Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Gmail Note to Self Feature

I just submitted the following suggestion to Gmail.  If you think it is a good idea please let them know.

It would be really great if I could take notes in Gmail and have them associated with a conversation.  Quite often I have additional information associated with a conversation that I need to keep for myself, but do not necessarily want to share with my email correspondents.  The feature that I envision would add an action or a button to take a note when viewing an email.  By clicking on this button, the editor window would open so that the user could type the notes.  The user could then save the note so that it would appear as a “Note to Self” immediately following the previous email in the conversation.  The user could in effect comment on each message received.  

Here is an example of how I would use this feature.  About a month and a half ago, some friends and I organized a ski trip.  The conversation view made it really easy to organize all the communications (so thanks for that).  My job was to make the hotel reservations.  By doing this, I had some information that I wanted to share, like the price, but some information that I didn’t want or need to share, like confirmation number, the sales person’s name and direct extension, and the credit card that I used.  What I actually did was to save all this information in a text file, which was ok, but it was completely unassociated with the rest of the context.  

Other applications could include noting that a user called the contact to discuss an email, summarizing poll/vote responses, and noting that a user plans to follow-up or take some action based on an email.  

Finally on the left hand menu there could be a “Notes” box that would show all current, or archived, or time dated (not sure what would be best here) notes.  

There are a couple of ways get some of this functionality currently in Gmail like creating a draft email or sending an email to oneself.  The problem with the drafts is that they show up in red in the drafts folder, which is a little confusing and not really what I want.  Sending an email to oneself works a little better, but the user can never go back to edit the note once sent and the message automatically goes to the end of the conversation.  

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