I wrote about this way back in February of 2006, and Google has added some of the
things I wanted (like 'Undo"), but Gmail
still lacks some things I think are important, so I'll bring it
up yet again. Feel free to add anything on your wish list..
Revised again 04/15/2010
- Templates. I have several "form" emails I send out for various purposes (
responses to certain types of inquiries). I keep them in Drafts now and
cut and paste, but a template would be better, wouldn't it?
Canned responses answers this well enough.
Selected Signature. My "Work" signature isn't really what I'd like for family and friends. It would be really convenient if I could set a label that would determine the signature based on who I am emailing. It seems easy enough to me:
have a "default" signature, and allow specific signatures for specific
labels. In the case of conflict, ask. That's easy, isn't it?
Apparently not, but Canned Responses is half-OK
Let me set my own retention times for Spam and Trash. Right now, Google automatically deletes these after 30 days. Maybe I'd rather delete Spam after two days and Trash after 14. Yeah, I know I'm only at 12% of my allotted space, but it bothers me that Google is keeping stuff longer than I want. Yes, I am a little obsessive-compulsive, thanks for noticing. And you have no personality quirks at all,
- Speaking of Spam: why does it take Gmail so long to understand that the "Bouncer takes Gravity out of Sex!" email is spam? How many times to I have to mark the exact same email before Gmail "gets it"? Or mail with the subject in Chinese
characters? How about an "Latin Languages only" Option? Or better yet,
"English Only" - I can't read anything else anyway, so it might as well
- Sub-labels. Believe it or not, sometimes I want labels within labels.
I bet other folks do too. There's a Greasemonkey script that does this, so why doesn't Gmail just do it?
- Better control of "Conversations". Just because the Subject has changed doesn't mean it's not the same conversation, and the reverse is just as true. This would be similar to Labels, but would group messages like those with the same Subject are grouped now. So you'd mark things with a "Conversation" label just like
you mark things with regular Gmail labels.
- Speaking of that, how about an easy click for "All messages from or to this
email address?"? I'd use that frequently because often I have no idea
what text to search for, but I know who the conversation was with.
Google almost has that now. Hover over a name and a box comes up - the "More"
in that box lets you select "Recent Conversations".. but at least with
Firefox, it's sometimes hard to get your cursor inside that box - it keeps going away.
- Mailing Lists: I often want to send the same email to a group of people, but these aren't necessarily people who know each other so there is no reason for them to see each other's addresses. I can hide the addresses by using the group in BCC of course, but a mail list would be neater. Unimaginatively neater
would be if I could add people to a group or mailing list with a right click
on their address..
Macros would be nice. Persistent.Info has some add on scripts for that kind of thing (and more) but I don't like to add more junk to my browser. Macros, rules:
whatever you want to call them. Even if its just the kind of lame
thing Outlook Express does.. better than nothing.
- A "Remind me" label.. anything labeled "Remind me" comes back to
Inbox after some set period of time.. maybe the label itself could contain that
information: "Remind me in 2 days", "Remind me in 2 weeks" and so on.. maybe
it should stand out from the other mail, too..
- Get those never used "chat" people the heck out of my side bar. Just because we both have Gmail doesn't mean I want to see them there all day, every day.
Put the little button next to their name in their messages if you want, but
don't put them in the side bar unless we actually have recently chatted.
- Direct MX record. I forward aplawrence.com to my Gmail account but why have that extra processing? I'd happily pay a few bucks to be able to point my MX right at Gmail. Or maybe not.. I'm not really sure I'd use this, but I
might.. and it wouldn't be all that hard to do.
I guess they have that now - $50 per year per user?
- Contacts. Sheesh, just because I emailed someone once doesn't mean I want them in the Contacts list. Here's a thought: maybe there could be a setting that says "if I send mail to someone more than X times, OFFER TO/AUTOMATICALLY add them to Contacts". Some people might set that to 1 and AUTOMATICALLY, but I'd set it to a higher number and make it confirm before adding.
Setting search options. I know, I know, you probably think this is
outrageous, but when I'm searching, I almost always want to search Trash too.
That "View Deleted" items you added is a nice touch, but why not just
let us set our preferences? Maybe I'd like to search Spam by default
too.. when I lose something, it can sometimes be very lost..
- (New 04/15/2010) Labels again: let me put a label on a message WHILE I'M replying! It's so annoying to have to go find the message in Sent Mail just to label it.
Got something to add? Send me email.
More Articles by Anthony Lawrence
© 2012-07-12 Anthony Lawrence
Lawyer — One who protects us against robbers by taking away the temptation. (H.L. Mencken)
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