Please Add These Features to Gmail

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.

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