Going Google – the email series

Our weekly campus emails leading up the great email and calendar migration.

week of April 25

Bates is migrating our email and office calendars to Google Apps for Higher Education at the end of June. We intend to communicate with you on a regular basis between now and then, both to remind you of what’s ahead and to help you get ready for the transition.  And you can consult our CampusConnect site for answers to all your questions and concerns, news about training and learning, and project updates.

Meanwhile, here are just some useful and potentially fun things to know:

1.  your email address will not change

2.  both mail and calendar support over 50 different languages

3.  Feeling beachy? How about Ninja? Graffiti? Cherry Blossom? No? Perhaps a simple, stylish grey? It’s all up to you, because Google gives you an ever-expanding range of “themes” to personalize your email and calendar screens.

4.  And speaking of calendars, how about this tidbit: You can arrange to have your daily agenda sent to your email every morning at 5 a.m.

See? Your work life is about to change.

week of May 2

We’re back! We know many of you actually read last week’s message about our impending move to GMail and Google Calendar, because we received lots of questions — and that’s great! Here some of the most frequently asked questions, with answers.

1.  Will you move *all* my mail?

Yes!  We are moving all your email messages, all 30 million of them. We will leave no message behind. (Except those messages in local folders…)

2.  OK.  Wait!  What is a local folder?

A local folder is a place to store email on your computer, rather than on the server. And we can migrate these messages for you, just not as part of the larger move. Contact the Help Desk to see if you have local folders to worry about and what to do about them.

3.  I’m a Meeting Maker user. What is happening to my calendar data?

We are migrating all meetings scheduled between 1/1/11 and 1/1/13.  And we’ll provide instructions for how you can archive information about meetings that took place before 1/11/11, should you care to keep that information.

4.  What’s this I hear about early adoption?

A group of about 200 faculty, staff, and students have volunteered to start using Bates GMail starting in mid-May. The rest of our accounts will be migrated starting the last weekend in June.

week of May 9

It’s just us. Back again this week to with answers to the many questions we received in response to last weeks message.

Many of you wanted to know what the email migration experience will actually be like.  So many questions. Luckily, we have the answers.

1.  What will the email migration be like?

Starting on migration day, you will see your most recent email first, and then all emails younger than five (5) months.  Then, the remainder of your email will begin appearing.

2.  How much time will it take to migrate my account?

It depends on the number of messages you have.  It could take as little as a few hours or as long as several days.

3.  Will I be without email during the transition?

Only if you want to. You will not be without your recent email, but you may be without access to older messages for a short period of time.  See #1 and #2 above.

4.  Can I continue to use Thunderbird or MacMail?

Yes.  But try the web interface.  You’ll like it.  Unless you don’t.

5.  What is happening to Webmail?

It is going away.  Forever.

week of May 16

Mid-May, and Gmail is just six weeks away. You may have noticed the
early adopters on campus — whistling, smiling, a little spring in
their steps? Soon, you’ll join the happy throng.

Some folks are wondering about folders. Current IMAP’d folders can be
migrated, so no worries there— you’ll hear more about that. But can
you make folders in Gmail? Yes! Gmail calls them “labels,” and you can
get pretty fancy with them, nesting them into “sub-labels” and giving
messages more than one label, a very handy function.

It gets even better: you can customize a filter to automatically label
and handle all messages from a given sender, like say, your boss.  Or
your favorite colleague.  Or your parents.  Move to trash? Mark as
important? The choice will be yours.

Here’s another tidbit: You can invite someone to a meeting within an
email. It’s like magic.

week of May 23

It’s just us again.  And we are still excited about the impending migration to Google apps.  As are many of you, judging by the number of responses we received after last weeks message.  But some of you thought we were a bit too excited, so we’ll be calm and carry on.
We wanted to know that even if you are not an early adopter, you will have a chance to learn more about the new email and calendar apps.
Starting in June, and continuing into the Fall, we will be offering a series of short workshops focused on getting you going and keeping you productive for both email and calendar.  Check the Campus Connect Resource site for the latest:
Our migration weekend is a scant five (5) weeks away.

week of May 30

It’s nearly June, the month named after the Roman Goddess Juno (thank you, Ovid). But we think we’ll call it the month of Google.
More than 225 faculty, staff, and students have charged ahead. And found small challenges and reassuring surprises. And we have learned much from them about making the process as pain-free as possible.
The email migration for the rest of us will begin the weekend of June 30. Meeting Maker calendars will also be migrated that weekend. That’s a lot of walking over one weekend.
Watch for more messages from us, letting you know what you can do to make the transition easier for yourself. We can’t do it all for you!
And keep those questions coming.

