Perfect for YOUR FAMILY: Use Google to get custom email, calendars, messaging and more
Everyone in the world seems to have a Yahoo!Mail, Gmail or Hotmail account — most people use one for personal use even if they already have one at work. The great part of these email services is that it’s web-based and you can use it from anywhere.
But we’re now finally at the point where the web isn’t really out of the reach of small businesses and certainly families like yours. Google wants to help in this cause. Now, you can use Google services for your family, club or any other group just as if you’re a big company. What do I mean by that? How about getting these things for free:
- Customized email accounts that are web-based and can be used exactly like Gmail. So you can now have John@YourLastName.com, Mary@YourLastName.com, Bill@YourLastName.com and Bob@YourLastName.com — all with their own separate 2GB+ email account. If you don’t have your own domain name, just buy one for $6 from 1and1 Internet (they are the world’s largest web host).
- Shared calendars. If your family is like any of the other millions of BUSY families out there, you have schedules for kids’ school, church, clubs, activities, playdates, and then you also have contractors, the plumber, vacation, holidays, oil changes, etc, etc, etc. How many times have you wished that you could just remember what was scribbled on that kitchen calendar for this week when you’re out and about? Or how about being able to get text message reminders of various family appointments on your cell phone?
- Shared documents. There’s lists, flyers, and other docuements that you get via email that would be useful if you could just dump them somewhere so that everyone in the family has access to them whenever they want on their own schedule from anywhere in the world. Google lets you keep documents together for the whole family in one place and you can create, edit, revise new ones with ease.
- Instant messaging. It’s a part of everyone’s e-life, so Google’s GTalk IM service is integrated.
- Family home page. You’ve always wanted it, but were too lazy to figure it out. Google’s Page Creator is so simple your parents could create a webpage. A great first step for anyone that’s never done it before. If you can write and create a document in Word or other similar program, you can now create a webpage from scratch.
Think of it this way — Google created these services and thousands of businesses are using them right now. But you can use the same exact tools for free for your own family or club. There’s actually a premium service that’s aimed at much larger organizations and businesses, but for your family right now, you’ll be more than pleased with what GoogleApps offers with their free services. Since it’s free, there’s no risk in trying.