Gmail Search Trumps Labels

In our Google Apps consulting, we often transition organizations from a platform like Microsoft Outlook or client applications like Apple Mail or the numerous other email programs out there.  It is not atypical for users to find the transition to the Gmail interface less appealing.  After all, they were used to a user interface that they likely used for ten years.

The use of folders to drag and drop emails to manage your inbound information can help to create some order in the daily barrage.  However, it is slow.  Think about these things:

  • The steps it takes to move an email
  • How often you look inside those folders
  • The myriad amount of folders you have to scroll down to
  • The steps to create folders and manage them

Is there truly a return on investment?  Do you save every web page you visit in a catalogued approach?  Perhaps some overly maniacal and obsessive types do.  However, when you want something, you know you can find it because of search.  You use search to find what you are focused on.  You depend on strong search capabilities which are a given today.  This allows you to free up the time for organization for more productive pursuits.

In Gmail, you can use Labels, which are tags on emails similar to folders in Outlook.  It is a compromise for those that are used to the idea of folders.  It’s a feel good.

If you are processing hundreds of emails a day and thousands a month, how about abandoning organization and depend on search.  When you want something, simply find it.

It is one of the core powerful assets of Google Apps mail.  You can find what you are looking for.  Your brain relates information and with simple search, you can Google your email.  Save as much as you think you may need and free yourself from having to put email in its place.  Just make it available for search.

In the end, you will move faster with less drag on your productivity.  While others are fiddling with their folders, you can focus on getting things done.

What keeps you from going with this productivity strategy?

 

2 thoughts on “Gmail Search Trumps Labels

  1. I’m with you on this 100% Don. But I’ve been searching my emails like that for years in Apple’s email client, with good success. I cannot speak for Outlook, as I’ve. Ever used it. But what makes GMail’s search better than Apple Mail?

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    1. It is what made the transition much easier for you and your team, Neil. Most people coming from an email client started with the paradigm and habit of using folders. It slows down the process of managing inbound emails. Kudos for starting with search and continuing in Google Apps.

      The search capabilities are similar, with of course, the web interface in the cloud more readily available for all your archived email.

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