back to article Gmail turns into label junkie

Google has rejigged the labelling toolkit in Gmail to make it more accessible and interactive for users. It’s shifted labels to a more prominent location on the Gmail homepage. Mountain View has also provided a drag and drop function for emails to be added directly into labels. As a result, the company said it had ditched Right …

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Badgers

Why?

I've never felt the need for labels. I have thousands of emails, and I can still find the exact email I want within seconds with the excellent search feature. This combined with the conversation view makes labels/folders/whatever you want to call them completely redundant in my view.

I'm baffled by these people who still feel the need to spend a significant fraction of their day "sorting" their emails. I have one big inbox full of everything, but it's still all at my fingertips. Life's too short to be printing virtual dymo labels and sticking them to every minor correspondence I get.

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In settings.

There is a show all button for the labels, now how to I get them back under the chat box where they belong?

I've got over 80 different labels and filters that categorize them, showing the top 5 by default just won't cut it.

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Err...

For the un-gmail-initiated, what the hell is a label?

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First think we do?

Hide all the labels

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Bronze badge

usefull for multiple email address

and thats about it

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@ DJ 2

There is a new show hide option in the label settings pane. This allows you to customise which default set of labels gets shown.

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@DJ 2

In Settings->Labels there is a show/hide toggle next to each one.

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I like the changes...

My list of labels was getting too long. Most of them are just for filtering stuff of low but required importance so they never appear in my inbox. I rarely use the chat feature.

@Why?

I agree that manually putting messages into labels is a waste of time given the ease of searching for what you need. But labels really come into their own when combined with using filters.

@DJ 2

You can change the amount and preferences for which labels show by default by simply dragging them into the display area. Can't say the same about the chat box location.

@Fraser

In gmail you can create a list of 'labels' and you can either manually apply these to messages, or use filtering rules to do it automatically. Clicking on a label shows all the messages that have that label applied. Messages can have multiple labels applied to them, making labels more flexible than folders for instance.

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Go

Labels

Labels are a way of tagging email. In the traditional folder approach, an email can only be in one folder. In the label model you can have more than one label associated with a mail.

Labels thus allow you to organise mail better (especially when combined with filters that do the labeling based on predefined rules, which means you don't have to spend all day sorting them). Thus, I don't have to decide whether to put game purchase mail (which also contain the registration/license key) in a "purchases" folder or a "games" folder. Likewise for mail that is CC'd to multiple mailing lists.

Gmail supports adding colours to labels which I find very useful - it allows you to quickly scan new mail to see what they belong to (e.g. you could apply a filter to add a label for outstanding bills that you can then easily see among the other mail). Also, if you have labels set up for all known incoming mail, it allows you to easily see what could be spam in the inbox (and conversely, what has been mis-categorised in the spam box).

I like the ability to drag & drop a label onto an email. I'm not sure about the new layout (although I have set the option to show all labels) as I haven't used it that much. I do like that the labels aren't in a box, though.

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Boffin

@ Err... #

It's easier to use than to explain but...It's the gmail equivalent of a "folder" filing system that can filter a view across inbox/sent/archive folders, sort of like a category - and yes, an email can have more than one label.

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Labels

Are useful for automated messages.

Incoming mails can be usefully labelled and "skip inbox".

To be fair I don't need to see each "this server has exceeded the normal traffic" message in the inbox.

Don't do much more than that though...

Fraser - Labels are tags for emails, there are no directories in Gmail, only tags.

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Coffee/keyboard

@Fraser, @Chris

Fraser - labels are similar to folders or newsgroup threads, it's a way of keeping related mails together.

Chris - I agree, however I don't want to see read mails in the inbox, I want them located elsewhere, hence archiving to a label is a good thing as it keeps my inbox pristine and so I can only see new emails. There's a reason for everything :-)

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Paris Hilton

@Christopher P. Martin

I totally agree - the instant search functionality makes it a breeze to find what you want. However, labels are still useful in some cases for me - like Jokes, Internet Accounts (ever had to change all your passwords and not remember what accounts you held?!), e-bills, e-statements to name but a few.

However, @DJ 2? You just don't get gmail my friend, you definitely should use outlook! ;-)

Paris, because it would be so good to drag her labels off whenever I want...

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Happy

ooohhh, drag drop labels....

Heh, for the great unwashed that have yet to get gmail ;)

Labels can be slapped onto any email (heh, in this case drag dropped!).

You can then just view those emails belonging to that label.

Work, humour, family, orders, car, DIY are some of the labels I use. You can also setup filters to automatically apply labels too!

The beauty of labels as opposed to "folders" as a concept is having multiple labels per email.

I find it most useful having a registrations label to group all the emails I get back from the various websites that I've signed up/registered to.

Basically the new drag drop just makes it easier to group the emails than before.

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Anonymous Coward

@DJ 2 RTFM

That is all.

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Anonymous Coward

Gmail Auto-Tag Tip

One neat trick you can do to take advantage of gmail labels is to have incoming emails automatically tagged with a keyword you specify as part of the email address itself.

For example, say your email addy was johndoe@gmail.com, you could register the email address johndoe+forum1@gmail.com on a website's registration page. When that site sends an email out, it will still arrive at your johndoe@gmail account, except now it will be automatically tagged as forum1.

I use this to create multiple PS3 region accounts all pointing to the same gmail account. Occasionally, a website might balk at the + character, on the whole, it works pretty well.

Far nicer than having to maintain several email accounts created just for registration purposes.

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@useful for multiple email addresses

Not until they fix the crappy "on-behalf-of" problem, it isn't.

When I can send mails from any of my email addresses without Outlook displaying my Gmail address, then I'll start using it for all my mail. But not before.

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WTF?

@ Charles Tsang

I have labels but I don't have Gmail. Thunderbird has had them for yonks.

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@AC "Gmail Auto-Tag Tip"

Thanks, AC.

-- Q.

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Yahoo

I know I might quite negative comments, but I'm old school and never found google approach better than Yahoo - folders, filter based search and mostly TABs are simply unbeatable. I have both Yahoo and GMail. I really tried to like GMail, but always went back to Yahoo.

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Big Brother

Slow news day....

..per chance ?

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Law
Pint

RE: Why?

I find labels extremely useful - basically anything that comes with an activation or serial gets a [SERIAL] label, I have a few other gmail accounts that all get managed by my main account too, so that's when auto-labelling based on which mailbox it's aiming for comes in. If I know I want to see something from a certain account I click on that accounts label.

It's also useful for freelance work either auto-label with a project tag based on sender info, or label as you go, eventually clicking a label is much easier than typing keywords that may or may not miss emails.

Ms Bee, relay this message to the webdevs - STOP MESSING WITH THE COMMENTS SECTION - TOO MANY CHANGES TOO CLOSE TOGETHER! :'(

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If it ain't broke...

Preferred it how it was. Have now had to go in and set all the labels to show.

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People explaining labels

Gmail uses Labels like iTunes uses playlists.

This organisational system is also the reason that Gmail doesn't play well with desktop mail clients* and is best used from the web interface as intended.

* When Labels are mapped to IMAP folders you get message duplication on the client, and don't talk to me about POP, they should be ashamed of themselves.

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