Remember the Gmail outage that happened about 2 weeks ago? It lasted about 4 hours causing users to panic and left many “stranded” because they were not able to send or receive emails. What most users didn’t know is that the web version of Gmail was the only one affected or inaccessible. For those people who use Microsoft Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird and other third-party email clients, it was business as usual.
That’s only one of the advantages of using a desktop client for accessing your webmail like Gmail. With an email client you can also compose or reply to emails while you’re offline, save them as drafts and send them later when you get connected to the Internet. You can also create lots of Folders/Subfolders and use filters to manage your emails. Most if not all email clients let you access several email accounts at once.
If you’d like to avoid the hassle and problems of another Gmail outage, I suggest you install an email client. Today, I’m gonna share with you an email client that lets you access all types of email accounts including Yahoo! Mail. This app that I’m talking about is called the Yahoo! Zimbra Desktop.
Yahoo! Zimbra Desktop is an offline client that lets you manage your various email accounts in one desktop tool. Zimbra mail, Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, AOL, Outlook and any other work or personal email account using POP or IMAP is easy to set up in Yahoo! Zimbra Desktop. Each account is separately maintained.
Zimbra Desktop is a free, open source application created by Zimbra, a Yahoo! company that specializes in open source, next-generation messaging and collaboration software. It is easy to install and is multi-platform so you can install it on a Windows, Mac or Linux powered computer. I’ve installed it on my Ubuntu partition and it works smoothly. If not for all the custom folders and message filters that I already have on my Mozilla Thunderbird, I would’ve switched to Zimbra Desktop.
Here’s the full list of features:
- Email, contacts, calendar, and documents all in one application
- Syncs Zimbra, Yahoo! Mail and Gmail email, contacts and calendars
- Read email from any POP or IMAP email account including AOL, Hotmail or business email
- Works on Windows, Apple, or Linux desktop computers
- No limit to the size of your email storage
- It works online and offline
- Available in 20 languages
- Easily compose, edit, delete, reply, or make drafts
- “Drag and Drop” messages into new folders or the Trash
- Supports plain text and html message formatting
- Add email signatures for each account and automatically reply with the correct “from” address
- Compose email even when you are not online-messages you send are saved in the “Outbox” and are sent when you connect again
- Supports any POP or IMAP email plus Zimbra, Yahoo! Mail, Gmail, AOL and Hotmail
Conversation Views, Tags, and Search
- Collapse email threads into a single Conversation View to simplify your inbox
- Tag messages as important from people you care about
- Quickly search your mailbox for pictures, documents or text-even with attachments
- Use Advanced Search to easily search by folder, date, person, subject or attachment
- Save searches as Virtual Folders- for example “All email with attachments from Joe”
- Now features built-in support for Yahoo! Inquisitor
- View addresses as Yahoo! Maps
- Automatically detect your location and find points of interest with Yahoo! Local
- Preview web pages at thumbnails instead of opening a browser
- See your calendar schedule from within an email message if you hover over a date
- Web Search powered by Yahoo! is built directly into Zimbra Desktop
- Automatically save pictures to Flickr
- Store all your contacts in one place for all your accounts
- Create groups and tags to organize them
- Add photos to contacts
- Auto complete email addresses when composing email
- Easily import new contacts from other applications as .csv files or export contacts as .csv files for backup
- Syncs Zimbra, Yahoo! and Gmail contacts
- Manage multiple color-coded calendars
- View calendars in Day, Week, Work Week, Month or List view
- “Fisheye” in the Month view let’s you easily view and edit events
- Drag and drop’ events to new days or to change times
- Import public web calendars (iCal format), such as sports schedules
- Invite others to meetings and view free/busy times
- Syncs Zimbra, Yahoo! and Gmail calendars
Documents, Tasks, Briefcase
- Edit Documents including add images, tables and spreadsheets; share them in email
- Track your to do’s including start and end dates, percent complete
- Save attachments in Briefcase rather than as message attachments
- Works with any account you set up
For now, you only have limited access to a few Yahoo! Mail apps (Zimlets) like Flickr and Maps and you won’t have Drop.io that lets you attach 100 MB files. I plan to install Zimbra Desktop on my other laptop so that my wife would have easier and faster access to her Yahoo! Mail acount.
Yahoo! Zimbra Desktop is very easy to install and setup. If you need help with the installation or issues you might encounter, you can contact Zimbra support or visit the Zimbra Desktop Forum. If you need further information or want to download it, visit the Zimbra Desktop page.
In case you guys want a detailed and step-by-step guide (including screenshots) on how to install Zimbra Desktop on Windows or Ubuntu, just let me know and I’ll create one.
Anybody else using an email client to access their Gmail or other webmail accounts? What email client are you using? What do you think of Zimbra?