Please Add These Features to Gmail

61 Comments

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.

61 Comments

Barrie E

I cannot understand why Sent Mail cannot be ‘archived’ from the Sent Items folder.

Can this be fixed , please ?

James Mortensen

Ok, so IMAP isn’t an option for Gmail, but is there another protocol that could download or synchronize emails on multiple computers? Perhaps it is time for a new protocol that is based on tags.

I don’t think Google will implement IMAP just because their whole reason for creating all of their products was to get people to use the web. It’s more advantageous to keep users using their web client.

Spectre

IMAP is not possible since GMail is based on tags and IMAP is based on a folder structure. You’d have to put a copy (!) of a mail with multiple tags into several “folders” in an IMAP-account.
There are no “folders” in gmail. Tags are something completely different…think about it!

keith

how about IMAP access? i’m totally done with the sloppy handling of POP between my two computers.

Matthias

I would like a sort ascending/descending feature for all columns… subjects, names, dates, sizes…

duryodana

it should be mentioned that I’ve been a gmail user for 3 years now and I will not go back, it was love at first sight, however:

1. how about REAL rich text editing and the ability to embed graphics (wysiwyg), this IS the web after all.
2. ability to remove or add messages from/to conversations without totally deleting it.
3. ability to choose to NOT group by conversations! it can be an annoying feature.
4. if not dran’n’drop for attachments, then allow multiple files to be selected for attachment. sheesh, get with the program.

finally

5. shag off with the blocking .exe and archive extensions! Jeez!

F.D. Athow

Has anyone ever tried to redesign Gmail’s (ugly yet simple) interface? Any designers in here….

Gijs

I would like to have SyncML support to sync my contacts with PDA’s, phones etc.

C'est moi

Very simple feature that is missing: When I add or edit a contact, I should be able to also add them to a contact group at that time. Currently, I have to save the contact, then find him or her in the contact list, check the box and add them from the groups drop-down box at the top of the page, which is quite inconvenient. Also, adding contacts to groups when I have searched for the contact and am only viewing the search results does not work.

IdNotFound

Something that I miss is being able to search for emails with no labels on them. In case you happen to “lose” (archive) something, it’s almost impossible to find it again. Sometimes I even want to create a new label after a while to archive those emails under it, but how to find them all again ?

And, of course, the ability to related/unrelate conversations. Sometimes the subject gets messed up with MIME conversion for special characters, for instance, and Gmail can’t put them in the same conversation, which is annoying.

Richard

Hi,

I really like GMAIL … BUT … there are a few item that I don’t like.

1) Sometimes unrelated email gets combined and unattachable.

2) If you want to attach a label on a sent email but do NOT want keep it in your sent items (and delete it) it doesn’t stay in the designated lable area. If you move it to inbox, then lable it, then delete it from sent items … again … the whole thing deletes from everywhere.

Has anyone else complained about these items?

Thanks.

– Richard …

vinu

a simple to do widget is available for google ig :-) I think that might help you :-) some of them are available / extended in the mobile ig xhtml version too!

Balu

I just need to filter by any header line. E.g. my provider adds an “X-Original-To:” header to all messages that are collected in one catchall mailbox. Filtering by To: does not work here if I get Bcc-copies.

Many mailing lists also add headers to allow easy filtering – all this does not work yet :-(

Narain

1. The ability to tag my emails. I know you have a fantastic search algorithm, yet my email subject line, sender are not always the way i remember the email, rather i remember everything via the context, so tagging my email helps.
2. The ability to sort things as Liz said
3. Importing/Exporting of emails from other accounts
4. With the integration of Google Doc, open up my word documents, spreadsheets in my signed in Google account rather than asking me to download the attachment to see. Today Google provides a poor interface of HTML View, which is average enough for viewing the content.
5. I know you are increasing your storage everyday, but i prefer to use my storage for my emails and not be oh-so-useless attachments, forwards and a whole bunch of non-sense. Why can’t you guys integrate Google base or GDrive to my account and push all my attachments over there, with a note on the sender, date etc. It works like a virtual storage box to me and i can segregate my attachments over there instead of breaking my head here or searching things over here.

jedweb

In regards to Google Calendar, I find it completely ridiculous that you can only set up notifications for items in your primary calendar. Doesn’t that render the multiple calendar feature nearly useless? (hyperbole)

Sure you can see the other events when you are in the calendar but I can only be notified of my personal events but not work events, or vice versa…

wtf?

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