Goodbye Google: Abandoning Google Apps

In my quest to eliminate as much Google-ness as possible from my life, I’ve taken on Gmail, gone fishing for a new RSS reader, and moved away from some of the less entangled parts of Google. Now it’s time to tackle the realm of Google Apps, which shouldn’t be too tough to walk away from….right?

Sure, Mike. Whatever you say.

Google Docs

I’ve never been a huge fan of Google Docs because I’ve found them to be another area that I need to manage. i’m quite happy with using document creation tools on my own devices and then sharing them as I see fit via Dropbox or (gasp!) email. But I understand that I’m likely in the minority here, perhaps because when I’m working in collaborative environments the default go-to document platform is Google Docs. So there’s that.

The best I can do in this regard is to not create my own documents in Google Docs and simply use it when called for (re: when my teammates need me to). That said, I have created forms for my website using Google for convenience’s sake – like when I assembled a list of local WordPress blogs to share on my website. Using a form via Google was both efficient and effective. So there’s also that.

Basically, I only use Google Docs when a need arises, which is rare. And that’s that.

Google Calendar

I actually like GCal because of its ubiquity, allowing my wife and I to keep tabs on everything no matter what platform we’re using. I am using Doodle to book work-related appointments, which then syncs to iCal and also to Agenda on my iOS devices. It also sync to GCal, but it doesn’t sync through GCal, which is important as I try to move away from it.

If I try to move away from it, that is.

I’ve just gotten my wife used to using Google Calendar, and asking her to shift gears so that I can then shift gears is a pretty big deal. She’s not as good with computers as I am, and by moving away from GCal right now, we’d be taking two steps backward. Plus, she has a Windows-based machine at work, so iCal isn’t an option there. I must also say that iCal isn’t all that great, especially stacked up against GCal.

There are numerous other reasons why Google Calendar fits in better with my workflow (Asana integration being one of them), but let’s just cut to the chase: I am not abandoning google Calendar.

App Retention

Google Apps are a part of my workflow and I am afraid I am going to have to stick with them based on the following factors:

  1. I have yet to find alternatives that will work and scale – as in, others I work with are willing to use them. (Sorry, Zoho.)
  2. I am not willing to sacrifice productivity for fiddling when it comes to this aspect of getting out of Google. My time is worth more than that.

That said, I have decided to limit the accounts that rely on Google Apps. and several others were using them, but going forward I will only have one personal Google account that will be able to use these services. Not only does it limit Google’s access (albeit in a very small way), but it eliminates excess on my end of things.

That’s the least – and best – I can do.

Next up: Subtracting Google+

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