Overwhelmed by E-mail: New Year’s Resolutions for Gmail

December 31, 2008

I am google’s biggest fan. No really.  Google’s seemingly, endless capacity paired with its A+++ search tool is a hoarder’s dream come true.

Exhibit 1:  The 2,000+ e-mails in my inbox for my main (personal) e-mail account.

Who knows how many more e-mails I’d find, archived away, if I ever were to click on an unassuming label that I created entitled “CAH.”  [As innocuous as an acronym may be, the CAH or Crimes Against Humanity label is sorta like my version of DND or Do Not Disturb.]

Exhibit 2:  My loose morals when it comes to giving away my e-mail address.

A website that requires me to register with my e-mail?  Who cares?  Sign me up!  Heck, I’d even enter my credit card numbers for the right sites (they’re simply for validation purposes, right?)

May as well not stop my benevolence there…

Based on my “non-spending spree” at the store, JCrew.com probably didn’t expect much when it asked for my e-mail address in exchange for virtual promotions and gifts that I will never be able to afford.  Don’t judge a girl’s wants by her cash flow.  This girl is ever-so-generous when it comes to doling out KBs, MBs, or GBs for high-end fashion spam.

You too: Gap.com, Amazon.com, NYTimes Headlines, Sephora, Banana Republic, etc.   Bring. It.

Exhibit 3:  The time I spend searching – well, it’s not-quite-productive… but it’s also not-quite-wasteful, especially if you’re in front of a computer all day at work.

My Armor:  Jet Fuel

My Armor: Jet Fuel

I guess I could say that I’ve grown fond of starting my day with coffee and a mission…an excavation mission!

Armed with jet fuel, I attempt to find the one or two important e-mails buried among the pages of others that will go unread. Those bold, unclicked reminders of all of the excess that I can’t bring myself to delete.

Because.     Who.     Knows.

Who knows when I’ll need to remember the name of someone who was on a class e-mail list of mine three years ago.

Where did I begin? Where am I at? Is it really 4, wait, 5 in the morning?   Do I really have to go into work tomorrow?

Oh yes, my New Year’s resolutions for gmail:

  • Add Tags:  Tags will do for labels what labels did for folders –> i.e. Get rid of the stupid drop down box!  Tags mean autocomplete.  Autocomplete means inefficiency.

Once there are tags, I could go either way between the following suggestions:

  • Get rid of labels completely: Tags = Labels. No drop down menus.  No DIY labels trees (e.g. Label 1 = Family/Requires Response; Label 2 = Family/No Response Required).  You have a form to add them at the bottom of the e-mail.  Tags serve same sorting function and can assign many tags to one e-mail.  Could also do a “tag” & “category” hierarchy similar to wordpress.


    • Keep the labels and use tags as a complement. Implement tags as a hybrid between the google search function and the labels. (See: this suggestion – 2 years ago!)

      Happy 2009!  And, may I get up in time for work tomorrow…

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