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Yahoo! Mail vs Gmail

Updated on May 30, 2010

Like many people, I have both a Gmail account and a Yahoo! Mail account. That's because there are things that I like about each of them enough to not want to get rid of either of them. Despite the fact that they are both email systems, they are strikingly different. If you're going to limit yourself to just one free e-mail account, you'll have to carefully consider your preferences to go with the right one.

Here are some of the differences between Gmail and Yahoo! Mail:

  • Attachments. Gmail lets you add attachments in the same screen as the one you're writing your email in. Yahoo moves you to a different screen and makes you add attachments one at a time. To add more than five attachments requires adding addition boxes in which to input information. Some people may find this annoying.
  • Chat feature. Although Yahoo! has an IM program, it's not the same Gmail's chat function which is built right into your email. Some people like this option because it makes it easy to send quick messages instead of longer emails when you're conversing with someone else who is already online. However, some people don't want to be seen online when they're answering email and so don't like this Gmail function. Of course, you can opt out of it.
  • Contact storage. Gmail and Yahoo! differ slightly in the way that they organize your contacts. Gmail automatically keeps addresses that you've emailed on your contact list unless you delete them. Yahoo is the opposite; you have to manually opt to add them to your address book. The basics are the same but the appearance is a little different so it's a matter of preference. It should be noted that Google is now letting you expand your personal profile so that the contacts you have may provide more information automatically through Google.
  • Conversation organization. Gmail keeps your conversation going for you - every time that you reply to someone's email, it automatically gets added to the same conversation thread so you can easily look things up within the conversation again. However, this can be annoying because to change your "subject" line, you have to re-compose a new email which is not true of Yahoo! Mail.
  • Folder organization. The main thing about Yahoo! Mail that I prefer is the way that it lets you set up folders and organize your information. Google lets you label your folders but they're all kept in basically the same places. (They're in your inbox or they can be archived.) In contrast, you can create many different folders on Yahoo! which makes more organizational sense for my work.
  • Professional credibility. Most people who use their email accounts for professional reasons don't use a free account at all. However, those that do almost always go with Gmail. It is considered to be the more professional of accounts and lends greater credibility to freelancers and home business owners who receive email from clients and investors. Gmail recently added a function that lets you set up an email account with your own domain name so that you can get some serious professionalism from it. Although Yahoo! Mail accounts are common, they aren't considered quite as professional by the average person working online today.
  • Spam folders. In my experience, Yahoo! Mail gets more spam. Additionally, I've had more problems with my Yahoo! inbox mail and spam mail getting tossed into the wrong folder than I've had with Gmail. But that could be just one user's experience and not indicative of the whole situation.

For the most part, I prefer Gmail to Yahoo! Mail. However, there are benefits to both of them. And either can be good as a free account. Just don't go with Hotmail.


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