GMail questions (labels)

Discussion in 'General Software' started by Spetsdod, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. Spetsdod

    Spetsdod Limp Gawd

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    Hopefully someone here can provide an answer that I understand or can at least appreciate for this, and hopefully this is the best place for this.

    I'm considering switching my main webmail to Gmail from Yahoo but I'm still not sold on labels.

    I've read dozens of threads and articles and posts about why labels are so much better than folders, and the common element in all of them is that people who like them love them, and people who don't like them abhor them. Also, most of the people saying that labels are better seem to say "labels are better because ... they are better" or "labels are better because you can put two or three different labels on one email, you can't do that with folders neener neener!"

    So, I started thinking about this. I can't think of any reason I'd ever want to have an email in more than one folder, or by extension why I'd ever want to have more than one label on a message. I have a hard enough time keeping my mail sorted and filtered to have to worry about coming up with more than one way to categorize an email. Can anyone explain how and why they use multiple labels for a single email? I don't see a clear benefit for it.

    Another issue related to labels is the sent mail label. One thing I am not sure I like is the fact that sent mail is essentially kept forever. Nevermind the privacy issues of keeping every email ever just because you have the space for it, if every sent mail gets kept and is labeled as sent how can you ever find anything in it anyway? Since every sent mail that has been replied to starts a conversation, how can I delete the sent mail and keep the conversation?

    I'm sure I'll have other questions, but I'll start with these. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Wheresatom

    Wheresatom [H]ard|Gawd

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    I am at work, so I don't really have time to type out a full response to your questions but I do have this suggestion.

    Just try it out. It's free. If you don't like it you will have just lost out on some time, which it seems you are putting a bit of in for research anyway.

    Email yourself, your mom, your gf. see how you like it.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  3. BillLeeLee

    BillLeeLee [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Better organizational ability if you actually like it.

    For me, I forward email from about 5 email addresses to a central gmail account, so each email gets a label about which email address it was originally sent to, like "ToEmail1," "ToEmail2," etc. Then I label emails about origin points, like "From Amazon.com" or "From Business," etc. so I can better organize stuff and filter things.

    Do you need to use it? No. I don't think I know anyone that actually labels and categorizes their email as much as I do.

    And you can delete an individual message in a thread. Expand the thread, and go to a specific message. Hit the pop-up menu on the right side of a message and pick "Delete this message."

    Just try it for 10 minutes, pretty much all I can say.
     
  4. Spetsdod

    Spetsdod Limp Gawd

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    I've had a gmail account for a long time, and I use it pretty regularly but it isn't my primary email. I'm sorry if I gave the impression that I had never used gmail.

    This is really not a Gmail hate thread. I honestly am looking for some reasons why people use it and how they might apply to me. That being said, I have already run up against one thing that will limit the viability of Gmail for me and that is no "push email" to iPhone. I'm getting annoyed at Yahoo though hence the reason I'm looking around.

    What I'm trying to find out is why people think labels are better than folders. So far, the only "reason" I've seen is that you can apply more than one label to an email, but no one has been able to clearly define why that is better than just adding one label. In fact, many of the people who seem to be proponents of the labels recommend just putting one label on an email and archiving (which in form and function would be the same as just putting it in a folder).

    BillLeeLee: So you send mail from multiple other sources to a central gmail, then label them and sort them based on source of the original message, and the account it came from. I can see where it might be helpful to find all mail that originated from Amazon. So there is a point for labels. Thanks for the reply.
     
  5. MScrip

    MScrip Gawd

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    Maybe that's just it. Labels give you the option to tag messages with many descriptors. With folders you have to choose one.

    I mostly use labels to organize my incoming mail. I have different labels to organize messages from different email accounts. All my messages come into my inbox, and there's a little green label that says which account it came from.

    To expand on BillLeeLee's example, you could have an Amazon label, and a Newegg Label. And you could have another label called Purchases to tag everything you buy online. So, you can quickly find just the Amazon receipts, or Newegg receipts.... or, when tax time comes around, find them all with the Purchases label.

    With folders, those messages could only be in one folder... do you choose the Amazon folder or the Purchases folder? Sure, you could have a folder called Purchases, and then subfolders for Amazon and Newegg... but that gets messy. You'd never be able to see all your purchases at one time if half the receipts are in the Amazon folder and the other half are in the Newegg folder. You wouldn't be able to see all the money you've spent in one list! (maybe that's a good thing!)

    Let's say you volunteer at your child's school. You get lots of email from other parents about school projects. You could have a label called "School" and another label for a particular project, "Clothing Drive." So, you can find all of the emails about the school in general, or just that particular project. Again, it's just easier to organize things with labels, instead of physically moving messages to different locations. It turns GMail into a relational database, so to speak.