week of June 13

21 is a magic number.  Not only in blackjack but here on campus.  The great email and calendar migration begins in 21 days.
We have received many questions over the past few weeks, but none more popular than these:
1) What can I expect during the migration period?
2) Can I still use Thunderbird or MacMail?
Here’s the answer to Question 1:
Beginning the morning of June 30, go to email.bates.edu or use Thunderbird or MacMail, after updating your settings.  You will begin to see your most recent emails (everything since 1/31/12)  and folder structure (or “labels”, as Google names them) everything else would begin appearing throughout the weekend. The total time is dependent on the # of messages in your account.  So you will not be without email, but you may be without access to older messages for a short period of time.  And the Help Desk will be open all weekend.
And here’s the answer to Question 2:
Yes, you can still use Thunderbird or MacMail.  email.bates.edu is replacing the dreaded webmail.  We encourage you to try email.bates.edu.  Many early adopters have liked it, but some have found they prefer sticking Thunderbird or MacMail.  The choice is yours.
For those who have been clamoring for instruction sessions, you can now sign up for classes behind the Garnet Gateway. There are sessions scheduled mid-June through mid-July and more will be added shortly.  If your preferred time is full, please add your name to the wait list.  If there is enough interest, we will add more classes.
And keep those questions coming.

week of June 20

We made you laugh.  We may have irritated you.  And now we are giving you information you can use.  To wit:
What is happening & when?
1.  starting June 30, you will read your Bates email at email.bates.edu
2.  as of June 30webmail.bates.edu is going away.
3.  starting June 30, you can check your Bates calendar at calendar.bates.edu
4.  as of June 29, Meeting Maker is going away (never used Meeting Maker?  consider yourself lucky.)
What can you expect on June 30?
1.  you will begin to see your most recent emails (everything received or sent since 1/31/12)
2.  older messages and all your folders and subfolders will begin appearing throughout the weekend
3.  you will not be without email, but you may be without access to older messages for a short period of time
4.  if you used Meeting Maker, all your meetings from 1/11/11 to 12/31/13 will begin appearing throughout the weekend
What should you do to prepare?
1.  consult  http://www.bates.edu/campusconnect/a-guide-for-bates-gmail-on-day-1/
2.  if you use Thunderbird/Mozilla/MacMail, update your settings on 6/30.  consult http://www.bates.edu/campusconnect/faqs/gmail/ for details.
3.  sign up for an email or calendar class.  consult the Garnet Gateway for times.
The Help Desk will be open Saturday and Sunday, June 30 and July 1 and can be reached at 207.786.8222 or <helpdesk@bates.edu>
And keep those questions coming.

week of June 27

At lot has happened on June 30:
-in 1908, a large space object hit Siberia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tunguska_event)
-in 1930, economist and commentator Thomas Sowell was born (http://www.bates.edu/news/2002/06/04/sowell-professorship-2/)
-in 1857, Charles Dickens gives his first public reading of A Christmas Carol
-in 2012, Bates College migrated all email and calendar accounts to Google
So perhaps the last event is not that important.  But it is happening.  What can you do?
1.  Pay a visit to http://www.bates.edu/campusconnect/a-guide-for-bates-gmail-on-day-1/
2.  Take a class.  We are offering a number of general and special topic sessions on Google Mail and Calendar, this week until early August.  Not sure which class to take?  Ask us, we’ll let you know.   Please check the Garnet Gateway for the exact days and times and sign up now!
3.  Do not panic.  Remember that the Help Desk will be taking calls and emails during the migration weekend:
Saturday, June 30:  9am-5pm
Sunday, July 1:  12noon-5pm
And please join us in thanking the 265 faculty, staff, and students who acted as early adopters.  They include the staffs of Advancement and ILS, all of Senior Staff, and members of the Information Services Advisory and Library Committees.  Their willingness to experiment and provide critical feedback has helped create as gotcha-free an experience as possible.
And we are still taking questions.  We may never stop.
One last reminder that tomorrow (Saturday, 6/30) is the day of the great email and calendar migration.

Some answers to your last minute questions:
Q1:  What can I expect tomorrow?
A1:  You will start to see emails received since 1/31/12.  Older messages and all your folders and subfolders will begin appearing throughout the weekend.

Q2:  Is it too late to take a class?
A2:  It’s never too late.  We are offering a number of general and special topic sessions on Google Mail and Calendar, from now until early August. Please check the Garnet Gateway for the exact days and times and sign up now!
Q3:  I’m a retiree.  Can I take a class?
A3:  Yes, you can.  You are now able to see the class schedule behind the Garnet Gateway.
Q4:  Do I need to make changes to my mobile device settings?
Q5:  I really love Thunderbird and MacMail,  Can I still use them?
A5:  Yes!  You need to adjust a few settings.  Go here for Thunderbird:  http://www.bates.edu/ils/2012/how-do-i/software/gmail-setup-in-thunderbird-12-0-1/
Q6:  I’m responsible for a shared mailbox.  What do I need to do?
A6:  You will receive an email from the Help Desk on Monday about what to do.
Q7: I have no idea what you’re talking about.  Should I worry?
A7:  No need to worry.
And remember, Help Desk Services will be open this weekend should you need them.
Saturday, June 30:  9am-5pm
Sunday, July 1:  12noon-5pm