After a long day of school, I was sitting in my living room with two of my roommates finishing up some work, when one of them asked if my other roommate and I had Gmail accounts.
That set us off into a conversation about just how amazing Gmail and other Google programs are. Seriously, they are revolutionizing.
Right now, I’m writing my senior project on Google Docs because I switch working on it between two different computers. This way, I can open it up anywhere without exporting, attaching, downloading and resaving files. Not to mention the help Google lends to group projects — so much for meeting up in the library. Let’s just share a Google Doc and Presentation, meet 10 minutes before to talk and then present.
I first discovered the wonders of Google programs in my second year at Cal Poly. By that time I had, thankfully, graduated from the stage of making super cute email addresses. KPsurf21 turned into kprazak21, which is now karleeprazak — the most sophisticated of them all. But my primary email for the past two years has been my Mustang Daily account.
Without Google or other email services, I don’t know how the Mustang Daily would function. People might criticize newspapers for wasting paper, but behind the scenes, we are all about trying to be green.
Besides the copy editing done on mock “pages,” most organization is done on Google Docs and whiteboards. But the most important element of all — communication — is done via phone calls, text messages and most commonly, email. To clarify, we do talk face-to-face primarily, but we aren’t always together, so that’s when email picks up the slack.
Take last week’s story about the “privatization of Cal Poly” for example. When the story was first discovered on Friday morning, phone calls and texts were going viral amongst the news staff. The information was sent via email, and for the rest of the day, tips were communicated on a message thread. The article was also initially written on a Google Doc so the process could be monitored for accuracy and contributed to throughout the day — another testimony to how great Google programs are.
However, this leads to one of my email annoyances — when people don’t “reply to all.” If the email was important enough to be sent to several people, then all those people are going to want to know what’s going on. If it is secret, start a new message thread. Otherwise, just reply to all.
This way everyone is in the loop, so if they don’t catch the email until later, they know whether or not the subject has been addressed and the corresponding explanations for why and how.
Emails only have a “reasonable expectation of privacy” under the constitution anyways. Because of this, emails can be dug up and shared with people who weren’t initially meant to see, so you might as well just reply to everyone who actually got the email. Seriously, it’s right next to reply, just hang a little to the right, and you got it.
And, yes, my roommate got a Gmail account, and if she’s smart, she won’t turn to another service any time soon.