Three Reasons to Get an LLI Account


You should get yourself an account because:

  1. It makes you look smart to friends and business associates.
  2. It saves you money.
  3. It helps build the LLI community.

An address is a major benefit to being an LLI member. Take advantage of this free account by following the instructions at the end of this article.

It Makes You Look Smart

EDU email addresses are limited to educational institutions. Your email address provides subtle clues as to who you are, such as:

  • You are intellectually curious;
  • You are associated with Bard College (one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country); and
  • You support education and lifelong learning.

In addition, you can often get discounts from merchants when you purchase from them. A quick Google search for “EDU discounts” resulted in many lists of companies providing discounts, such as Amazon Prime, The Washington Post, and Apple Music on this list from Reddit. Another good source is from with this list

It Saves You Money

G Suite for Education, which is what you will be using when you get your account, provides you with:

Unlimited Google Drive Storage with LLI’s
G Suite for Education

Storing files in the cloud is so convenient! Your data is available at any time from any location with an internet connection. You have access to your data from your computer and from your mobile devices, without carrying around flash drives (so old school). The security is very good and you can share files with whomever you want.

You might already be paying for a Dropbox account to store your files and photos in the cloud. Dropbox gives you a mere 2GB of storage for free, but after that, it costs $9.99 per month for up to 1 TB of storage. If you already have a Gmail account, you get 2 GB of free storage, but as you need more space, it will cost you $1.99 per month for 100 GB and $9.99 per month for 2 TB.  

You pay nothing for this storage space (and neither does Bard or Bard LLI). When you discontinue your LLI membership, you can then transfer your data to some other paid solution.

Free Use of Google Applications

If you are a Microsoft Office user, you might be paying between $69.99 per year to $259.00 per year, depending on what applications you purchase. As a G Suite for Education user, you can use all of Google’s applications for free!

Instead of:

  • Microsoft Word, use Google Docs;
  • Microsoft Excel, use Google Sheets;
  • Microsoft Powerpoint, use Google Slides.

There are minimal differences between these applications. After more than a year of use, I have found the Google applications to be a bit simpler to use than Microsoft applications. Google apps also have the huge advantage of being designed to be used collaboratively — no more emailing Word files and having version-reconciliation problems when several people edit documents independently. 

There are a few advanced features that are supported by Microsoft but require an add-on extension to accomplish with Google, such as mail merge and V-lookups. However, most LLI members use the basics and would not notice much difference.

Helps Build the LLI Community

It is easy to email other LLI members if you know their names. All email addresses begin with the first initial of the member’s first name and the full last name. For example, Jane Doe’s email is [email protected]. If you love the scarf you saw Jane wear to class, you might make a new friend if you email her with a compliment and ask her where she got that beautiful scarf. You don’t have to look up email addresses and you can easily start a conversation.

In addition, Google Groups provides meaningful email addresses. For example, if you send a message to [email protected], everyone in the Communications Team gets a copy of the message as long as they have an email address.

If you volunteer for one of our LLI committees, the committee chair can give you access to shared files that are not publicly available. This helps everyone complete work more easily and helps members find what is needed without sending out multiple “where do I find this?” email messages.

You can even set up Google Meetings over the Internet with multiple people at one time. It is much more fun to see faces for your book club than to simply hear voices.

How Do you get a g suite account?

If you are an LLI member, you can get your own LLI account by emailing Al Gersbeck at [email protected] or email [email protected]. You will get an invitation from Google to set up your account with a link to click. When you click the link, you will need to change your password to something you remember, at least eight characters long. It’s that easy!