Gmail doesn't need a real introduction. The industry leading email service offers everything (and more) you need to communicate via email.
Free storage that even grows over time, countless integrated tool like Google Hangouts or anti virus and security suite. Personally I really don't know anyone who doesn't have a Gmail account, is there anybody out there without Gmail account?!
Once you sign up with Gmail, you will find a relatively easy to use interface with three separated inboxes.
One called "Primary" which is where you'll find all your real e-mail, whether it be for your business or private emails.
The "Social" inbox lists al the emails from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so forth.
"Promotional" is quite self-explanatory, it's emails you receive from companies you're signed up with to inform you of new offers or coupons.
On the left-hand side you'll find the default folders your emails are sorted by, which is of course your inbox, archive, starred emails, sent emails and drafts.
You can easily customize these though and come up with a folder system that suits you the most. Google Hangouts is also located on the left hand side, so you can easily chat from there or check new messages.
Gmail offers a paid upgrade, which is completely optional though. It's called "Google For Work" and really is only attractive for businesses.
You can assign your own custom domains to your emails, for example instead of "j[email protected]" it could be "[email protected]". Google For Work also offers a lot of other things, like your own intranet where employees can create Wikis, profiles and even small websites for example to manage a project.
Google For Work is really worth it, if you're a business with employees, otherwise it may feel like overkill. If you simply need a custom email address for your small business without all the added extras, you'll find there are easier to setup solutions for the same price.
One of Gmail's cool features is that you can enable desktop notifications, without installing any kind of additional software.
This does only work if you are using the Chrome browser though. You can go into settings > notifications and from there enable "Desktop Notifications".
Once enabled, you will see a small notification banner appearing in the top right corner of your Chrome browser, whenever you receive a new message.
This of course works also if you're not having Gmail open in any of your tabs, as long as the Chrome browser is signed into your Google account it will just work.
Gmail contains one of the best spam filters I have seen, it is rare that I receive messages in my primary inbox that are spam.
At the same time, it is rare that a real message is accidentally sent to the spam folder. In fact, so rare that sometimes I even forget it's there and have forgotten to check there if somebody sent me an email and I thought I didn't receive it...
Using Gmail for your private or small business email is nothing to think twice about. Gmail does everything you'll ever need in terms of email, and then some. It is compatible with any email protocol such as POP3 or IMAP and can be integrated into any third-party email client with ease!