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De-Googling My Life Series

I love Google products. They’re easy to use, they look good, and for the most part, they work really well. I was having a conversation with a friend the other day, and we were talking about what would happen if Google closed their doors tomorrow. I quickly realised that I would be in a world of pain. No email, contacts, calendars, search, social networking, website stats and many, many more.

Not only that, but there are a number of concerns around privacy on Google’s services (or lack of). As the saying goes…

If an online product/service is free, you’re the product!

I don’t want to be Google’s product any more, so I’ve decided to do something about it – I’m going to try and De-Google my life. The chances of me completely removing Google from all facets of my life are near impossible, but I would like to find alternatives to the main services I use, such as:

  • Gmail
  • Calendar
  • Contacts
  • Search
  • Google+ (Social)
  • Website Stats
  • Others?

The Problem

Love them or hate them, Google make some class-leading products and services, so replacing them will be difficult. I’m going to start this endeavour with a simple rule that I cannot afford to break:

If it’s not as good as Google, I’m not interested.

Although I don’t want to be “the product”, usability is just as important to me as my privacy. For example, I could go and create an email account within cPanel on a hosting package I have, but in my opinion at least, Roundcube is awful. It’s missing many features and it’s just plain ugly. So any new services I choose need to match, or better, the core features I use in Google’s offerings.

I’m under no illusion that this is going to be a simple task – I think it’s going to be a nightmare, and it may well be expensive too. But I’m going to stick with it and see how I get on.

So, with that in mind, keep an eye out for my next post where I’m going to be making a start a replacing some of the Google products & services that I use on a daily basis.

Have you De-Googled?

Have you managed to cut the Google apron strings? If so, please do tell me about it in the comments below – I think I’m going to need all the help I can get!

You can find links to all posts in this series by clicking here.

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