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April 22, 2008

So When Do We Get Folders in Gmail?

- OK, I followed your advice and switched to Gmail. It's great, but when do we get folders in Gmail?

- Gmail already has something similar to folders: labels. The main difference between folders and labels is that you can add more labels to a message.

- Oh, I see, but I don't think it's very useful to add a message to more folders. I mean, labels.

- You could create labels to categorize your mail and some of the messages will certainly fit in more than one category.

- It doesn't work. I created a label for "Invitations" and I added the label to one of my messages, but it's still there in the inbox.

- That's because "inbox" is also a label and adding another label doesn't remove the other ones.

- So now I have to click on "Delete" to remove the message from my inbox, right?

- No, to remove a message from the inbox, click on "Archive".

- I thought "Archive" compresses my messages to save space.

- I'm sure that Google stores your email efficiently.

- Thanks for your help. Now I know how to use folders in Gmail. I select the message, click on "Archive" and then... Hey, wait a minute! My message has disappeared!

- You can still find it in "All Mail", one of the sections bellow Gmail's logo. "All Mail" includes all the messages, except those from the trash or flagged as spam.

- That's too complicated! So when do we get folders in Gmail?


  1. So true.

    Not to mention people who get all nervous when you tell them that they can search for mail instead of having to meticulously order it.

    Outlook search is so bad they never even think to use the feature.

  2. Ale Ionut Chitu,
    Please do another blog post:
    "So When Do We Get Labels in Google Docs?"


  3. Here's my reason for wanting folders:

    Imagine I have three labels:
    - Things to Read
    - Things to Write back about
    - Things to Call someone about

    I never, ever want an e-mail in all three of these labels. Hence, folders.

    Of course, "grouped labels" would do the same for me. So I could also add the mutually exclusive group:
    - Very Important
    - Important
    - Take Care of Someday

  4. Folders - yes please!

    And whilst we're at it, I'd love to ditch the "conversations" concept. Hate it.

  5. I just think that meta-tagging (labeling) email isn't for everyone.

  6. I have to go with labels on this (although another name would have been better). I find them more useful than folders on this case.

  7. @A R T:
    Seriously? Conversations are what drew me to GMail in the first place and a major part of what keeps me there.

    Having to dig through my inbox, archive, and folders for context to an email is ludicrous --one of those things a computer should do for me, which, with conversations, it does.

  8. Seems to me that if folk don't like labels and conversation view, they should just use hotmail or something.

    There's no sense switching to a unique service like GMail and then whining about everything that makes it unique. I love labels and conversation view and if they're taken away because of the whining of short-sighted luddites I shall be most angry.

  9. Labels make perfect sense to me, especially when one message covers two subjects. And those e-mails that need attention get a nifty little star.

  10. "That's too complicated! So when do we get folders in Gmail?"

    It's too complicated, to read, then stick a label on it (just as you would with a folder) and then just click archive?

    Read, label, archive.

    If that's complicated to you, then I don't know how you were able to write this article successfully, because that's much harder.

  11. I'm with Art(22/4) folders rather than labels and PLEASE if you must have conversations -- let those of us who hate it have the option to turn it off.

  12. Labels are awesome. Before GMail I used Opera's M2 - which users labels too. And conversations are the way to sort, if only GMail was more intelligent than just using the Subject (a. I have friends who insist on changing the Subject with each reply; and b. those frickin' hyper-active SPAM filters that modify the Subject line).

  13. Labels are the exact same thing as folders, but it's folders with more options. How could one say folders are better? The only thing you can't do is "drag and drop" into a label.

    Nobody said you HAVE to have multiple labels for emails. If you only want one label, then make it. It ends up being a "folder".

  14. I find labels fine, but there should be an option to use label OR folders in your inbox. I understand some people think differently and it's difficult to switch thinking! Just an option between the would be perfect!

  15. You can get folders for gmail by using the tag in a structure way and a simple greasemonkey script. Have a try, it is quite good.

  16. folders are shit, because then i can't put mails in two folders at once. i want labels/tags. and if you need a tree like strucuture, prefix the labels. "prefix:name" works perfectly.

  17. RE: Difficult to Change Thinking:

    Yes, it is, but I firmly believe that GMail's labels and conversations are a better way of thinking about email and if Google let people use the same old broken Outlook paradigm, people would just switch to that and progress would not be made.

  18. Please don't ruin gmail with folders - it's already happened in google docs.

  19. I used to think this way, until I spent some real time with Gmail.

    You don't need folders.

    I hope they never add them, it will screw up the existing interface that everyone is used to.

    Seriously, spend some time with it (and I mean more than a day or two - I'm talking a month or more), and see if you don't find this to be a better way.

    You have to unlearn the old way of moving mail around that things like Yahoo Mail and Outlook perpetuate.

    I love Gmail the way it is, and this from a person who was a died in the wool "folders" person in the past.

  20. That's too complicated! So when do we get folders in Gmail? You might consider using a different, possibly folder-based webmail application.

  21. Folders sucks. Labels are the best solution.

  22. Yes...absolutely true. That makes it so un natural. I think label and folders both are necessary. folders allow you to classify mails and remove from inbox. :) and labels allow them to categorize them. So i can have folder such as pictures and family_mails. i can tag mails with photos with 'aunt' and mails for communication as also 'aunt'. So if i search with aunt label i get all mails from both folders.

