So Gmail was down for about 100 minutes yesterday, and people freaked out. Facebook, Twitter, and message boards went crazy with the Gmail exiles that couldn’t figure out what to do without access to email.
Some of the email stress would have been alleviated for people if they’d simply enabled Gmail Offline in Google Labs.
Once you turn on this feature, Gmail uses Gears to download a local cache of your mail. As long as you’re connected to the network, that cache is synchronized with Gmail’s servers. When you lose your connection, Gmail automatically switches to offline mode, and uses the data stored on your computer’s hard drive instead of the information sent across the network. You can read messages, star and label them, and do all of the things you’re used to doing while reading your webmail online. Any messages you send while offline will be placed in your outbox and automatically sent the next time Gmail detects a connection.
So, you’re able to access all of your archives, and you’ve got a local copy of your emails.
While you won’t be able to receive new emails while Gmail is down, you can otherwise go on with your business. So stop contemplating a move back to Outlook – just go and enable Gmail Offline.
As far as the reason for the Gmail outage, Google explained it as a server overload after performing maintenance on some servers that were taken offline.