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January 15, 2007


Debra Hamel

No, I gave Gmail 2 or 3 weeks in December and I finally went over to Mail instead. Which I like enormously, and which seems quite intuitive to me after using Eudora for years. There's nothing with Gmail that I could precisely point to that I didn't like, but I never felt comfortable with it. It kind of felt like I was using someone else's computer to access my mail: I knew how to do it, but it wasn't second nature.


I absolutely adore Gmail. Here's a couple of thoughts.

I'm not sure what you're talking about with not being able to delete the message unless you're in in-box view. I delete messages while I'm reading them using the gray button at the top labeled "Delete." It's to the right of the other two: "Archive" and "Report spam." But maybe I'm misunderstanding you?

I have a better answer for the folder thing. With folders you can put messages from me in the "Scott" folder, right? Tidy. But what if I'm emailing you a recipe? Might you not want to put it in the "Recipe" folder as well? Problem is, you have to choose. And woe to you should you not be able to recall that choice later, as your odds of finding it are now diminished.

Enter "Labels." If you haven't played with them, you should. Use them like you would use folders. Make a "Scott" label and a "Recipe" label and a "Work" label or whatever you need. Then if I email you a recipe that you're using for a job, you'll see the genius of it: add all three labels to the message.

A message can only exist in one folder, but it can have an unlimited number of labels attached to it.

Notice also that labels have their own link on the left-hand side of the page, just as folders would. Click on it and you'll see the messages with that label. Easy.

I adore viewing messages in threads. I hate, hate, hate having to dig in my sent and then back to my in just to follow the conversation I've been having. It makes so much more sense to see them threaded Gmail-style. To me it's the killer email innovation of recent years.

Also, you might want to explore using "Archive" instead of delete. If it's spam or something you know you'll never need, like a notice from an online vendor about some sale or other, delete it. But if it's something between you and someone you know, Archive it. It vanishes from your inbox, but if you ever do a search for it, it'll come up in the results.

It's not perfect by any means, but Gmail is really worth exploring to get the most out of it.


I'm with Scott on the adoring gmail front. It's the threaded conversations and searchability I love. I don't bother with the labels because I find it so easy find whatever I'm looking for. My spamcop account is a pain in the backside to search through.
And the huge amount of storage space means I can archive everything except spam, which it is also better at catching than my spamcop account.


I find it so easy to use "search" to find what I'm looking for. If I'm looking for an e-mail from a teacher, I can type in the name and they all appear. So I don't find it so necessary to use the labels. I use the archive feature and don't have to delete anything unless I want to. I also enjoy gmail chat and like being able to look at my e-mail while chatting.


testing your blog


Add me to the list of Gmail lovers. I think Scott summed up the reasons why very well. Conversations are the only way to organize email, IMHO.


Oh, and since Google is taking over the world, you may as well get used to it sooner rather than later .

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