Goodbye Google: Why I’m Untethering from All Things Google

What have I gotten myself into?
Yesterday on Twitter I was engaged in a series of conversations that was spawned by this tweet I’d sent out:

In fact, I am going to make a concerted effort to untether my online life from Google, using many of the resources mentioned during that barrage of tweets that were going back and forth last night. This is going to be a fairly extensive series of posts, with one coming each week until I do one of the following:

  1. Completely untether from Google.
  2. Give up on the process.

Either way, I’ll complete the series. The end result is going to be as mysterious to me as it is for you. I’ve already got a few resources on hand to get me started, including Ben Brooks’s post on how to opt out of Google for search and Marco Arment’s outline of how he uses his own domains for email rather than going through Gmail. And that’s just the beginning.

Why am I doing this? It’s not that I’m unaware that Google has my information that I’ve already offered by using their services – I’m very aware of that and know that can’t be undone. Nor do I expressly want it to be. I just don’t want to give them any more information considering how they’ve deviated off course.

Sure, the search stuff bugs the hell out of me, but that’s not the sole reason either. I’m not denying it’s one of the bigger reasons I’m embarking on this project, but it’s only one of many.

The primary reason I’m leaving Google behind?

I don’t want to have all my eggs in one basket.

That may sound counter-intuitive to what a productivityist like myself should be saying, especially considering that a lot of what Google offers serves to improve productivity. Having fewer places to go and fewer places to look for stuff generally means a better chance at being more productive.

But I like knowing that the places I get to look (and go) for my stuff is able to be better controlled by me. I don’t get that with Google – at least not anymore. Sure, that may never have been the case, but it’s a hell of a lot more transparent on that front now.

I’m all for one basket…when it’s your basket.1

So I’m going to do my darndest to leave Google in the dust, and I hope that by sharing this project with you that you’ll be able to have something to help you do the same should you want to. Here are the links to the entire series below (links will be activated as each post is published):

1Also a reason I use a native task manager like OmniFocus over web apps.