The firm I work at uses Gmail along with Google Apps and I highly recommend both of them. Google Apps still has some downsides and I still think Dropbox is better for document storage than Google Docs.
That said, if you are using Gmail and Google Apps, there is a new search function worth adding to your account.
Universal search function = brilliant
There is a new Gmail Labs “universal search” feature that allows you to not only search your inbox, but also search your Google Docs. If your firm stores files using Google Docs, that means you can search your emails and your files for certain keywords–which is pretty handy.
Depending on your operating system, you can also just search your hard drive using Spotlight on the Mac or Windows 7’s search function. The universal search, however, certainly seems easier to use.
The universal search will also show website results, which may or may not be helpful, depending on your search. Just like any other Google search, the universal search will also show “did you mean?” results. For individuals who tend to think faster than they type, this is a handy feature to have.
Easy to implement and easy to disable
Go into your Gmail account and click on “settings” in the upper right. The second to last tab from the right is labeled “Labs.” Scroll down to the “Apps Search” and hit enable.
Save your settings and Gmail will automatically reload to make the changes. If you decide you do not like it, simply go back in and turn the function to “disable.”
More functions are coming
One of the best things about Google Apps and Gmail is that Google is constantly tinkering with both and adding new features. If you are looking for a cheap email provider and document storage, give it a shot.