  23. Never mind folders... when do we get coloured labels in the English (UK) version of Gmail? slowest roll-out ever?

  24. and i really hate, taht they give me giga bytes of space; it is so difficult to manage; would be easier, if they 'd restrict ist to 6 mega bytes

  25. OMG. It means GMail is not for everyone. There are E-mail providers in Hungary like "" or "" "" etc - if I see one owns an E-mail address like those, I'll try to avoid to communicate with that person. :P

  26. Like @Michael Delaney said, labels and conversations is what drew me to Gmail as well.

    If you're only looking for space, switch over to Yahoo Mail (1GB) or Hotmail (2GB) and don't complain and ruin these unique features for the rest of us.

  27. Gmail's labels/tags, conversations and the keyboard shortcuts are the reasons why I stopped using both Hotmail and Yahoo Mail.

    Gmail without labels is no longer Gmail.
    Folders? Who needs folders in the 21st century? :)

  28. I've used Gmail since day one, buy I've never figured out how to get messages out of my 'Sent' folder (or whatever the hell you call the area that appears once you hit the 'Sent' tab) even though they have labels on them.

    If I delete them from that 'Sent' area, do they get deleted from that particular label's area too?

    I've just always been to scared to try. Gee, how long has that been now? Guess I'll go send myself a dummy msg and label it, and then delete it. What a pain in the ass!

  29. So When Do We Get Labels in Yahoo! Mail?

    - OK, I followed your advice and switched back to Yahoo! Mail. It's great, but when do we get labels?

    - Yahoo! Mail already has something similar to labels: folders. The main difference between labels and folders is that a message can only exist in one folder.

    - Oh, I see, but I don't think it's always useful to add a message to only one category. I mean, folder.

    - You could create folders to organize your mail in very specific categories, so all of your messages will certainly fit in a particular folder.

    - Let's see. I created a folder called "Receipts" and I am adding this message to the "Receipts" folder and then... Hey, wait a minute! My message has disappeared!

    - That's because you moved it. You can now find it in the "Receipts" folder.

    - I didn't want to move it, I just wanted to classify it. So, you mean before I categorize my messages I have to be finished with them first?

    - Or you just have to remember where you put them.

    - Well, that last message was a receipt, but it was also for a business expense. I'd like to also have a folder for all business-related emails.

    - Just create folders called "Business - Receipts", "Personal - Receipts", "Business - Other", "Personal - Other", and so on...

    - I also like to indicate expenses that I need to reference for tax purposes for next year.

    - In that case, just create folders called "Business - Receipts - Deductible", "Business - Receipts - Non-deductible", "Personal - Receipts - Deductible", "Personal - Receipts - Non-deductible", "Business - Other", "Personal - Other", and so on...

    - Egads. I've also got 2 businesses I am involved in. I'll figure that out later. What happens if I just want to move a message out of my Inbox and I don't have a folder that is appropriate for the message, but I want to keep the message?

    - Well, you could create a folder called "Archive" or something like that. Maybe you could call it "All Mail - Except for messages put into other folders".

    - This is all too complicated! So when do we get labels in Yahoo! Mail?

  30. back from 2 msg's up - just as I feared: deleting a 'Sent' message with a label in place still deletes the msg. Good thing I kept all those!

  31. I use folders at home in Entourage, and frankly that's only because the search tool in Entourage used to suck and made it impossible to find anything, so the folders are a legacy organizational tool for me.

    At work we use Outlook, and I tried using folders in email for a long time to stay organized, but in the long run there is so much email that it makes things more confusing than helpful. Now I keep 99% of my email in the inbox and just use categories and followup flags and indexed searching.

    Admittedly, if folders show up in Gmail then I simply will not use it. I like Gmail because of its simplicity, and adding folders to it adds another level of complexity that I am not interested in anymore.

    There is simply SO much email now and it is how we communicate SO many things that I just decided it was easier to have good search tools to help me find what I need than it was to try to presort the email. Labels are more helpful than folders for that, and conversations are more helpful than folders for that.

    I must agree with Xeal. Who needs folders in the 21st Century. I still use them for paper at home, and for files on my local computer (but admittedly, those folders are really more categorical than organizational).

  32. I think that Google putting folders in Gmail would be stupid - they're challenging established conventions and despite having been doing so for four years now they're still being seen as different. Sometimes though, you have to be seen as different in order to change things.

    The most they should do is allow adding a label to a message to automatically archive it - then it would be identical behaviour to folders. I still laugh as my friends meticulously order their inboxes in Exchange, whilst I just stick a label on things and wander off

  33. Really, I think a solution that would help the "I only understand folders" folks without annoying the "please keep the labels" folks would be this:

    Add a function in the drop-down menu that says "Move to..." This should let you pick the "label" that the message should be moved to.

    When selecting this, it should remove the current label ("inbox") and add the new label chosen. This would essentially give the same "feel" to MOVING from the inbox TO the other "folder". It would essentially be the same act as adding the new label, then archiving the message, but using terminology that a folder-person understands.

    Perhaps, to prevent problems, if a message has more than one label... it could throw a warning when using the MOVE function. It could say "Moving this message will remove the existing labels. Do you wish to proceed?" This is for those cases where a label-person accidentally uses "move to" when they wanted to just add another label.


