your addresses, then I don’t see how it is “double duty” — there is nothing for you to do, the syncing is automatic.
    3. You can sync Google calendars. Lots of people do that. You just have to make sure you are using a calendar in iCal that is a Google Calendar, as opposed to something else (iCloud, “on my Mac” etc). This is no different than any other calendar service like iCloud. You add an event to a calendar synced with Google, it syncs with Google. But if the calendar is an iCloud calendar, then it syncs with iCloud Check in your iCal prefs under Accounts to see which calendar you are using. Add your Google calendar there.
    Hope this helps.

      Tom Abbott
      12/26/11 @ 12:18 pm

      Thanks for your reply, Gary. I have to admit, iCloud confuses me. Confusing me is not hard to do :). For my address book when the last man is standing I want everything in Gmail. If addresses don’t sync between my Mac and Gmail then Gmail wins. Is there a way to login to my iCloud account and see things that are in there via an iCloud web interface? I’ve looked for this but all I can find is Apple’s page that explains iCloud, not an iCloud interface. If there is one then I’m going to rethink my “last man standing” comment.

      I’ll tinker around with the Calendar settings some more. I think that I have my Google Calendar set up, but I also have it setup to sync with iCloud so perhaps this is causing the undesired results.

      I have some compulsive tendencies, and cleaning out the Gmail “All Mail” folder is just one of those quirks of mine that I probably need to take a fire hose to. :)

      Thanks for your help here, Gary. I love your pod/video cast. My kids all tease me (in fun) when they hear me listening to you. “There’s Gary again.” :) I always say, hey leave Gary alone; this guy is teaching me a LOT.

      Thanks again! :)

        12/26/11 @ 12:33 pm

        iCloud and Gmail are very similar in many ways. Just go to to log into your iCloud account and you can view your email, contacts and calendars just like with Gmail.
        I too, can have compulsive tendencies when it comes to email. But once I realized that All Mail is supposed to be “all mail, ever.” I shifted toward wanting it to be that way. Know what I mean?

          Tom Abbott
          12/26/11 @ 12:52 pm

          I do know what you mean. Checking it out now. Thanks again for everything.

    Paddy Zoller
    12/26/11 @ 8:31 pm

    Gary, speaking of iCloud, do you have any advise for someone who has 2 Apple IDs and is going to go to iCloud soon. Is it true that Apple will let me re-download at no charge from my “old” id to the “new one”

      12/26/11 @ 9:20 pm

      You’ll have to call Apple and ask them if they’ll let you combine purchases from other accounts. It can make things very difficult if you have purchases from two different accounts.

    Paddy Zoller
    12/26/11 @ 9:51 pm

    Thanks Gary, I sure know now how difficult it is. Too bad I didn’t know all this 3 years ago.

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