Acts 9 This Chapter is riddled with a direct and obvious focus on God to use the unlikely , to save lives. Breaking it down:
- Saul’s conversion to Christianity
- Aeneas Healed
- Dorcas is resurrected
There is a lot more going on in this chapter but I want to focus on intelligent positioning here from God’s behalf.
Saul was a smart choice
We know that Saul was a intelligent man, studied, trained and professional. His actions leading to his conversion however would seem contradictory to what we might think God would do to someone who created such persecution among the Christian believers. However let me say this. Due to where Saul was rescued from, there is no documented christian in history that felt so convicted, and ashamed of their actions and at the same time grateful for a new start through God. This created a huge side step also, because while Paul\Saul wasn’t directly focused on saving the Jewish people, he made it a lot easier for us to understand the level of forgiveness that God has. Not only that his salvation made it clear that God loved everyone, even those who hated him. Saul was huge to God’s ministry but lets not forget that God saved him first out of love and then out of purpose.
Aeneas (acts 9:32)
This guy was in bed for 8 years, that’s ample enough time for everyone and their goat to know that Aeneas was bedridden & paralyzed. So once Aeneas got healed and was walking around I don’t doubt that everyone in Lydda and Sharon did turn to the Lord. You were expecting to hear the same old about Aeneas but instead he is walking around town.
Dorcas (acts 9:36)
Dorcas was full of good works and charitable deeds. now I can tell you one thing, when she got sick and died 1/2 of town must have been there. Peter goes in and the Holy Spirit moved upon Peter to bless Dorcas and resurrect her. A woman knows for her virtues when she dies , people notice, and when she lives again PEOPLE notice even more. What am I saying here: God is intentional, God is selectively doing things with order and precision and part of that movement is for people to take notice of him in their personal lives.
Last weekend, because of some web services not being configured the system sent 25k+ emails to a system support email which I catch in Gmail, when I asked gmail to find them this was it’s reply.
So apparently Gmail has some sort of indexing timing issue. Depending on how many emails it may take some time to properly index all emails.
That all being said it has downloaded 26k of 27k emails in the last 48 hours but I was hoping it would be a little faster.
I am also suffering from a “pop3 not retrievable” which may be attributed to all the email I have downloaded.
Friday at around 12:30 pm I decided , “I’m going to give Gmail a shot, give a few days to see if it can really manage my outlook setup.”.
I have around 30 rules in outlook, 3 inboxes, 4 email accounts , about 10 folders I use, 6 folders in my favorites. Most of my rules move emails into their corresponding folder for me to review later or are simply archived directly. If all this makes sense to you, congratulations you know what its like to use outlook.
I decided I would not move any existing email, nor would I stop receiving emails from either system. I was going to run in tandem. I would do an initial pull of 3 of my active email accounts, and all these have 1 month delete delay of emails on the servers ( a good policy to have for those just in case moments in life).
Downloaded most of my emails, but I ran into a major issue which I will discuss later as well.
its been 2 days but its still downloading this account. Its my support account and yes it can generate anywhere from 100 to 500 emails a day, but this google right? 11k emails should be no problem.
Exported contacts as a csv and imported them into Google, Check.”You have duplicate emails” popups , oh really, whats this? Ok, lets click on that Merge button. Painless and effortless. Meanwhile I still have 6 calendars in outlook because I have iCloud, , and outlook\iCloud don’t play nice so I can’t make iCloud my primary.
Rules and Configuration
Now as a traditional outlook user I would have probably been lost for a good while but I had already used google tech in analytics, voice, calendar, etc. so the tagging versus folders was not a new paradigm for me. However my personal email rules are very simple, there are 3 types of emails:
I believe in some inbox zero principles (watch google vid )
- Emails for me to do something (delegate, do myself , reply)
- Emails that I am done with (done)
- Automated Emails (reports, errors, logs, notifications aka delete\archive)
So my folder hierarchy is not extremely complex.
I setup 6 tagging rules to try to mimic my inbox, the problem is I have multiple inboxes and that’s where I ran into a snag with Gmail. See the inbox works well in Google, you get email and when you are done with them you tag them as archived and they are gone. The problem is I needed that same approach to happen in my second email account where I receive personal email. I tried using Gmail’s multiple inbox , but it seemed like the tales of a madman to me as all it did was give me a split view , but not the actual functionality I needed. Let me elaborate briefly.
2 Accounts > 2 different “inboxes”
Each inbox needs to receive their email from the specific email account, be able to archive their email and then that email would “go away” . However, I really need to have division between the two emails accounts. So I tagged my personal emails as they come in, but that just leaves me with tagged mails in the inbox. Then of course I could then type in “label:personal” while in the the inbox, but now the process is slower, and I only have a list of 20 emails because I used a label , and you are starting to see my problem.
Gmail is forcing me to do things its way. I will bend but not when the process becomes less efficient.