  34. After some time using gmail now I find that labels are great. However, what I would really love to see is some way of "hidding" a label. Some of them are no longer usefull but I don't want to delete them because the mails with that label are important (for example mails from a course I took). The labels that are no longer usefull or "active", distract me from the labels that are actually important.

  35. I was wanting folders in Gmail, as I'd not thought out how to use the labels and didn't know about the archive thing. Thanks for the mini tutorial.

  36. As Kinho Pizzato mentioned, the Folders4Gmail Greasemonkey script is great ( It's the best of both worlds.

    This script is included in the Better Gmail 2 Firefox extension:

  37. Some anti-label and anti-conversation people here don't seem to bother explaining their stance.

    In what way are labels failing to achieve what you can do with folders?

    The same people probably can't be bothered giving labels and conversations a real thought either!

    Try mentally re-naming "labels" to "folders" when you use Gmail, you'll find you can use labels just like folders.

  38. Something I would like to see is the ability to nest labels, purely for label-navigation. Labels are terribly useful, but they also encourage lots of labels to be created over time. Eventually, I end up with so many labels that I have to scroll down to click a particular label.

    Instead, it would be nice if labels could be organized into a tree-view. While it may LOOK like a folder structure, it will still be labels. I think this is where Google was headed with Google Docs. The "folders" are still technically "labels"... but by CALLING them folders and USING folder icons, they just complicated things even more. I expect labels to act like labels and folders to act like folders. Don't mix the two.

    Instead, just having a way to structure labels would be awesome. Or else, like Toto said, maybe inactive labels can be hidden... or just thrown to the bottom of the list... so that I don't have to worry about how many labels I am using, but will still be able to navigate my regularly used labels without scrolling forever.

  39. What if there was a way to incorporate folders and labels? I would like to see folders in gmail. I'm in the IT dept. at a college and we are trying to decide if we want to move all staff email to gmail. Folders is pretty much the only thing that I would be concerned about. So many employees already have folders nested in their account and to not be able to create folders in gmail, I think we would see a big problem.

    All I ask is to somehow let users decide if they want to use folders instead of labels or vice versa...

  40. If you want folders and you don't like labels or you just can't figure them out; then why not try yahoo or msn live or the million other junky email programs out on the web. They have all that great folder action for you. GMAIL is perfect the way it is.

  41. Google shouldn't change the labels structure. It's unique and powerfull. Labels can do the same as folders, but with more options.

    I think the read/label/archive is difficult because there are 3 steps.
    Common user will read/folderize : 2 actions.

    Maybe the solution is automatically archive when labelizer...

  42. There is absolutely no need for folders.Folders suck.Labels really rock.
    Labels are great,best. I love them

  43. can't imagine life without labels..!
    makes so much more sense!

    so used to labels i've started copying mails in multiple folders at work (outlook)

    waiting for windows to use a similar structure...

    n ionut dont post such posts.. google might just read it n implement it!

  44. Here is the Problem & the Solution:

    Step 1:
    1. Inbox: Mails in the Inbox does not show the label Inbox.
    2. Archive: It should say. Change all your selected mails with Inbox labels to Archive labels.

    Step 2:
    20 years ago there was a smart company which abandond the Inbox/Outbox. They only labeled the same mail either In or Out. This increased my productivity by roughly 50%, because I only had one copy of the same mail.
    So in Google it should only be possible to have the label Received, Outbox, Sent : call it 'Mail status'. The other labels should be 'Topic labels'.

    This should be enough to start the discussion.

  45. I have to vote for folders too. Also, why can't I "turn off" the conversations? What I would love to do is use folders, have individual e-mails, and set the rules so they got delivered to the right folder - I suppose just like Outlook but so much better as I can access it from everywhere! Even willing to pay for that!

  46. You should learn about Inbox Zero.

    No more labels or folders.. There just isn't need for it.

  47. @Gil: "I never, ever want an e-mail in all three of these labels. Hence, folders."

    Then you would only label that message with one label.

    Folders really do nothing except give you the perception the message is somewhere else. A label does the same thing.

    Apply a label to a message, then click Archive. Same thing as moving to a folder.

    The good thing is that you could, if desired, apply additional labels.

  48. I can only quote 50 Cent (yes, that 50 Cent) on this one:

    "*itch, the sidewalk is for pimpin', *itch!"

  49. Brilliant Post.
    I want folders.

    At the very least, I want Xobni.

  50. Wow. But I can have folders in fodlers. Why can't I have labels in labels in the folder view?

  51. It seems to me that your problem is solved very easily:

    1)Keep everything in Inbox and Tag as you feel.

    2)When you need to see the emails that belong to a specific Label, just click on the Label's Name in the left hand side Toolbar, voila.

  52. Why don't we have multiple levels of labels, though? My labels run down two pages at least.

  53. Simple -

    Download Thunderbird

    Set up GMail as IMAP.

    Make all the folders you want.

    When you go online, the folders you made will have [IMAP/foldername] as the label.

    To clean up your inbox online, select all the ones that have the IMAP label and archive them. They will still be available to you using the Label.

    Don't make things more complicated than they are. Just find the happy medium.

  54. Just a small clarification: this post doesn't reflect my opinion about Gmail's features. I noticed that many people that use Gmail don't understand things like: labels, archiving, advanced searching, "view as HTML" and they simply don't use them, but they complain about missing features like folders or sorting. The lack of folders is by far the most common complaint I've heard and Gmail will have to address it somehow.

