UPDATED: How do YOU use Gmail…

I’m starting to get bothered by Yahoo Mail, and it’s various quirks, and I’m considering switching to Google’s Gmail. I actually AM switching to Gmail, for a month, as a “test drive”. If I can get comfortable with Gmail I’ll roll with it for awhile. I’ve tried Gmail a few times in the past and just couldn’t get comfortable with it. That might be because I couldn’t get Gmail to work like Yahoo Mail.

Anyhow, how do YOU use Gmail? Do you really just leave all your email in the INBOX, like Google recommends, not deleting any messages? Do you create a bunch of labels, like most people would with folders, and just add a label to all your messages?

I was happy to see that Google gave Gmail users the ability to set an alternate email address as your “send mail” address. Now, can they please allow me to set a different color for each of the labels I’ve setup? Why, they haven’t given users the ability to change labels colors confuses the heck out of me. You’d think that it’s a simple feature to provide.

So I’ve got some good tips in my comments on this post. They’ve also generated a few more questions. Obviously, Google wants Gmail users to Archive a message over sending it to Trash. Why? Are ya’ll using the Archive feature or do you just send messages to Trash? Does anyone know how to archive/trash large numbers of messages at a time? I’ve got about 5000 messages I need moved out of my inbox.

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. aaa

    i think yes, you should create filters and labels as much as possible. and in the filter, choose “skip inbox” for stuff like mailing lists. Honestly they should improve the flter creation capabilities a tad more.

    i think Gmail has more advantages over Yahoo. it is faster, less clutter on the screen.
    However it is not without flaws. For example you cannot open mails in seperate tab windows (for firefox at least.) that is pretty annoying. Also several times i it took a long time to enter the main page.
    i think at the end i can say Gmail is slightly better.

  2. Erik Weibust

    aaa (i assume this is an alias),

    Great tip on using the “skip inbox” feature. To be honest I hadn’t setup any filters before. I now have a handful and they all are set to skip my inbox.


  3. Josiah Ritchie

    Yeah, archive stuff as soon as it is irrelevant. Email automatically gets stored by discussion and they actually do a good job at that!

    Filters and labels combine to saved searches and when then mixed with the skip inbox stuff it is excellent at storing mailing list info. I don’t use it much for personal email, though I do sometimes.

    Ongoing conversations or email with data I’ll need soon stay in the inbox. Everything else is archived. I’ve been satisfied with the ability of search to dig it up later.

    All that said, there is no way you could beat that storage space using a free service.

    For most of my personal email I have a ritchietribe.net email account I use but I use my Gmail account in blog comments and anywhere else I publicly distribute the address because it is more dependable at spam filtration.

  4. Mark

    I’ve had a hotmail account, then I moved to yahoo and now I use gmail for practically everything. We get an email address from our ISP and we don’t even use it. I also get a ton from my website host, don’t use them either. Gmail has really made emailing simple. Especially since we have three different systems in house.

    I have google talk and the firefox gmail extension so I always get updated. I have 17 labels which all get used alot. I also have certain people starred so I’ll see it, and I have a bunch of filters.

    And if you want multiple windows I thinks it ctrl+C to have the compose window pop up.

  5. Mark

    If you want to archive everything, just click on the ALL option then go into the pull down and tell it want action you’re requesting.

    If you are selecting every other (made up example) msg just check the msgs you want to move and then do the same pull down step as before.

    By changing the number of emails per page visibility in your prefs will determine how many pages you need to look thru.

    Hope that answers your question.

  6. Erik Weibust


    Changing the number of messages per screen will make it much easier to Archive messages out of my Inbox.


  7. Josiah Ritchie

    In setting the # of messages shown in your inbox at a time can be adjusted under settings. The max is 100. This then speeds up the process when combined with Mark’s tip.

    I archive anything I could possible want later and then trash the rest. If I’m busy, I just archive it all.

  8. David

    Nice tips thanks. I’ve used gmail but not with a lot of success. This inspired me to check out filters and labels both which will be very helpful.

    Labels in conjunction with archiving seems to function a lot like folders – the mentality I’m used to.

    I tried yahoo but oh the advertising just killed me and I’m not going to pay for email to get rid of it.

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