Lots of lawyers use Gmail for their email needs, be it the standard “@gmail.com” version of the wildly-popular Google Apps. But we get nervous when it comes to keeping all of that valuable electronic data in the cloud. What if the messages are lost? What if I don’t have Internet access just when I need to get that attachment?
You’ve got a few options.
First, just use IMAP to download your email from the Google servers and keep it in sync between your computer and the cloud. It takes awhile the first go around, but if that’s how you routinely access Gmail then it’s pretty quick and reliable.
This is the option I use, and it works perfectly. I can access my GMail account 24/7/365, and I’m always confident in my ability to get my hands on important messages and attachments whenever I want to do so.
There is, however, a second option. You could go with GMail Backup, which is free. This is especially handy if you’re bumping up to your storage limit and don’t feel like opening up a second GMail account.
GMail Backup saves and restores a full archive of your Gmail email account. The downside is that though It’s available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, you get a graphical interface only with Windows. If you’re on a Mac or Linux, you’re forced to work through Terminal to get it done.
I’ve used GMail Backup on my Mac, and it wasn’t a big deal to use Terminal and go it without a graphical interface. But I’m a geek, so I get it if you’re not keen on the idea of tinkering under the hood.