Using GMail in offline mode

Gmail logo
photo credit: Kinologik

One of the great things that I have learned about information technology is that, the more I explore it, the more excited I become with the possibilities it offers for academics like me. Let me explain. Recently, I took a few days off and went up to Whistler to my friend Lisa Thomas-Tench’s family townhouse. Lisa forewarned me that the place wasn’t fitted with wireless internet. I was excited at NOT being online.

You’ll see, whether I am at my downtown office at The Network Hub, working from home or on the road (visiting clients) or at the university, I am ALWAYS online. Given that I have had an iPhone for almost a year now (thanks to my friend Mike Yurechko), I am always able to check my emails, tweets and documents on-the-go.

Except when I am nowhere near a wireless Internet connection.

I purposefully decided NOT to get a data plan because I knew I would be connected ALL THE TIME. I knew that by keeping my iPhone purely able to log on to wireless internet, without having data plan, I would have to learn to be efficient, download all my emails, maybe download my tweets and check them while commuting from Point A to Point B.

During my retreat in Whistler (which was aimed at just focusing on writing a manuscript I am working on with my Mom, who is also an academic), I needed to download a lot of data. But I just didn’t have the time to go visit my friend Tris and borrow an external HDD.

What I did instead, though, was to turn on Gears on both of my browsers (Chrome and Firefox) and allow GMail to operate in offline mode. And it was AMAZING. I was able to catch up on a heck of a lot of emails I needed, read drafts of documents I had sent myself via email, and read drafts of journal articles I had to peer-review. Client work, etc. All available.

Google – you are geniuses.

While it annoys me that YouTube is synchronized with my Gmail account, and it also annoys me that does not exist (only, your tools have really greatly improved my workflow.

Related posts:

  1. Use an offline blogging tool (Blogging 201)
  2. GMail is down… again! On the dependency on tech tools
  3. The offline life of an online geek
  4. I can still hang out offline and make it!
  5. Cycling as a mode of sustainable transportation

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