    A friend of mine loves to travel... so she gets lots of email from her travel agent. She labels everything "Travel" and then has additional labels like "Ireland" "Hawaii" and "Cruises." She can browse all the travel emails, or more specifically, just the Ireland emails.

    I don't go too crazy with labels... but I do have a label for Online Purchases, and then specific labels for hardware, media (blank DVDs and videotapes), Amazon MP3, etc. It just makes me feel good knowing I can go back at any time and see all the money I spend and where!

    I don't label emails from individual people... that's what search is for. GMail has a pretty good search tool... Google anyone? :) But labels are good for things you wanna keep organized in other ways.
     
  6. TheGamerZ

    TheGamerZ [H]ardness Supreme

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    I use simple labels like bills, orders, [H], etc. I wouldn't see the point in tagging an email with more than one.
     
  7. rapid

    rapid Limp Gawd

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    I think folders and labels would be more useful than just one or the other. But I can't see it happening as requests for folders in Gmail have been repeatedly ignored.. probably someone high up at Google is firmly against the idea :p
     
  8. 86 5.0L

    86 5.0L [H]ardness Supreme

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    I use labels extensively in a separate gmail account for survey sites. I use a label on incoming surveys, another for tech support, then add a label for completed surveys, credited surveys, surveys with problems, etc., basically if you have a need for labels you'll use it and see its abit more streamlined then folders, and if you dont see the big deal labels are its ok, you'll be fine, ;)
     
  9. Spetsdod

    Spetsdod Limp Gawd

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    Between most of these replies, and a conversation I had with a friend who also uses GMail, I think I understand the idea behind labeling messages vs. folders. I'm still not sure I'll be able to switch because of the lack of push notification, but that might not matter. I know it is being worked on.

    Snyde comments aside, I appreciate the feedback thus far. I have another question now.

    Is there any way to get rid of the ads? Is there a paid version of GMail that doesn't have the ads? The small one line above the message list isn't bad, but the 1/3 of the screen wide column while I'm reading a message is a bit more screen real estate than I like to give up.

    Thanks again, in advance, for the info.
     
  10. smaug8821

    smaug8821 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I have a Gmail question that's slightly related. I want to use web based Gmail as my primary access to my e-mail, but I have an IMAP e-mail account I use through my domain. Now, I know you can set up those accounts in Gmail itself, but when you send messages from Gmail and that account, in Outlook 2007, they show up as sent from xxx@gmail.com on behalf of xxx@domain.com. Does anyone know if there is a workaround for this? I'm "forced" to use Outlook because of this(I don't think the "on behalf" message looks very professional), which I don't like.
     
  11. 86 5.0L

    86 5.0L [H]ardness Supreme

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    EDIT: wrong thing :D
     
  12. smaug8821

    smaug8821 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Well I found a "solution" to my problem. I started using Google Apps for my domain. I'll most likely just forward all my personal e-mail to this account.
     
  13. bonsai

    bonsai [H]ard|Gawd

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    Maybe I'm a curmudgeon but I access my Gmail account through POP access and then sort the mail into folders. :p I tried the labels things, but didn't really find it useful. But I'm also an organization freak, and I like the idea of email nicely separated into organized folders over everything lumped into one "folder" and having a bunch of labels.
     
  14. smaug8821

    smaug8821 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Well, you can just click the label and it opens them like they're in a folder.
     
  15. mgars

    mgars Limp Gawd

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    labels work well enough like folders for me. it's better too, because since all the message can be lumped together, i don't have to remember which folder its in to quickly search in all labels...why pop it down though? i let google deal with the harddrive space so i don't have to.
     
  16. bonsai

    bonsai [H]ard|Gawd

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    The biggest thing that you can't do with labels is auto filter messages. For example if I get a lot of emails from a specific source ( i.e. Paypal, Ebay, freecycle etc ), I would like to have those emails separated from my general Inbox so they don't clutter it up. I could then take a look at the emails later when I need to. They only way I can forseeably do this with Labels, is to have them auto labeled, then archived, but then how would I know which ones I haven't read?
     
  17. smaug8821

    smaug8821 [H]ard|Gawd

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    They never get marked as read. Then on the left you have your list of labels, and it puts (x) next to it, x being the number of unread messages.
     
  18. bonsai

    bonsai [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yeah, the more I play with it, the more I'm understanding. I'm realizing that the "archive" really isn't an archive, it's really your inbox and the inbox is really just messages in the archive labeled "inbox". Hmmm.... the concept is growing on me.