Years ago I moved to an email server accessible from my iPhone, laptop, netbook, notepad or desktop computer. Initially this was achieved by using the IMAP protocol which was supported by MS Outlook, Thunderbird, Mail.app and many other email clients on my various machines. I had configured each client to bcc: myself in order to ensure my sent mail was always available (not every client handled sent-mail correctly).
For the last 3 years I’ve used an entirely hosted solution, currently gmail. My email is always available on whatever machine I’m using. I am aware of privacy and security risks (a topic for a future post).
Several family members recently had problems with their Outlook installation. Two of them are small business owners. One of them subsequently had a machine crash and she is stuck without her email history. This is a greater inconvenience to her than not having a computer at all. If she was on the cloud she’d buy a $400 replacement and be back working 2 hours later.
Their reason for storing all their email on their laptops? “That’s what I’ve always done and that’s what I know to do.” My aunt bought MS Office just so she could use Outlook because that’s all she knows.
Another reason I get is to access old email even when not connected to the internet. Not a good enough reason to store all your email locally and struggle with the backup risks.
Why are you still using an email client?