  55. You should ALL take a look at this 58 minute video :-P

    If you don't want to watch it all in one go, remember that you can download it and watch the rest later:

    Merlin Mann - Inbox Zero:

  56. I think gmail would be better if it added more Rich Text Format options. Maybe Google documents should be the official writer for emails...kinda like MS Word is for Outlook.

  57. Ok, there're a lot of comments!
    This is esasy, just pick your right option:

    1) I Hate Conversations .
    RE: Just go and sign up in another email client. Gmail ain't for you.

    2) I Hate labels.
    RE: Same as 1)

    3) I would like folders.
    RE: Think about it, do you really need them? If you want them for the Hierarchy of Folder->Subfolder, just ask for "Hierarchy Labels". They would work the same way, plus you get the option to put a message "in two folders".

    In my personal opinion, I would love to have Hierarchy Labels. I use a different label for each course I'm at college, but it's really annoying to see the ammount of lavels grow each term... I would prefer to have a Super Label caled "College" and put all the rest of the course levels inside it :P

    ;) Peregrino

  58. Change is good. Folders are so old-school. Labels are better than folders, if you just take the time to learn how to use filters to apply labels.

  59. Wait. Is this article serious? Sure it takes a minor adjustment to your thinking, but when coupled with the GOOGLE SEARCH ENGINE, you can't lose a thing. I can't understand ppl who have to have an 'empty' inbox. What good does it do when you could enter a keyword search and pull back, quickly, the email you were tracking, related threads, and oh my god, everything labeled by a rule. Seriously, this is such narrow mindedness on your part that i'm considering unsubscribing?

  60. The absence of folders in Gmail (just like the impossibility of breaking an individual message out of a thread) is a classic case of the work of dee-zyners who are more concerned with what they think is cool than with what users actually want.

  61. People who want folders in Gmail need to get over it. Pile, don't file. Make it easy on yourself. Folders are dumb. Learn to search.

  62. I really don't understand the concept of folders. Why do you need folders when you can search it in a much more efficient way.

    Folders are just a flaw. They are limited and dumb. While it may seam like a logical step you can easily see that it's only logical because it's the way we've been organizing stuff from the early DOS days.

    The labeling/search/archive system works so much more efficiently that it's hard to see why people would want to stick with folders.

  63. Just archive it all, search for what you need, and Star what's important.

  64. I second the replacement of labels with folders... Plus it'd make IMAP much prettier.


  65. I do not get it. It is the labels and the labels which make Gmail unique. Why in hell do you need folders in Gmail? Labels do exactly the same.

    The solution in Docs was totally unnecessary.

    There are tons of email services with folder structure, there is really no need for another one.

  66. I want folders and labels, I don't see it as an either/or choice...

    Most importantly I want an easy way to list just the unlabeled emails.

    And I want better searches and a way to label them e.g. all the mail from the last week (and I don't want to have to specify a date range)


  67. Yes, this i'm waiting for too. also a more powerfull rules system to put the mails in the right folders better.
    labels also has the disadvantage of having the labels with there colors in front of the mail when in inbox. some mails fall under three different filters, preview of mail becomes half the size it is normally.

  68. I don't want folders :-)

    But there are things I do want:

  69. I'd be will will to beat, that those of you who don't like conversations send a lot of forwards and don't start new emails for each new subject. If this is you, I sure that Hotmail would be better for you.

  70. Great article on why folders are a bad and outdated idea:

  71. You can use a label EXACTLY THE WAY YOU USE A FOLDER. Just pretend there's a pretty little folder icon next to each label. Use it just the way you would use a folder. Or just use your beloved Outlook to fetch your Gmail with POP or IMAP and leave the rest of us alone.

    And if you don't like conversation view, again, go use Hotmail or whatever and leave Gmail to those to appreciate it.

  72. no folders....I like the labels.

  73. Tags/labels are more powerful than folders.
    Flat tags lack hierarchy. I am a big fan of hierarchical tags.
    Tags lack enforced exclusivity as simple folders do. Exclusive tags could be made, but I don't see it as valuable.

  74. All credit must go to bill gates and the brainless generation (calm down, i'm talking about computer tasks only) he made. It's impressive to see how people get lost when they're using something that it's not microsoft-like.

  75. There are simpler solutions for some people:

    If you don't like labels - DO NOT use Gmail!
    If you don't like conversations - DO NOT use Gmail!

    There are zillions of webmail services that already have the things you 'like'. Why destroy the things we love. As for me I discontinued all my other email accounts when gmail came along.

  76. To all those who complain about labels not having "enforced exclusivity", I have to ask: what makes you think you *have* to put more than one label on each message? I just don't get it. If your filters are so badly-made that your messages are being sent to multiple unwanted labels, why don't you, like, I don't know, fix your damned filters? It's not like you didn't use filters back in the old folder days.

    Some people just won't stop and think before they complain. What a pity...

  77. folders... we don't need no stinkin folders...

  78. If a post like this caught the attention of so many people and they are 45% in favor 45% against and 10% talking about anything else, then, from my point of view, it worth the try to have both, labels and folder as well. You use, the one you like.

  79. I agree with many posters here, if you are focused on manually putting your mail into folders and don't like the conversation mode in GMail, please just go back and use Outlook - it will fit your work mode better.

