Guide Review - Zoho Mail
Unlimited Space, POP and IMAP Access
You get ample storage with Zoho Mail — unlimited space for personal accounts accompanied by enough traffic allotment —, and you can set up other email accounts inside Zoho Mail for sending and receiving mail. Unfortunately, the latter only works for POP but not for IMAP accounts.
What works via both POP and IMAP is accessing Zoho Mail: you can set it up in your favorite email program on your desktop or in your palm, or have Zoho Mail forward new messages to any email address. A nice addition would be having it forward only certain messages using filters. Zoho Mail's rules, in general, are a tad limited in the actions they can take.
With certain paid accounts, you can set up Zoho Mail via Exchange ActiveSync as well, which brings push email to mobile devices and seamless calendar as well as address book synchronization.
Filters and Search
The basic functions are there, though: filters can delete or file mail based on various criteria, and they can assign labels, too. The labels come in colors with Zoho Mail, and — together with the swift, powerful search — help organizing and retrieving mail. Being able to save search criteria as folders would be helpful, too, as would be self-learning folders. The spam filter does learn, of course, and in my tests had to be taught a good deal of good mail.
For composing new messages and replies, Zoho Mail offers message templates that function as text snippets which you can insert easily in your emails for oft-used phrases or entire mailings. You can manage and use multiple email signatures in a similar fashion.
Zoho Mail does integrate email with its other applications and Google Docs somewhat. You can easily share documents, for example, and add leads to the customer relationship management app or note events, but the interaction often is sparse. Zoho Mail does not detect dates, for example, and searching for a contact's mail requires copying and pasting their address. The integrated Zoho Chat can talk to many an instant messaging network.
Using Zoho Mail
Zoho Mail comes with handy keyboard shortcuts, and its interface on the web is application-like (sporting both a traditional and a wide-screen view) and well-versed with the mouse. The (automatic, if you want) archiving is a welcome way to keep folders clean. In some places, feature, button and menu count seems to have won over simplicity, though.
(Updated February 2012)