Five reasons to ditch Outlook for Google Apps

If I had a 5-30 person office, I would jump on Google Apps in an instant, particularly if I didn’t already have an imap server and all the other hardware and software jazz Microsoft likes to sell you so Outlook will actually work.

Here’s why:

  1. You will never run out of space on your email account: Every email account comes with 2+ gigs of storage.
  2. You can easily add and remove email addresses from a web-based panel (no more calling the tech guy for basic tasks).
  3. Your employees can access their email from anywhere and on any operating system (the Mac guy can keep his Mac!).
  4. You get my new favorite Calendar system – it’s really easy to add events, invite others, and manage multiple calendars including group calendars (we use group Calendars for the very infrequent events that we must all attend at ShackPrices). Also, you can access your calendars from other people’s computers.
  5. Your employees get all the nice little touches that are quickly being added to Gmail – the ability to preview word documents, excel spreadsheets, and pdfs without opening up a new program, in-browser chatting with other gmail users, and the ability to send voice mails (to anyone!) from Google Talk.

You can already download all your email from gmail to any email program and Google will be offering an API, so you can hire a programmer (or download plug-ins) to access all the rest of your information should you ever decide to quit.

Via John Battelle’s Search Blog (a great blog if you haven’t checked it out)

Seattle Real Estate Calendar Update

Thanks to Tom of Trumba, I’ve been playing around with Trumba‘s calendar solutions. They are definitely doing some interesting things and there are some benefits to their solution that go above and beyond the current offerings of Google Calendar I discussed a little while back. In particular, I really like two features they’ve added to the NYTime’s Automotive Calendar that I think could easily be ported to the Seattle real estate scene.

  • Feature 1: Submit an Event allows for any user to add an event
  • Feature 2: Add This Calendar to Your Site gives some simple javascript so that anyone can add the calendar to their site.

There are two types of calendars that can easily be added to another site. One is a preview calendar shown on my sidepanel (below the comments!) and the other is a “full” calendar shown below.

I really like the distributed collaboration and if anyone wants to add this calendar to their real estate site, it is as simple as copy-and-pasting some code… If you are interested, email me and I’ll send you the code!

By the way, the current calendars on this site do not have the “add an event” feature, but Tom assures me that it will be available in a few weeks! Until then, feel free to email me with your real estate event if you’d like me to add it to the calendar!

One more thing!!! The TechCrunch event looks to be a lot of fun and is coming up this next Wednesday!!!

Real Estate Technology Events on Google Calendar

With Google’s recently released calendar feature, they’ve made social networking of events much easier. With this in mind I’ve pre-populated a public calendar with real estate technology events that can be shared (and managed) by a group.

So far, the events that I’ve added to the calendar include:

I’d REALLY like to get some other people interested in real estate technology involved and then we can all work together to keep updated on events no matter what part of the country they occur.

At this point, I’ve tested it out with Galen Ward and he was able to manage the calendar with me (i.e. add, edit and invite people to events). If you’re interested in helping us out with this calendar, just let me know and I’d be happy to add you as a manager as well. (You will need an invite-only gmail account, so let me know if you don’t have one and I can get you one!)

For everyone else, here is an RSS feed of the calendar which can be added to your feed reader so that you can be updated each time a new event is added.

If you want to learn more about Google Calendar, Stopdesign gives a bunch of very useful tips and tricks to get the most out of the tool.