  80. Know how to create folders in Gmail :p


  81. Not sure i did understand, but what you need is only a tool that archive any mail you've labeled.
    Sure there will be somebody to convert this to a greasemonkey script using GMail api...

  82. I think that labels are much more usefull than folders. What you can do with folders you can do with labels, but reverse is not true!

    Label aproach is great!

  83. If labels were a good idea, we'd be using them to organise all the files on our C drive. But we don't - we use folders. Labels are good at labelling things, but they're pretty much no use for organising the physical messages themselves as all the messages just remain in the inbox. There should be BOTH folders and labels. I don't see why there would be any problem implementing folders without disrupting the label functionality all all. Until GMail has folders, I will never use it.

    Unrelated: What idiot decided to make this popup window non-resizable! GRR.

  84. Labels and conversations are the best thing ever happened to emailing. If some users cannot get use to other concepts than MS's way, then they should stick with MS's products.

  85. yeah, labels could do with being organized in some way, but not folders. anything but folders. please.

    @Blogger BillyG
    congrats on trying it out & finding what happens, however i don't see why you want to loose track of which messages you sent - it's not an 'outbox' ;)

    summary : i agree with Peregrino

    - imma

    ps: please use (sarcasm)(/sarcasm) tags(or something similar) so people can't even pretend to misunderstand(or troll) :-/

  86. If you want to take backwards steps then why don't you just switch to Yahoo Mail?

  87. Off the topic of labels, but since a few people have mentioned the conversation view:

    There is one time when the conversation view annoys me very thoroughly. If you search for a phrase, and it exists in only on message out of a hundred in a large, unread conversation, then only that message will show up when clicking on the search result, but the whole thread will be marked read. So I agree that there is a place for one-message-at-a-time rather than conversation view.

    That said, I don't know how I'd manage mailing lists if I didn't have conversation view. Until all of my mailing lists move over to newsgroups (yeah, that'll happen) where I can have proper threading, the conversation view is absolutely wonderful, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

  88. How about nested lables!?

  89. @imma: I just make it a habit to delete everything in the Sent 'folder' almost everyday, and the Spam 'folder' as soon as something gets in there (although these need to be checked manually).

    Maybe it's just an annal thing, I don't know...

  90. I agree with Peregrino. It's my one huge pet peeve with Gmail that it doesn't have hierarchical labels. I like to have very specific labels, meaning I have lots of them, but they all fall into broad categories. If labels were hierarchical, I could look for my labels based on these categories rather than looking alphabetically and dealing with the clutter.

  91. All they have to do is make it so you can drag and drop an email over to a label and then gmail archives it, and adds the label. You don't have to change anything on the back-end.

    If you want to put it in multiple folders go into the first folder you put it in and drag it from there to the rest.

  92. I agree with Andy
    It was such a relief to have some place to store all my email w/o having to use my HD. Who cares what you call what? As long as you find out how too use it. I love my Gmail and have been online before most of you knew what a computer was.

  93. I have 163 labels in Gmail. If it was not for Folders4Gmail add-on via GreaseMonkey, I'd never be able to deal with so many labels. 163 items on the side in a linear list just does not work, but is perfectly fine as a set of folders inside folders. (or really labels inside labels)

    I uses filters to label incoming mail. Most pieces of mail have 2-3 labels.

    I need to refer back to emails from conference\ie\07 easily. Folders4Gmail makes this possible.

    Folders and Labels can co-exist together. Let each user choose their own way rather than trying to switch them to your way!

  94. @BillyG: with Spam it makes lots of sense to clear them out regularly.
    I find with Sent messages I occasionally want access to my attachments, though that's just the way I use it.
    Unfortunately, Sent Mail doesn't even behave like a label, as you can't remove it. I think of it more as a shortcut to a search for messages sent from your address ;)

    @Generally Re:Conversations
    Mostly i'd like to be able to merge conversations & split messages off so i can control when people reply to the wrong conversation/thread/message ;)

    - imma

  95. I think it's simple to realise the function of moving mails to a folder in Gmail.

    1. Label it to "folder no.1"
    2. Archive it
    3. Viola, it disappear from Inbox.
    4. Click on "folder no.1" in your label panel to retrieve mails in "folder no.1".

  96. You don't understand the average email user and this post only described how most people react to Gmail after switching from Yahoo Mail, Outlook Express etc. I'll post some random messages from Gmail's discussion board:

    [1] "This is driving me crazy, I am used to having folders to store old emails in that I maybe dont want to delete or have cluttering my in box, and there is no folders option. All I see is the Labeling but that still doesnt allow you to delete out of your inbox."

    [2] "I've been using google for well over ten years, it replaced meta search engines for me and I even got a vintage tee-shirt in Harvard Square when google was an infant. I am baffled why Google will not put folders into GMAIL. This would build on the rich infrastructure. You can still go ahead and label things, search and sort them powerfully but, for those of us that want to stick things in a box and pull them out of a set of visible boxes, file cabinets work."

    [3] "Is there any way that I can have folders for my e-mail? The labels in g-mail are nice, but I'd like to be able to clean up my inbox or even send all the expected subscription type e-mails to separate folders away from the main inbox. The current label system in g-mail doesn't actually allow me to file away my e-mails. So when I go to my inbox, my unexpected mail gets lost among everything I already expect and I miss important messages."

