Let me tell you why, if you don't already have one, you need to get yourself a Google Account.
- G-MAIL - Gmail.com
Why is Google mail so much nicer than the myriad of other web mails out there? 2 reasons really.
Reason 1 - the features - you get nearly 3 free GIGs of free email space, you can search it super fast as only Google can search, you don't get ads IN your mail (but you do get some text ads beside your mail), it's POP enabled so you can use any mail program like Outlook, it's got tricks like Vacation message, automatic email forwarding (if hotmail did this, we'd all forward our hotmail to our Gmail and never log in again) - basically they give the every freedom to leave Gmail, but you never would. On top of this there are things like Contact lists with Groups built in, fast spell check, picture view (view all 18 attached pictures in one page) and integration into many other Google products, like Picassa.
Reason 2 - the experience. It's fast. It's slick. It takes you where you want to go without the fuss of adverts and extras. Think of the difference between Google search and every other search engine, and that's what Google mail is.
- Custom Google Homepage.
Put your links, your feeds, your weather, your email, your local cinema information all on there, but still have it neat, very quick, and to the point.
- Google Maps. - Google.com/maps
Yep, you can use this without your own sign in - but did you know if you have it Google will remember your search history, and you can make a "phone book" of places with nick names on each place. So I can say show me from "Algonquin Park" to "Home" and it knows exactly what both of those terms mean and gives me a great map.
- Google Calendar. - Google.com/calendar
Sweet sweet calendar application that just works beautifully. Share your calendars with your friends, add events just by saying simple english statements like "Party at Bobs Tonight - 6pm". Also works in conjunction with Google Maps and Google Mail - so if you received a mail saying "Party at Bob's tonight at 6pm" it would give you a button to add that to the calendar.
- Google Photos (Picasaweb) Google.com/picasa
You may be familliar with Picassa as an installed Windows Application - but if you have a Google account you will find that it has built in features for easily mailing your pictures. Posting your pictures online is simple - and the photo interface and slideshow online is great - including a quick way to download all your friend's photos.
- Google Talk Google.com/talk
You've seen chat programs a plenty. But Google talk goes the extra mile with integrated interface in GMAIL, clear voice chat, and fast file transfer. Another very nice feature is if you don't like TYPING emails, you can just record a voice email using Google talk that will be delivered to your recipient via an MP3 attachment. If your friend has GMAIL, they will have a nice playback interface to play your message.
- Google News google.com/news - It's your customized news! Nuff Said.
- And Lots more!! Google documents, spreadsheets, diagrams, mobile applications, notebooks, desktop searching, website builder and a lab that has all kinds of interesting products in beta you can play with.