What do I mean by perfect email? Well simply an email client (be it program or web app) that works for ME. Something that streamlines the proces of communication.
I want a system that tags stuff for me to look at (and hides stuff I dont need right now). A system where I have 3 or 4 simple options per mail to let me quickly sort through (say) a nights mail – and ways to come back to missives that got pushed aside.
Gmail is a good start: but I cant help feeling they have lost sight of the “ultimate” in mail handling.
First off there is tagging and filtering. Which is nice. I tag as much of my incoming mail as possible because it easy to scan. A lot of the mail I push straight to archive as well (example: a lot of mailing list stuff I subscribe too clutters my inbox). I auto-tag mail like this (with filters), push it out of the inbox and then review it once or twice a day (depending on content). The aim here is to keep my inbox free of “common” mail – stuff that needs a reply then jumps out at you.
The problem is that currently this process is not intuitive in Gmail. For example my “special” tags that I use for this have to start with a * so they appear at the top of my tags list. Gmail needs the ability to create FOLDERS to make this a lot easier. The second issue is that depending on what I am doing I need to read different email. During the day I really only need business or work related stuff. But at night I prefer all my personal mail. We need a mode in GMail to switch between that modifies the content of our inboxes.
Another thing. I love the new tasks system Google just added. It’s pretty useful! But what it isn’t is simple or featureful (I guess that is to come). Sod having a generic tasklist (I have Gcal for that!) – instead what is needed is an email tasklist. So every mail needs a button (not the silly drop down list) saying “task this”. Or perhaps a few buttons: “reply later”,”dont forget”,”remind me in…” – and then it needs to keep reminding you…
Really Gmail isn’t going ot get tweaks like that: it’s not a suitable platform for it. But I hope that mail managers like Unblab take off and do the right thing! I love Gmail to bits and use it every single day – but things could be better, and I hope somethign else pops up sooner rather than later!