I have a vine in my yard that is simply THE hardest thing to kill - ever. Each summer I fight the good fight, dueling the vine for possession of my yard. As soon as I clean up one area where the vine has overgrown, it sprouts up in another area, sometimes hundreds of feet away. I stay on top of it, but this thing can literally grow up overnight. If I were to just let it have its way, it would take over my entire yard and my house. People tell me that the only way to kill this thing is locate the origin and kill the root. However, the way it grows and spreads, it's almost impossible to find its core. It's almost as if the vine is wickedly conniving, growing in one area so as to lure me away from where its malevolent heart actually beats.

Several months ago I made a conscious decision to rid myself of all things Google. It was a long, torturous endeavor. I couldn't believe the places where Google had its evil tendrils lodged. During the process of replacing Google apps and services with alternatives, it surprised me how deeply embedded Google apps and services had become, and how devious Google was at quietly taking over my computer and devices. Just like my vine, Google services showed up in the strangest and most surprising places, sometimes even after I thought I had removed all instances.

Keep in mind – I'm someone who was sold on the Google ecosystem, from devices to computers to services to tablets, and so on. But, I just woke up one day and realized what Google is doing to us all, and I felt dirty.

There's a lot of people that are now questioning their usage of Google apps and services due to Google's brash assertions they have no intent to ensure customer privacy and security. In fact, revenue generation for Google would die on the vine if they were to take customer privacy and security seriously. With so many people now looking for a clear path away from Google's apps and services, it’s the perfect time to share my story.

Over the next few articles in this series, I'll talk about the apps and services replacements, along with the pros and cons for each, i.e., what you might have to actually give up to stop using Google. There are still two three apps that Google does better than anyone else, and I'll include that information, too. I'll also detail those areas where Google is a sneaky snake, and what to watch out for in the event – like my evil vine – Google attempts to lure you away from its beating heart.

As the series progresses, I'll update this article placeholder with links to the new content. I hope you'll join me and, like me, enjoy a life being Google free. It can be done.

Part I - Life without Google: Setting the Stage  

Part II - Life without Google: Search