    [4] "Arching does not take the place of folders. Why is Google so stubborn about this issue? My guess is that there is one person in the gmail section who is just really against it. It's such a common request, if you go to make a comment on it from their help page they have a special box you can check if you're complaining about the lack of folders. Folders organize - we use them on our computers. My outlook inbox at work is perfectly well organized because I can put stuff in folders and name them to my liking. Archiving stuff and labeling just moves the mess from the inbox to the archive area."

    [5] "I just joined gmail today because everyone kept telling me it is soooo much better than all the other "free" email services. Now there are no folders! Can this really be true!?! If there is a way to organize please tell me quick - otherwise I will never use this again!"

  97. More Google Groups feedback:

    [6] "When I "label" an email (as a makeshift "folder") and then delete that labeled email from my in box it also deletes it from my labeled email box. Why for goodness sakes does Gmail not use folders? I will have to go back to aol or yahoo now! I do not understand it. Folders enable users to neatly organize in separate folders and remove from the inbox. Sigh. Does anyone have a way to resolve? Thanks! Frustrated!"

    [7] "I am not even going to start moaning and groaning about the lack of folders within Gmail. Many users have done this before me and explained in great detail why they are USEFUL. If you still dont think so than I wonder if your C: Drive only contains files, if your webbrowser has no bookmarks and your live is sorted by labels rather than folders and draws. MY MAIN REASON for why I, and yes that is ME, want folders is to get my newsletters into one folder, my Miles and More updates into one and the same hols true for my travel alerts for the tube, my amazon confimations and etc. I think the ARCHIVE function literally sucks because it throws it all AWAY into one FOLDER - because YES there are folders in GMAIL!"

    [8] "Google needs to do away with this "Label" instead of "Folders" concept. Yes it's neat to come up with your own unique way of doing things but that unique way needs to be genuinely useful. With Google's system, just to archive one email for safe keeping you have to click to put a Star on it and click again for a Label and click again to Archive. Clickety Clickety Click Click Click. With every other email system on the planet one click and its in a folder where it can be "quickly" and "easily" found. Very laborious and nonsensical email "filing" system they have here. "

    [9] "If you can do anything please do it now, i need to have folders i have learned to use the e-mail with that thing & now with labels i can't do the same because you're labels are so complicated... finally i think folders are better than labels, moreover sometimes people walks near you when you ere checking your mail... i don't want they could see all my mails. that's the reason for what i think folders are better."

    [10] "I tried out your labels. It's a good thing, there's no arguing. But at the same time I need FOLDERS badly! It make sorting out email a hundred times more convenient. I wish I could have folders in Gmail. I hope Gmile will have it some time in future."

  98. Personally, I LOVE labels. And, with the ability to automatically label an incoming email and have it automatically archived keeps things simple when it comes to keeping a record of emails.

    Let's see my credit card company try to tell me I didn't pay a bill (now that the email automatically gets labeled and archived).

  99. I can't believe the amount of people who seem to have missed the Archive button.

    Between labels and all the possibilities of search (contact, word, whatever), I feel no need for folders. And I use IMAP. And get nice folders in IMAP named after my labels. Wheeee.

    Plus: one more vote for nested labels /hierarchy.

  100. "Google needs to do away with this "Label" instead of "Folders" concept. Yes it's neat to come up with your own unique way of doing things but that unique way needs to be genuinely useful. With Google's system, just to archive one email for safe keeping you have to click to put a Star on it and click again for a Label and click again to Archive. Clickety Clickety Click Click Click. With every other email system on the planet one click and its in a folder where it can be "quickly" and "easily" found. Very laborious and nonsensical email "filing" system they have here. "


  101. @ Anonymous said on April 24, 2008 9:15 PM PDT
    Re :
    > > Google needs to do away with this
    > > "Label" instead of "Folders" concept. ...
    > THIS IS SO TRUE!!!!"

    No, no it isn't.
    1. you open the email & read it. then decide you want to archive it for safe keeping
    2. so you press 'Archive' & it takes you back to your inbox or you use the ']' keyboard shortcut to archive it and go to your next email
    3. done

    number of clicks required : 1 or 0

    - imma

    ps : stars are not required for keeping email
    pps : use the search, it is good

  102. I think folder is a good way to store data (Not only Gmail but also Google Docs), and label is a good way to find your data.

  103. Please do NOT remove Gmail tags! That's one of the main features that make Gmail different. Should at least be a user choice... :-|

  104. Nottin against Gmail, it's cool.. but who in the world wants to use a beta service... where the developers can shut down and erase the whole user database whenever they want - WITHOUT prior notice? It's an anonomyous free mail service. I wonder why it's not been blocked yet.

    I'm back with Yahoo and MSN.. at least I can be sure that they KNOW who I am (when my accounts have been overtaken its a PHONE CALL and i have my account back)... when my gmail account is gone with the wind there ain't a chance to get it back cuz it's anonymous..

  105. @imma: To clarify my point, I would like to be able to click on my Sent tab and just delete everything in there (since I don't need to keep something unless I specifically Label it), but unfortunately, even messages that I have labeled one thing or another and have sent (even just to myself for storage, e.g emails with login info for future reference) wind up filling up the Sent tab, so I can't just go there and delete everything. I have to manually pick the messages I want to delete, which is a PNTA to me. True, they are always at the top, but it's still usability gone wrong.

