Well, I did it! I converted my Gmail account in Thunderbird from POP3 to IMAP this morning. I have never used IMAP for email in my life. I have always understood the benefits but never really cared…POP3 worked fine for me and it was what I was used to. I thought that I would give IMAP a workout for a little while since Gmail users get the option now. After all, I use my Gmail account more and more and I have it configured in Thunderbird on three computers: work, home desktop, and home laptop.
I am not a typical web mail user. I rarely view my email through a browser. I just cannot get used to that. I have been using email the same way for nearly 15 years now. Using a client like Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, or Evolution just makes practical sense to me (Well, no Microsoft applications make sense but you know what I mean). Perhaps I cannot be “re-taught”. On the other hand, I find web email useful when I am not traveling with my laptop. For instance, I can hop onto any computer with an Internet connection and check my email. I rarely do that but it’ nice to be able to. Most of the people that I know use web email like it was intended to be used. I am aware of the dying email client but the very thought of that scares me. At the moment I love Thunderbird and I am not ready to say adios to it.
So why did I switch to IMAP? Well, I’m not totally sure yet. I think it’s because I want the emails that I reply to be accessed centrally instead of sitting on the computer that I replied from. That’s what I keep telling myself. That’s one drawback of using POP3. There might be some other benefits to IMAP. I intend to keep an open mind about it. I’m going to give it a chance. Of course if I don’t like it I can always switch Gmail back to POP3.
I have other email accounts that offer IMAP as an option. Gmail is the guinea pig here. If I am satisfied with how it works then I may change my other accounts. Who knows? Maybe in a short time I will realize what I had been missing all of these years.
Wish me luck.