If you’re still pressing send and receive to force your email to download, then it’s possible that you’re still using POP email.
POP email systems let you store any email you receive on a server and then collect it when you’re ready. It’s a bit like having a letterbox at the end of your drive. Your computer or phone can look for email, usually every 5 minutes or so or when you ask it to and then the emails appear. If you want, you can leave a copy of the emails in the letterbox so that another device can also retrieve them.
That’s a pretty simple setup, but it has its problems. Firstly, if you have more than one device, like a laptop and a phone, neither device knows that you’ve read the email on the other, or indeed deleted it, replied to it or filed it. Secondly, if you download all your emails to your laptop and then leave the laptop on the train, you’ll have to go back to a backup to recover them. That may seem obvious, but emails are not generally stored individually so any backup you use has to be able to copy a file containing all of your email history and it can only do this when you’re not using emails. Thirdly, it’s an email only system – it doesn’t handle your contacts, calendar or tasks. Ok – lots of people don’t use tasks but calendar and contacts are pretty essential.
Ok – so what’s the alternative ?
Microsoft’s Office365 product – the 365 refers to the fact that it’s a 365 day subscription – includes a server based mailbox. It uses a technology called Exchange which is what the majority of bigger businesses use. Your mailbox holds all your emails, plus tasks, contacts and calendar entries. This data is on Microsoft’s servers and you access it from any devices you have. Regardless of whether you synchronise the data or just view it online, all of your devices are looking at the same data. So reading an email on your laptop would mark it as read on your phone. Replies would be visible in the sent items on all your devices. All this happens pretty much instantaneously.
Technology wise it’s a no brainer. It costs less than £40 per year for a mailbox account which can be used on multiple devices. If you lose a device or laptop, then you can simply replace it and access the same mailbox without any data loss. You can even access the account through a web browser on any internet connected equipment.
So how do you get it?
Setting up Office365 to your email is relatively easy to do but is best done to your own domain name. Things can get a little fiddly depending upon who your domain is hosted with. The whole procedure takes a few days but your email continues to function whilst it’s transferred.
We can quote for and perform the entire migration, for a single mailbox or several. At the end of the process you’ll end up with an email system that’s secure, efficient and every bit as powerful as large businesses use, but for a fraction of the cost. If you’d like to see an Office365 system in use, then do get in touch as we’d be happy to offer a free demonstration.