Gmail and Gmail for Google Apps went down today for over an hour and all Gmail users started freaking out on Twitter and Facebook. While the frightening 502 “Server Down” error may be a nightmare for those that urgently need to access their email for deadlines, documents, etc., stressing yourself out isn’t going to get Gmail back online. Instead of letting this service interruption get the best of you, why not take the opportunity to make the best of the downtime? Below are some ideas to pass the time and alternate services you could use to get in touch with people.
1. Use other online communication services – Facebook, Twitter, chat, instant messaging, text messaging, etc. can be used to connect with friends, family, and coworkers. Take advantage of these services if you have an important message you need to send and let business contacts know that your email is down and you’re going to be delayed a bit.
2. Backup your contacts – Services like Plaxo can save and synchronize all your contacts across many different services. Once Gmail comes back online you’ll want to start thinking about contingency plans just in case it happens again in the near future. This is also a great strategy to prevent hackers from stealing all your contacts if they ever gain access to your Gmail account and delete them as many do.
3. Take a break – If you’re in a holding pattern until Gmail comes back online and you don’t have anything else pressing that needs completed, it’s a great way to relieve the stress. A short walk to stretch your legs or a light snack can make a big difference.
4. Pickup the phone – Yeah, there’s this thing called the telephone that still works even in today’s world of online wonder! Use it to call people you need to deliver messages to and coordinate work related tasks. There’s nothing more powerful than calling a business contact to get things done and get yourself moving again.
5. Use an alternate email account – Okay, I know it feels like a sin to use something other than Gmail but although it’s not the most preferred option it’s available if you need it. Services like Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail, and even the dreaded desktop email clients like Outlook, Outlook Express, and Entourage can fill this void if you’re desperate enough.
Okay, that’s my short list. If you’ve got any other ideas…share them!If you liked this article, please take this time to share it with your Facebook friends using the Facebook button (see Facebook post button to the left) or retweet it using Twitter (see retweet button to the left). You may also want to follow us or subscribe to the site to stay up-to-date with this article. If you'd rather follow us from your Facebook account, join our Facebook fan page or subscribe to our NetworkedBlogs profile.
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