Labels and folders
Who is Google trying to kid? There are no folders, and to even say it that way is to me plain confusing. What I believe a folder means is “remove the current label from the email, and add this label”.
I like labels, I have always been a believer in labels more than folders. My problem with labels in gmail isn’t the labels. its the ease of applying and removing labels. In my day to day operations, emails are either “waiting to get done ” (lets call that label A) or they are “Done” (lets call that label B).
The problem in gmail isn’t that I can’t do that, but that it takes too long. Even after 4 hours of use, memorizing most of the hot keys, and installing user scripts that extended the hotkeys I could just feel myself taking much longer than I should. Granted its a learning process so I am taking that with a grain of salt but I could definitely see that as a deterrent for someone who just doesn’t have the time to put into learning a new way of doing it. its all about the clicks\keystrokes and to perform this action in Gmail it takes 6 to 7 clicks to do what 1 click does in outlook 2010. Let’s review.
1. Select the file. ( Click on the checkbox next to the email.).
2. add new label. (2 clicks)
3. remove old label. (2 clicks + a mouse wheel if you have a long list of labels).
1. Select file (ctrl + mouse click).
use hotkey that is already programmed to move a folder to “done”.
Outlook introduced quick steps in the 2010 Outlook, and the few steps I have added have been huge time savers.
Sorting or rather not sorting in Gmail
Ok this is a fairly known one but it has to be said. You will miss sorting emails and then selecting them. I sort emails by date, by user, by conversation, by attachment, etc. Gmail’s search is great and fast, but as many people have said sometimes I don’t even know what I am looking for but I have some notion of time that it was between this point and this point and may have had an attachment or a link and it may have been from person A or person B. So that’s how you are looking. Gmail doesn’t make this type of searching easting
Selecting Emails \ Searching emails
As an outlook user I am very used to doing something like this:
Multiple emails selected, easily. In gmail that is not possible. You have to think about why you are selecting the emails and then type out the why in the search box. Sometimes I don’t even know what the pattern is until I am done, so that means that I have to think out what I am doing more and more in gmail. It means turning on important CPU that I could be using elsewhere. Not only that but sometimes the majority has a pattern but there a few stragglers , and so filtering by order\grouping just is sorely missing.
I have to say this because I am still doing it , I am so used to clicking on the emails to select them, but clicking on an email in gmail opens it, it does not select them. I constantly am saying to my self Stop Clicking on the emails!
Adding new contacts is a breeze
Outlook make this too hard, I was always getting stuck on the US address of the US phone validations that outlook overdoes. Google did make this easy.
Hotkeys as a crutch
I love Gmail’s hotkeys but I have to be honest. I had to learn most of the hotkeys just to maintain the speed and performance I am used to . * a e, you know? I am faster with them? I don’t know I feel like right now i am definitely dependent on them as I still try to work at my speed.
the Google Interface
The interface is a constant reminder that I am in Google and that Google is taking up more pixel space than I would like . The top black bar, the social g+ on the right while not terribly invasive is not desired either. Yes I can get rid of them with user scripts, but I am not going to be downloading those to every machine I use.
the Mobile Experience
Gmail the IOS app, as of right now is clunky. I got an email from Dominos pizza that had pizza images. I tried to go down to the bottom of the email and unsubscribe. took me forever to zoom in (iphone 4 ) and when it finally did it crashed the app twice before I could finally do. Also opening chrome takes longer than safari. I know Google wants to use google products but its slowing me down.
I wrote a few emails and as long as emails are non image heavy my app seems to hold up. Honestly though the iphone mail app just does a better job in terms of performance.
Adding calendar events is a pleasure
This was always a pain in outlook as if anything was mentioned in an email I would have to go over to the calendar and add it myself. With gmail’s ”find-o-meeting” iding all types of words which mean “we are doing something at some point in time” it makes it very easy to quickly add not only important dates, but even the none essential ones also.
Sending \Saving files is a hassle
Even with all the drag and drop, IFTTT, and Attachements.me in the world, files are not that easy to use. Lets say I want to send a 60 meg file to someone. well in outlook I did. In Gmail I really have to think about it and because of file constraints now i am doing more ”just dump in Dropbox and wait for the sync link”. Yes it makes my emails thinner and we can all have a big hooray about how I made the internet a better place because my file didn’t have to transfer 30 Mbs through the pipes , during that time I had to wait, come back to Dropbox see if it was still done and come back again.
Saving files is equally complex. I can download files or drop them into my Google docs, or use attachments.me to move them but in the end I can just open the file, because its still on Google site.
I started thinking about how many emails I have are so sensitive I can’t have them on gmail. All I can say is that it definitely made me ponder why I have sensitive data coming to me via email anyway, nonetheless, with private servers, that isn’t a problem in an outlook setup.
I now have 3 gmail extensions , 4 google labs, 3 userscripts installed and honestly its starting to feel like its not worth it. I am not faster ,and while some of the above items are pluses for google, in my day to day setup it also has been found lacking.