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Gmail: do you like labels/tags?

To those of you who have been using Gmail for a while, I'm curious: what do you think of labels? How do you use them?

I see one major advantage and one major flaw to labels. The advantage is that a message can be in multiple "places" at the same time, so it's not limited to a single type of categorization. The flaw is that a message can also be in NO places, and thus you can lose track of it.

Google's answer to the latter seems to be "search for it". While searching works very well, it implies that you know that you're looking for something. But sometimes I need to be reminded, by seeing an item sitting in a folder.

Personally, I find myself treating the labels like folders. I almost never have a message with multiple labels. And I almost never archive a message without labeling it. So the labels don't help me much. What about you?
JW
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
 
 
Personally, I love labels.  I have a number of filters set up to auto-tag things based on mailing lists, keywords, etc... and it makes searching that much easier.
KC Send private email
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
 
 
I am with KC.  I love the labels.

There is a plugin for FireFox that lets you find all un-labeled emails quickly.  I think it's part of the "Better GMail" plugin from LifeHacker.
Eric D. Burdo Send private email
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
 
 
I like labels though I don't really ever use multiple labels for one item so they basically revert to folders from my standpoint.  I agree that it's annoying that they don't have a default "no label" label.

What annoys me the most is Google's odd decision to not support labels/tags in Calendar.  Bizarre decision given that every other calendaring application on the planet supports labels/tags.
SomeBody Send private email
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
 
 
don't like them ... like good ol' fashioned folders
anonymous_coward
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
 
 
I also love labels, but I also miss the NotLabeled label.
NataliaMarta
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
 
 
I "accept" labels but I dont love them, the main problem is that you can't define hierarchical relations, a kind of ontology. This is the only point lost from folders, and it would be fixed easily if Gmail would want.
Francesc
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
 
 
I use labels a lot.... and I use multiple labels per message if it applies.

I have a Gmail account for CVs...

I use the following labels there:
MaybeGood,Bad,Good,VeryGood,ToInterview,Interviewed
Male, Female
Design, Programming, Web, Microsoft, Networking,KW
.NET, C/C++, C#,Delphi, VB
Oracle,MSSQL, MySQL
PHP, ASP, ASP.net, HTML
Photoshop, Illustrator
Dreamworks, FrontPage
Word, Excel, Powerpoint
+labels for each nationality

I label each new CV I receive there, and archive it.

When I need somebody for a job, I can filter the applicants in many many ways.

This is better than a database, I get all their emails with all the attachments, with an easy to use interface, for example, I once needed somebody with Dreamweaver,Photoshop, PHP, MySQL (Designer/WebDev) ... it was easy to find them all.
Totally Agreeing
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
 
 
Nice use... I hadn't thought of that one at all but I definitely see how it'd be useful.
KC Send private email
Thursday, June 14, 2007
 
 
i label then archive .. so it acts like folders

Thursday, June 14, 2007
 
 
I get the impression that some people think that unlabeled mail disappears and can't be found without searching.

Not so - it still appears under the "All Mail" link.
Mr Anonymous Send private email
Thursday, June 14, 2007
 
 
>> I get the impression that some people think that unlabeled mail disappears and can't be found without searching.

You misunderstand the problem.  Selecting "All Mail" displays all mail other than spam -- unlabeled and labeled as well as sent mail.  One of the big advantages of setting up subfolders for email is that it allows you to declutter your inbox because the mail that's been moved to the subfolders no longer appears in the inbox.  Gmail offers you no way of seeing this uncluttered view.

Half of my folders in Outlook exist not because I'm interested in quickly finding the messages in those folders but because I don't want them cluttering up my root inbox view (CVS check-in notifications for example).
SomeBody Send private email
Thursday, June 14, 2007
 
 
"Half of my folders in Outlook exist not because I'm interested in quickly finding the messages in those folders but because I don't want them cluttering up my root inbox view (CVS check-in notifications for example)."

To achieve the same effect in gmail just label the message and then archive it.  I have a bunch of filters set up to do this for various mailing lists.

The thing to realise is that all archiving does is cause the message to not be displayed in your inbox.  It is still displayed within labels and within search results.  Another way of thinking of it is that there is an 'inbox' label that is applied by default and archiving simply removes the inbox label.

cheers,
Peter
peterm
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
 
 

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