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On Gmail's labels-Your opinion

GuillaumeB [PersonRank 9]

Wednesday, March 21, 2007
17 years ago2,559 views


I have a question about Gmail's labels. I personally believe that this concept is not quite finished.

Gmail's labels basically work like tags right? i mean this is the way i see it. I can apply one or two labels to one single email to easily find it.

But then if I use GMail's label the way I use my tags over at Flickr, then one message would have 4 or 5 different tags, right? So in the end my GMail inbox would have "at least" 100 different tags for the thousands of messages! from "holiday", "Christmas", "present" to "birthday", "meeting", "project"... Can you imagine your inbox with 100 different tags? that would largely affect the usability of the application!

So to me it sounds like : yeh you can have tags but don't use them to much"... in other words... the concept is not really finished and this is the reason why I believe GMail should have smart folders along with the labels.

What do you think? Have I clearly understood the way labels should be used? Did I miss something?

Niraj Sanghvi [PersonRank 10]

17 years ago #

Why use labels as tags for everything? Use them for some high-level organization, and then combine with search for the more specific stuff. For instance, put all holiday stuff in a holiday tag, and then you can search for Christmas stuff within that tag and only get what you want.

The search is very powerful, enough that you don't even have to use labels if you really don't want to.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

17 years ago #

I use labels not as tags but for stuff like a mailing list, or automated alerts. I think more than a dozen of these and you're in trouble indeed...

Tony Ruscoe [PersonRank 10]

17 years ago #

I'm still having problems deciding what to use Gmail labels for. I started to use them like I use folders in Outlook but that's getting way out of hand. I've currently got 64 labels – most of which are setup to label mail from a specific sender. This is obviously totally pointless as I could easily just search on the sender field. And to be honest, I don't think I've filtered my mailbox by label more than twice in the last few years!

Mind you, I've probably got around 200 folders in Outlook in an attempt to keep my mailbox tidy!

I think I need to do a spring clean...

photoactive [PersonRank 10]

17 years ago #

I don't have loads of labels, and find things useful that way, so long as they're pretty generic: 'work', 'family', 'banking', 'computing', 'shopping', 'friends'. One thing that would make life easier – read quicker – would be if filters were associated more tightly with labels.

For instance, I have a few filters to organise emails into the 'shopping' category (from:amazon OR ebay; to:myfakeshoppingemailaddress; subject:dvd). They're all in random and unchangeable places in the filter list. I'd *like* to be able to click on 'shopping' and edit all the relevant filters at one stroke. Labels only come into their own when used with filters, so the interaction should work both ways.

Another thing that might speed take-up of labels among casual internet users would be to provide a simpler filter interface that doesn't rely on Boolean operators. For instance, you should be able to click on the FROM option in the filter section and then type a whole list of names and addresses in a long list that appears in a box, without having to be told what ORs are. My mum's never heard of the word.

/pd [PersonRank 10]

17 years ago #

theres some nice ext listed here

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