  106. Common, don't need folder...label is the same thing but it's more flexible

    Adaptation is the key of evolution guy...

  107. I was following along on the example in the post until it got to the last bit.

    "it's still in my inbox" -> "click archive" -> "WHERE DID MY MESSAGE GO?"

    The where did my message go part. If you put it in a folder wouldn't it also disappear from the inbox? This last bit is just too dumb.

    I like the labels, don't miss folders, but mostly just leave stuff in my inbox (or archive) and search.

  108. No, Jim, you didn't understand. The message disappeared because he clicked on "archive" before labeling it. In Yahoo Mail/Hotmail, you simply move a message to a folder. In Gmail, you need to label the conversation and then archive it - the two-step process is confusing and difficult to understand for many people.

  109. Oh, I guess. The flow made it still sound like the email that the user had already tagged as an "Invitation".

    I didn't read the text of every comment, but I did read the comment with compiled complaints from google groups.

    To the one about Outlook rules, you can set up filters to do the same thing, even skipping the inbox and labelling automatically.

    Anyone that can learn to use rules and folders should just as easily be able to learn filters and labels.

    Whether people should have to learn them is of course debatable, but it's a free country and gmail is a free system, so don't use it if you don't want to make the small leap.

  110. What about labels AND folders? I like both ways of organising mails and need them both in different circumstances. For instance, NOW!

  111. All the 'I want folders' complaints come from people who mostly cannot handle having more than a few items in their Inbox. Often the same people who can't handle the concept of not having to delete anything.
    It could be simply fixed by having an auto-label called 'Unlabelled' which is already found in Google Bookmarks. Anyone who still has the folders mentality could just click on unlabelled and see anything that's not in a 'folder'.
    And I agree with the slowest roll out ever comment on the new features available to our US counterparts. I'm sick of being stuck with a US spell checker in order to use the new features.

  112. Let them have their folders ... and yes, I use folders too, but I would love auto foldering ... something all messages with label X which are unread. I really need that for the 10 + newsgroups I'm part of. And of course, I want them nice and clickable on the folder navigation bar.

  113. OK, I finally got it! I might not be the smartest person in the world, but I don't think I'm the dumbest either. Still, it has taken me ummmm.....(sheepishly grins) about a yeat to figure out the whole labels thing. I finally came across a post that explained the danged "Archive" button!!! (OK, so maybe, just maybe, I'm not so smart after all!) Anyhooo, I think more people would stop clamoring for Gmail folders if it was better, more easily accessible, and clearly explained that to clean out your Inbox, label your messages with your "Folder" name(s), and then archive your messages! To find the messages again, click on your "Label" tab. (Man, I can't believe what an idiot I've been!) Alright, that was my .02 worth. Maybe pictures would have helped explain it better!!! LOL Thanks!

  114. We deploy This question reminds me of a sales manager who told me that he was looking for a "CRM system that works the way I did when I started in the pharma industry (20 years ago). It was easy, I had 4 areas in my territory and each area had a list of Dr.'s offices. I kept a collection of sheets of paper in each of four boxes. Each sheet was an office and each box was an area in my territory, so I would put one of the four boxes in my car each week and hit that part of my territory. It was so much easier and I wish SOMEONE could give that back to my reps. It's not hard, I just want the box back."

    My reply "How easy was it to report on the box?"

    Just because you are used to something (i.e. folders, menus/sub-menus, desktop software, etc.), doesn't make it efficient. If you want "the box", you're fundamentally not a good candidate for Google products. -Insert any number of "out of the box" puns here-

  115. My only wish list item for Gmail is a hierarchical labels - a true gmail function, not a script. Like the above comment about college classes, I'm a coordinator of a large project with sub-projects. Ideally, I could have one Level 1 label with every email regarding the project and multiple Level 2 for the sub-projects. Just a little + or - next to the Level 1 label would do the trick for minimizing the amount of page scrolling!

    It seems that most people who are *itching about gmail need to just learn a bit more about it, or go back to your old service that you idolize. Spending a little time reading the help screens or forums can probably give many users a work around that they never thought of. Don't try to make gmail like Outlook (or the like), there are many reasons that program should die.

  116. The thing I hate about the labels concept is that you can't reduce down your messages as you can in a folder system--you have to scroll through them all, archived or not--PNTA and inefficient--I'm losing time scrolling through pages of messages to find the one I want!

  117. @Anonymous (May 13, 2008 7:13 PM PDT)
    if you have keyboard shortcuts on, you can just press 'y' to remove the label from the conversation - this will remove it from your list in the future

    if you need to keep the label, you can add ' in:inbox' to the search, and use 'e' to archive (& remove it from this list)

    hope that helps :)
    - imma

  118. Let's be precise. This folders vs labels argument is unnecessary. When you access Gmail via IMAP, e.g. in Outlook, Apple Mail or Thunderbird, those folders are viewable as folders in those email clients. Therefore, we do not have to throw away labels in exchange for folders. Rather, we are asking for a visual representation of the labels to look like folders. It happens in those email clients, and we're just asking for an online version. Those people who are debating the merits of labels vs folders don't realise that BOTH labels and folders can co-exist. All Google has to do is to provide a graphical representation of those folders, just like in the email clients (Outlook, Apple Mail etc).

