Saturday, December 31, 2005

GMail and the Archive

So one of my biggest complaints about GMail was that it didn't have folders. It did have labels though, and I really liked labels. You see, a label is so much nicer than a folder because it's a TAG, really. You can apply multiple labels to each message. That's really nice. You don't have to duplicate the message or the conversation. The tag sits with the message (rather than the message sitting in the folder).

However, the big problem is that nothing ever gets out of the Inbox!! However, I just started using the Archive, and I realize that it combined with labels solves all my problems.

You see, when you archive a message (click the "Archive" button) it disappears from the Inbox until you either move it back to the Inbox or someone adds something to that thread (so new mail gets back into the Inbox).

So how do you see mail in the archive? Either click on "All Mail" or select the appropriate LABEL.

Thus, labels retain all of your folder functionality.

Now, if you use Firefox, you can use the Grease Monkey extension. It allows you to run special little scripts that modify the pages you view. Then you can go to and try the extensions that he has put together there. These extensions include:

  • Gmail Macros (hit g and a QuickSilver-like dialog gives you a quick shortcut to your labels)

  • Gmail Label Colors (add a color name to a label and a OS X-like pill will bubble around each label name)

  • Gmail Saved Searches (adds saved searches to Gmail, like all other good e-mail programs)

  • Gmail Conversation Preview (this is the really nice one; right-click on a message and a preview window pops up)
There are also lots of other good Grease Monkey extensions for Gmail. There's one that adds a "Delete" button, for example, and a "Mark Read" button. There's another that forces GMail (and all other popular webmails) to always be secure. Additionally, there are lots of other Firefox extensions to do similar things to GMail.

Anyway, after all of this, GMail is starting to look like a good idea. I might start forwarding my normal e-mail to GMail as well. Now only if I can find a way to port all my existing IMAP mail over... Thoughts?

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1 comment:

Theo said...

Related link from Google Answers:

Moving old mail into Gmail

There are a number of utilities there that seem to have some promise.

Note that I know I could just write a little script to resend my messages and then sort them all out... But I want a more integrated solution... I want a more automated solution. Ya' know?