Google has introduced Gmail Delegation, a new feature that allows multiple users to access one Gmail account. Gmail Delegation isn't specifically for business -- families sharing one e-mail account will find it useful -- but its collaborative nature is perfect for companies looking to ditch Microsoft Outlook's glitchy saddlebags and adopt Gmail as their e-mail system.
Here's how Gmail Delegation works, and why it's yet another perfect excuse to ditch Outlook forever.
How to Set Up Gmail Delegation
Gmail Delegation -- formerly only for Google Apps customers -- is easily set up. Go to Settings > Accounts and select "Grant Access to Your Account."
"The account you add will get a verification e-mail with links to accept or deny access. Once the account accepts, a small down arrow will appear beside the e-mail address at the top right corner of Gmail which can be used to toggle between accounts," Hari Nidumolu explains on Google's blog.
Each added account opens in a separate browser tab or window so you can multitask smoothly. In terms of security, delegates can only view your inbox and respond to messages on your behalf; they can't access gChat, change your password, or fiddle with other account settings. If you're worried that your bitter administrative assistant will spam your co-workers with LOL Cats, fear not: the e-mail recipient is notified that the message was sent on your behalf, not specifically by you.
See Ya, Outlook
As Gmail becomes more robust and corporate-friendly, companies have even less of a reason to stick with Microsoft's tired-and-true Outlook.
There are many simple step-by-step instructions to integrate Outlook with Gmail without losing the functionality people are accustomed to. And though some are pained by Outlook separation anxiety and nervous about Google's reliance on the cloud, Gmail can not only be used offline, it can also be backed up to your computer's hard drive (or in the cloud).
Maybe now's the time to say see ya to Outlook forever.