Thursday, September 12, 2013

Google Mail: The Adventure Begins

Over the next couple weeks, I am going to be writing several blog posts/tech tips about GMail.  Hopefully these tips will help you to better understand our new Google Mail system and become more comfortable with its features.  Below you will find some Important Facts, along with some FAQs, including how to set up GMail on your mobile device.

Let's start with a couple notes about GMail...

Important Facts
Your email address is the same as it has always been, usually your first initial and your last name followed by @portageps.org. For example: gwashington@portageps.org

To access the new system, visit mail.portageps.org and log in with the same ID and password you use to login to your computer at school.

When we switched over from outlook, you did not lose anything!!!  If you can't find an email/folder, please let us know.  It is probably in your outlook archive on your U: Drive.  You may use outlook to access these archive emails. You will not be able to use outlook to send/receive mail.

The following items did NOT migrate and will need to be recreated on the Gmail system: custom distribution groups you created and color coding system for appointments.

Trainings
Gmail is very easy to use, however it does take some getting used to. We have and will continue to provide multiple opportunities for group and one-to-one training.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Tell me again, why Portage is doing this?
Quite simply, Gmail is a better fit for PPS - it has a larger storage capacity for email and attachments, is more reliable with fewer outages, it integrates with our Google Apps for Education platform and ultimately will save PPS money over the long haul.

Why aren't my old messages appearing in Gmail?
They are probably in your archive on your U: drive.  You can access these by using outlook, but you cannot send and receive emails in outlook any longer.

Will I ever be able to use outlook again?
We are not supporting outlook for day-to-day use after the switch. It does not completely integrate with the Gmail suite of services.

Did all of my mail migrate?
All of your mail, save items in archive folders or the trash, did migrate with the folder assignments they had in Outlook. If you need to access your archives, outlook will still be available for that.

Will I still be able to play my voicemail messages from my email?
Yes.

Setting up your mobile device
For the most part, you'll find Gmail to be a much more pleasant experience on your mobile device than our old system. As devices differ in set-up and software, it isn't feasible to release a step-by-step guide. Please use the general guidelines below. If you need assistance, stop by the administration offices.

Android Devices
Go to your settings on your phone and add a new google account, using your portage email address and password. That's it!

iOS Devices (Apple)
You actually set up Gmail using the exchange option in the apple device. Visit http://support.google.com/a/users/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=138740 for step by step instructions. Remember to use your portageps email address and password.
After this step, you may want to download the official gmail application from the app store. It's a better email client for gmail than the stock apple one.

Others
Instructions for other devices can be found at http://support.google.com/a/users/bin/topic.py?hl=en&topic=1233222

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