The first thing you’re going to do is head over to the Google Apps site and register your domain. To do this, go to Google.com/a and it should direct you to the Google Apps for business homepage. Personally, I started my company on the “standard” version, because I want to test it out before upgrading to a Premier account. On the right hand column, you’ll see:
Once you’ve clicked through to the Standard version, click on Get Started. Follow the registration steps, which allows you to buy a domain as well as verify your domain ownership.
To verify domain ownership, I used CNAME Records. You can also upload an HTML file, but since you have to go into your DNS settings and add an MX Record anyways, you may as well add the CNAME while you’re there. When adding a CNAME record, refer to this Google support article:
Once you have verified domain ownership, you’re going to add MX Records. MX Records tell Google to handle all mail transport calls by their server. This is where you get the added benefits of Google’s spam filters, which has changed my life for the better. You’ll need to refer to this support article for questions about configuring your MX records:
You will want to now configure users on your Google Apps account:
From your control panel/dashboard, click “create new users” and fill in the details. Google will then create a temporary password for these users and they can register themselves with the domain.
For more help, see this Google support page:
I know many companies out there use domain aliases as well, so it could be worthwhile to set these up with your Google Apps account as well.
Here is a useful support article on the subject of domain aliases:
Now that you have your Google Apps registered, and your mail is getting filtered through Google’s awesome spam filters, you’re going to want to get it on your BlackBerry. This is very simple: just go into your email settings, located in the setup folder.
Once there, you should find yourself in the “Email Accounts” section. It is the first screen so if you’re not there just go back. From there, click “Add” and go through the steps of adding a Gmail account.
Repeat this process for as many Gmail accounts as you’d like. I personally have 4, and with OS 5 (possibly older OS versions as well), receiving and replying with the correct addresses is handled very well. I would also recommend making a folder, or hiding the original mail icons as you can rely on the master mail folder to handle everything.
In order to set up your Google Apps account on your desktop, you’re going to want to enable and configure it as an IMAP account because it’s the closest thing to Exchange that you’re going to get at this price (free).
1. Sign in to Gmail.
2. Click Settings at the top of any Gmail page.
3. Click Forwarding and POP/IMAP.
4. Select Enable IMAP.
To configure your mail client, simply follow the instructions provided by Google. They have a support page that lists all the major mail clients with instructions on how to setup each one. You can find it here:
Congratulations! You’re now fully connected with Google Apps. I’ll post some impressions about the user experience soon as it has some setbacks, but more on that later.
Have any questions? Feel free to treat the comment thread like a forum, and hopefully I or someone else will help you out.