Engineering Manager | Trail Runner | Stockholm, Sweden


Partly due to the horrid implementation of the stock IMAP mail app on Android and partly due to the elegant new look of the web interface you may recall that I made the switch to Gmail a while ago.

After a few days of use I devised the following inbox-zero method:

  • Mail I read and been done with gets archived.
  • Mail that requires some kind of action later gets starred then archived.
  • After processed, starred items are un-starred.

This seems to work well enough so far.

However, the one thing I have issues with is search. I’m spoiled by the MobileMe / power-search which indexes everything instantly rendering the use of folders and the like obsolete. Say I am looking for the confirmation email from my hosting provider, Laughing Squid: a quick search pops all messages with these keywords no matter where they are or how long ago I received them. Why would I want to organize mail into folders then? Or, for that matter, stick labels on them.

Enter Gmail: for some reason the search does not find all the emails I want it to find. Maybe it doesn’t search in messages received years ago or doesn’t index them all, I don’t know. Alternatively, something got messed up during the import and some of the emails weren’t copied over…

On the desktop I bought Sparrow because it was made specifically for Gmail. I am yet to test it but I’m afraid it will suffer from the same search problem. One solution would be the shiny new Lion (which indexes everything) but would that be able to use the archive method Gmail prefers with the labels?

On that note I still haven’t found a use for labels.