I know I’m at risk at preaching to the converted but I have to check – do you use gmail?
Up until now, you had to be invited by someone already using the service, or identify yourself with a US cell phone number. Now, you can just sign up! There’s a big list of cool features here but here’s why I would not consider yahoo or hotmail right now.
- No lock-in. If something better than gmail come along I can switch and get all my mail forwarded to the new address for free without bothering anyone.
- Multiple account handling. Mail from work, personal and general account all ends up in the same place with automatic tagging to keep it separable. When I reply, I can specify which address it replies from.
- Seamless built-in chat. Chat and mail aren’t so different and gmail blends them perfectly. When I reply to an e-mail via chat, the chat history stays with the email conversation. Tip: switch to US English as your language if this is not showing up.
Of course, you mileage may vary. Particularly if you get anxious about your mail client not looking and acting like outlook. I prefer the gmail interface. One more annoyance is getting a @googlemail.com rather than @gmail.com account if you are in the UK. I suggest you get a mate outside the UK to sign up on your behalf if this is an irritation.