My last email verbatim:
You typically have folders. Your email is generally still stored online and will probably have a local copy as well.
Much like our last migration, if you want to bring your email with you you are going to have to add Google’s IMAP server (after turning it on) to your local mail client. You will then have to copy email from your sent folders to Google’s sent folder, inbox to inbox, other folders to inbox (google doesn’t have multiple folders, it has Labels (sort of like a folder, you’ll get it when you get in there and start messing around)). This is sort of a slow process that you may want to get on now.
I haven’t done my contacts yet, but it seems that you have to find a way to export your contacts from your mail client to a CSV file and then attempt to import it into Google Mail.
Typically you download all your mail to your local desktop. (there are leave mail on server options, but most people don’t turn this on)
If you are a POP user and do leave your mail on server, migration will be pretty easy for you, under the options are ways to sync other POP accounts. Simply add the information and Google will download it all for you (why they can’t do this for IMAP is beyond me, it’s a pay for feature of Google Apps to the tune of 50$ a person).
If you have your mail on your local machine, well…. I’m not sure how you are going to get your email into Google. I’m sort of hoping that no one here still using POP without leaving mail on server.
That being said, if you are one of these POP people that have it all on your local machine, you are probably one of those people that want to continue using your local mail client. In this case you will have an easy migration.
Basically when we will flip the switch so to speak, you will add the new Google account to your email client and start downloading mail from Google to your local machine, just like you did for Dreamhost.
So that being said, I haven’t offered up a lot of instruction in there. Mostly hoping I won’t have to, but I know I care about my crazy back years of email, and am slowly copying them up via IMAP, so I imagine some of you are doing the same. This link may be of some help to you:
(don’t pay for stuff though, there should be a way to work around most things cept maybe all your mail locally, even that I think is somewhat fixable)
For IMAP’ers here’s what I’ve done:
Log into http://gmail.rezgeek.com.
In the top right is Settings, click it.
Click Forwarding and POP/IMAP.
There is a link below for instructions on how to add it to your client.
I strongly suggest trying to set the Account Name to like GMAIL or something unique from your email address so things aren’t as confusing. This statement alone is a bit confusing, atleast in Thunderbird the account name defaults to your email address, so just tread carefully.
After this you should see a separate Inbox, Sent Mail, Archives, Trash whatever folders for your GMAIL account, you will want to select your old email and start migrating it into GMAIL. It’s kind of slow.
I am going to, in the next few days, set up everyone’s email so that it forwards to your GMAIL account box too. Again this will not change anything for you now, you will just have email going to two places, your current box at Dreamhost and your GMAIL box.
I’d love to hold everyone’s hand through this, cause I know I just put you all through a service change like 3 or 4 months ago, but lately I’ve been retardedly busy, so I will do my best to help anyone that needs help but make no promises 🙂