Illustration: Pavlo S (Shutterstock) As much as you might hope your internet connection, games, and services will be there for you when you need them, guess what? Shit breaks. Facebook goes down. Gmail stops delivering. Slack pushes everyone offline and into (blissful) workplace silence. And every time this happens, I think to myself: “Why didn’t I have a backup plan before this happened.” That’s especially true when it comes to Google’s services—probably the most essential, widely used productivity tools on my meager list. You can’t predict the next time Gmail is going to disappear for an hour or two, but you can take steps to ensure you can still access your email—or the contents of many other Google services—before they randomly disappear. And this is something you should look into right now, since my suggestions won’t do you much good if a service is already offline. How to set up Gmail’s Offline mode The best and easiest way to access your email when Gmail goes offline is to connect your Gmail account to a third-party app, such as Thunderbird (or one of the many alternatives ). As long as you’re using IMAP, which most people should be, any changes you make offline should be reflected in the live version of Gmail once it (or you) pop back online and your desktop client syncs up. You can also enable “offline mode” directly within Gmail itself, which should let you access your messages via your browser when Gmail goes offline. You’ll […]