Gmail just launched a few new features — nice buttons, mail alerts within conversations, forwarding a whole conversation — and they’re all quite nice. But why stop there? I personally am logged onto Gmail, Google Talk, and Google Calendar pretty much all my waking minutes. They […]

Gmail just launched a few new features — nice buttons, mail alerts within conversations, forwarding a whole conversation — and they’re all quite nice. But why stop there?

I personally am logged onto Gmail, Google Talk, and Google Calendar pretty much all my waking minutes. They are without a doubt my most-used applications, and I am quite happy with the price tag. I even recently jumped ship from GigaOM’s email setup in favor of sending things through a Gmail alias, just so I could use Google’s excellent search engine and spam filter.

That said, with a few added tools I’d be an even more loyal user. I’ve been building a list over the last couple days of niggling feature requests.

A notepad/to-do list. I would put a blank text box in the open space in left pane of Gmail, under the mail folders and above my contacts. When I log into Gmail from another browser or computer, whatever I’ve written would be preserved. If you could export to-dos that have deadlines to Google Calendar, that would be a nice bonus.

I’ve tried Stikkit over the last few days, and it’s pretty smart, but I want this right in my Gmail. Google Notebook is not the same; if I wanted to download something I might as well use the Mac Stickies desktop app (which I do, every day) The GTDGmail Firefox extension is more complicated than my needs, and takes too much learning.

Real integration between Gmail and Google Calendar. Please do a better job of recognizing appointments and events in my email and asking me if I want to add them to my calendar. I was under the assumption that this was included in the current product, but it really isn’t.

Address book. Searching for contacts is not as simple as it could be. And why not just let me keep my address book here if I’m going to store my whole life on your servers?

Simpler calendar sharing. There are way too many formats and options, and I’ve wasted many minutes trying to get this to work properly. Just tell me where to point someone who wants to see my calendar. And also, the calendar takes WAY too long to load. Like Marissa Mayer says, it’s about speed.

One extension that helps a little bit with this is GCalQuickTab, which lets you toggle between your inbox and calendar with keyboard shortcuts.

Better handling of attachments. Please allow me to sort emails by size so I can ferret out large attachments and easily find things that have been sent to me. (Yes, I know you have crazy amounts of storage, but that doesn’t mean this wouldn’t be useful.) Also, I’d really like a gallery for viewing thumbnails of all of my attachments. Lastly, I’d like to be able to drag files into messages in order for them to be included as attachments. Enclosing files in an email takes, at a minimum, three clicks per attachment.

dragdropupload helps somewhat, dropping a file into an email if you drag it onto the “Attach a file” link.

What about you guys? Any feature requests? Or do you know of any other add-ons I should check out? It would be pretty hard to convince me to jump ship from Gmail, but feel free to try if you’re using something really killer (and preferably free).

With thanks to Ross Mayfield, James Hong, Om and Katie, and others I’ve griped about these topics with.

  1. Hej,
    I totally agree with your statements and I really miss the “post-it” option in GMail – usually I misuse drafts for that, but from my point of view this cannot be the solution :). Anyway, another feature I’m missing is digital signature and/or encryption. This would be really great, but not really to be expected due to JavaScript.


  2. This isn’t really a feature request but I’d love to have more storage, I don’t mind to pay for it :)

  3. For notes, you must really try Sidenote: http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/productivity_tools/sidenote.html

    My only gripe is that I want it to write to the Stickies files (so sidenotes would be stickies and vice versa) but that’s only because My bloackberry syncs with stickies and nothing else.

    And the one gmail feature that’s keeping me from moving everything there is IMAP. It’s a must have for decent mobile email integration.

  4. I would really like to be informed with an SMS when email arrives into certain folders, or to certain accounts, but not when spam arrives (Yahoo).

  5. A good archive function, safe messages to disc / compress

  6. I would like to have a real change of email address: Now recipients on outlook see a ” on behalf of …@gmail”.,
    And there should be a way to import/export all your email, and/or to change your adress. I I wanted to switch to gmail for my domain, I would loose my current inbox with almost 7000 messages in it… That isn’t really an option. And splitting my archive also isn’t nice…

  7. I want easier handling of multiple accounts. I have an account for work, for personal email and for my mailing lists. I’d like to be able to tie them under one umbrella without having to completely sign out.

    I’m also with Panman…that “on behalf of…” thing is a problem. I forward my work email to gmail and then use gmail as my webmail and as email backup. When I use my PDA to answer email, I’m really checking gmail through the great Java app, but I don’t want the recipients to know that.

  8. Google needs to get smarter about contact management.

    Why not split it off into it’s own little app? Google Contacts, that contains all your gTalk, gCal, gMail relationships. Let it use labels (mail groups suck). Make it super easy to access and edit. Hell, partner with Facebook, LinkedIn, and myspace – to automatically populate your contacts list with your friends, coworkers, and … whatever myspace has.

    Bonus points: Sort your contacts by the last time you contacted them. That way, your mom can say, “You haven’t called me (via VOIP) or written in a month! Google says so too!”

  9. [...] Liz Gannes has some suggestions on how to improve GMail in her post over on Web Worker Daily. It has already sparked off a feisty conversation. Join in and have your say. [...]

  10. Mine isn’t exactly a gmail feature but rather a Google tools integration request: I’ve surprised myself by becoming a real fan of Google notebook, and I’d really like to see a gmail “email this note” function added to the notebook.

    Notebook has become a great “it’s there on any of my machines” short term note/bookmark tool for me. With the addition of a “mail this note” option to the actions, that sent the link and my associated notes via my gmail account I’d be a very, very happy man.


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