Thursday, August 07, 2008

My Gmail Wishlist: 5 features I would like to see in Gmail..

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am a huge Google and Gmail fan. Not only do I use Gmail very frequently[1][2], I also keep thinking of ways of making this fantastic service even better. Here is a list of 5 features that I feel Gmail should possess. Some of these features are already offered by other e-mail applications.

1. Delete / archive in one click. I believe this feature is present in AOL mail. When you mouse over a conversation, icons for deleting and archiving the conversation should appear automatically, and you should be able to delete or archive any conversation in one click (as opposed to 2 clicks- checking the check-box next to the conversation and clicking on Delete). The check-boxes next to the conversation can be used only when deleting a number of mails together.

2. Sorting. I know that Google believes in "Search. Don't sort." philosophy, but I would still like to be able to sort mails based on various criteria like sender, date, mail size etc.. I know that Google believes that you can perform "sorting" function through various combinations of search keywords, but that still involves remembering the search keywords etc.. Direct sorting is much easier, as it is just a matter of clicking the Sort button on sortable fields. Sorting can also be used along with Searching, in order to locate a mail faster.

Here is an example. You know that a friend of yours sent you a very large multimedia file many months back. You want to locate that mail, but do not have any idea when he sent it, what was the content or subject line of the mail and what was the title or size of the multimedia file. Plus you have 100s of mails from the friend in your mailbox, and looking for one particular mail sent by him by just searching for the friend's name or e-mail id is not feasible. If you have the sorting feature, you can search for all mails from your friend, and then sort the mails in descending order of attachment size. You will be able to find the mail you were looking for in the initial set of results.

I understand that implementation of sorting feature can create complications in a conversation based e-mail service like Gmail. A conversation can have multiple senders, multiple dates and multiple attachments. But I trust Google to find an innovative and intuitive way of doing this, if they ever decide to do so.

3. Video Chat. Just like the normal Gchat window appears as part of the Gmail window, it would be really cool to have a video chat window appear as part of Gchat. This would help a person video chat with one or more friends while he is composing other e-mails/ navigating within Gmail.

4. Save a mail in Drafts or Outbox and set the time of delivery. Suppose you need to send a mail to a friend on 14th of this month. But you know that you will be traveling and will not have access to Gmail on the 14th. You can then compose and save the mail in the draft section, and set the delivery date to 14th. I suppose this is similar to the existing reminders functionality. But giving this option as an email is also a nice to have feature. This feature is already present in MS Outlook. It is specially handy when you want to let your boss know that you are working late. You just need compose a mail to him and set the delivery timing as 1 AM :-)

5. Forward a bunch of mails together. Again, this is present in Outlook, and would be good if Gmail can provide this as well. There are times when you need to give a new joinee in your team a dump of all the conversations that took place before he joined. The Bulk forward feature can save time in such cases, as it takes away the time you would need to individually select a number of conversations and forward them one by one.

In case anyone reading this post has some other feature he would like to see in Gmail in his mind, I invite him to share his thoughts as a comment.

1 comment:

Sabyasachi said...

i think i would like to see in Gmail the concept of different backgrounds, similar to what yahoo mail offers !

-- Sabyasachi --