One of the most wonderful things of being a blogger among wonderful bloggers is our ability to ask other bloggers for help, and their amazing willingness to help – even total strangers. All because we have blogging in common.
When I spent a long month last year writing about WordPress Plugins, I also asked readers and fellow bloggers to answer the call for Plugins I wanted and needed to improve WordPress capabilities and features. They responded, developing some of the most popular WordPress Plugins around. Plugins that are functional and needed.
Today, Google’s Gmail has become the blogger’s best friend, allowing centralization of all our blog emails, fast alerts and access, and more. While it is actually highly inconvenient, slow, and clumsy to use, Gmail works and bloggers love it.
So much so, some bloggers have come up with Firefox Extensions and Greasemonkey scripts to improve Gmail. One of the most popular is the Better Gmail 2 Firefox Extension by LifeHacker, a blog of determined top contributors not only cover blogging issues, they tackle problems of life, living, working, and blogging. And Gmail.
So I come to you, the amazingly talented bloggers, to come up with some better improvements for Gmail now that it has become so critical to the life and work of bloggers. These would need to work within the various web browsers like Firefox, IE, Safari, and Opera, or be limited to only one, Firefox preferably as it is often the blogger’s favorite browser.
Here is my wish list, and if you know of an existing tool, please let us know. I’m sure I’m not the only one wishing Gmail was more useful to bloggers. Maybe if we whine loud enough, Google may fix it, but until then, we bloggers need to unite.
- Stop Including Email in Reply: One of the biggest time wasters I do dozens to hundreds of times a day is remove the email content of the email I’m replying to from my responding email. Rarely ever do I need the past information in the email. With email threading, why does Gmail force this upon us without an option? Every email program I’ve ever used, online and off, included an option to include or not include the responding email content. I don’t want it. I can’t find a way to turn it off or remove it. Suggestions? Fixes?
- Colorize Email Titles: If an email comes if from my Lorelle on WordPress email account, I want it in red so I can jump to it immediately. I want responses to my Blog Herald column emails to be in blue – quickly, eye-catching colors.
- Faster and Easier Searching: I often have to look up “recent conversations” from specific people. Right now, it’s a long series of mouse and click movements to access the recent conversations link, and I often miss as I move too fast. I want one icon next to the name in the contact list or next to their name in the inbox list that shows me all of the emails from that person. Fast.
- Ability to Look Up Emails Without Leaving This Email: This is probably a core function, but I want the ability to look up past emails for references to include in the email I’m writing. Currently, it’s a two tab deal, with one open to the inbox and the other for the email I’m working on. Or, if I don’t have time nor energy for two tabs, I’ll have to write up the email in a text editor, copying in the links from past emails, then opening a new Compose email to paste in the email from the text editor. Why all this work for a common behavior with email??
That’s my list of whines for Gmail. As a fellow blogger, what improvements and features would you want to see in Gmail? Or do you even use Gmail? Better yet, if you use Gmail for your blogging, how do you make it work better for you?
Tips for Using Gmail
The following are some of the articles and sites I’ve bookmarked and added to my feed reader to help me learn more about using Gmail.
- And Rightly So! – GMail Tips
- Gmail Tips , Tricks and Secrets
- How to Access a Gmail Account with Mozilla Thunderbird 1.x – About Email
- Gmail Gems
- Gmail : Gmail Tips and Tricks Monster Roundup
- Hack Attack: Supercharge your Gmail – Lifehacker
- Top 10 Gmail tips and hacks – Download Squad
- Over 150 tips and shortcuts for Gmail
- Gmail Tips – The Complete Collection
- How to Make Gmail /Gcal Rock Your Tasks – Lifehack.org
- Ultimate GMail Collection: over 80 Tools and Tips | MakeUseOf.com
- Matt Cutts – 11 Power Tips for Gmail
- Matt Cutts – Three solid Gmail productivity tips
- Micro Persuasion: More Ways to Use Gmail as a Personal Nerve Center