Let Me Count the Ways I Loathe Yahoo Mail

A little over a year ago, I made a big mistake. I moved from Gmail to Yahoo Mail.

As a web worker, a large part of my day is spent in my inbox, so it wasn’t a decision I made willy-nilly. When the new version of Yahoo Mail was launched, I gave it a try and was won over by its resemblance to a desktop email client. Drag and drop actions, support for right-click context menus and a well-designed and attractive interface are all features that had me thinking the grass was greener on the Yahoo side.

I was also attracted by the promise of unlimited email storage and support for up to 20MB of attachments with the Yahoo Mail Plus subscription. And little things, like the prompt that appears after you email someone that isn’t in your addressbook that asks if you want to add them, and the ability to organize email into folders. So I made the jump to Yahoo Mail, and I’ve been ruing it ever since.

The biggest issue I have with Yahoo Mail is the poorly-implemented search feature. I’m one of those people that uses their inbox as the main repository of work-related information. Things like article commissions, meeting details and a never-ending stream of press releases are all stored in my email, and rather than tag them or put them into folders (the latter of which I do maybe once a month just to move everything out of my inbox), I rely heavily on the search function to find information that I’m looking for.

The search function in Gmail is excellent. The one in Yahoo Mail – terrible. I’d enter search terms for messages that I knew were in my inbox ‘somewhere’, and Yahoo Mail would find what I was looking for maybe 50% of the time. Even doing a search on a sender’s name wouldn’t produce a complete list of all the email from that person.

Originally I thought it was an indexing issue for new email, and that it would eventually catch up after a day or so. But no – even email that had been in my inbox for months weren’t being found by the search feature, which means that I’ve had to manually hunt down a lot of my email by date. When you get as much email as I do (around 200 a day), that’s a lot of wasted time!

Close behind the search issue on the irritation scale is the incredibly un-intelligent spam blocker. It’s gotten to the point that I have to check the spam folder every time I check my inbox. Perfectly legitimate email with none of the tell-tale spam keywords have landed in that folder, as have email that I’ve actually replied to previously. I’m subscribed to a few mailing lists, and around half of those messages end up in the spam folder, with seemingly no predictable pattern as to which messages are junked or not. To top it off, I’m still getting actual spam in my main inbox.

I miss Gmail. I’ve still got my old Google Apps account under a secondary email address, but now I’m looking at my options for migrating all of my Yahoo Mail to Gmail, plus transfer the domain name, which I bought through Yahoo. The enormity of the task makes me want to hang onto Yahoo Mail for a bit longer. Anyone know if there’s a quick way to do this? All of a sudden getting a virtual assistant to do it all for me looks very appealing.

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