  119. I agree that the argument is unneccessary, but because what folders can do is a subset of what labels can do.
    Folders as a concept is unneccessarily restrictive.
    All that is needed is the ability to arrange labels in a heirarchy of some sort, which would be wonderful. ;)
    - imma

  120. @Gilbert: So Gmail needs to explain labels better.

    Ppl don't (want to) learn the email client. They keep all mail in inbox and scroll by date or sort by name, scroll to the name, then resort by date later. So maybe non-archived mails should stay in a functionally limited "box" to force ppl to either star, schedule, archive (or delete, spam-mark). That could avoid the effect of wasting time re-reading the "inbox-mails" (and possibly clicking Mark as Unread for each time a mail was opened "by mistake").

  121. The reason I want folders is that hotmail does not work on my Mac. So I've switched to Gmail.
    I don't want a PC, I don't want to use IE.

    The option to toggle folders on/off in Gmail would surely make a superior client and make it even more popular?

  122. yes, folder will be the best option as just in yahoo!

  123. @chupni *sigh* the best option would be for people to have a setting to use one or the other - that way at least we'd not have this problem.

    ps : no they aren't - labels are better (<= supposed to be humourous) ;)

  124. Actually the way "folders" will be implemented in Gmail is by adding a new drop-down: "Move to [list of labels]". An enhancement would be to also add drag-and-drop support.

  125. @ionut
    > *will* be implemented
    Are you sure?
    This does sound good although the most valid reason I've heard for wanting folders was to have a collapsable list of them - so they don't scroll miles off the screen

  126. Check out the cool user script called LabelLinks4Gmail

    It allows you to add labels to labels as well as emails. In turn this allows for everything the both the label and folder organization methods provide. There is also an add-on in firefox for it.

  127. People don't get it.

    You don't have to discard labels to get folders.

    It is not either/or

    What we need is a visual representation of labels.

    I already have this. When I use Gmail IMAP with an email client, e.g. Outlook or Apple Mail, I am getting a visual folder-like representation of the labels.

    All I'm asking for is that visual representation to be in Gmail itself, without using an email client.

    Please stop implying that getting visual folders would mean the loss of labels.

    Stop asking for folders. Start asking for a visual folder-like representation of labels.

  128. so after all this question and post
    doesnt Gmail Webmaster ever reply or do something about it ?
    its spell nicely ..

    F O L D E R ! ! ! !

  129. If folders are so bad and labels are so good, then why don't your spam msgs simply have a 'spam' label and also appear in your inbox to be consistent? Google is contradicting itself by disallowing folders except for special cases that only they choose. Labels are great, but there needs to be some other option of removing msgs from your inbox, just like spam.

  130. There is an option to remove messages from the inbox: it's called "archive". Messages flagged as spam are automatically archived to not clutter your inbox.

  131. labels can not be opened and visually searched for an email for which you aren't sure of the adress or subject and searching for the label name itself finds nothing.

    Searching all mail for one specific label by scrolling is like searching my entire hard drive when I know a file is in my documents. Why on earth would anyone think this makes sence?

  132. you can search within a label
    eg 'label:Todo Car' would find things labelled Todo with 'Car' in them
    It does make sense - it works ;) You do have to get used to the approach before it seems easy, though, which I appreciate can be annoying.

  133. Agree completely. Gmail leaves the user with no viable way to clean out the inbox (other than delete). The inbox is supposed to be a place uncluttered where one leaves emails that the user wishes to access short-term. Where is my long-term storage option? Labels doesn't do that. Why I wonder? It's counterintuitive.

  134. Joe - what do you think the archive is for?

  135. Gmail needs folders period. This is a serious weakness in Gmail. The decision to not use folders is simply to be different. The pros in regards to using folders completely out weigh the pros for just using labels.
    As a usability expert, this is my professional opinion.

  136. Dear anonymous usability expert,
    You listed 0 pro's.
    Labels have more functionality than folders - what you want is to organize them better exclamation mark.
    If you have logic behind your opinion, not saying what it is is just a refusal to help people understand.
    - imma

  137. Reason why we need labels: Drag and drop.
    Out of sight - out of mind!

  138. I want folders like my Yahoo account, until then, I'm going back to yahoo.

  139. And when yahoo goes under in a few months, you'll come back to Gmail?

  140. I love gmail, but I often want to *browse* my messages, and without the ability to create sub-labels I can't organize it. I can search of course but it isn't always effective to search. I use the scripts you can get to put labels in a hierarchy, but it is beyond ridiculous that so many people are using add-ons (that slow gmail down, frankly) just to organize their mail and gmail has not provided this feature.

  141. Well I think the answer to this thread is Zoho Mai.

    Zoho Mail features FOLDERS AND LABELS (or TAGS) so you can use any of them or both systems at the same time.

    It also features unlimited mail space and you can use your own domain name.

    And it is FREE! in combination with Zoho Business I think it is a good alternative to Google Docs.

    It also features Google Gears, so you can still work with your web based Zoho cliente when offline.


  142. Have folders and labels. Why not?

  143. i dont think labels are better folders are best because we can the important messages at one place

  144. Hi mee too!

    I dont like how everything is clumped together too. Using labels is ok, but I dont like the fact that everything is grouped together on my inbox!

    Why dont u make a petition, or write to Google, or something?

  145. Alex, why don't you write another post called "how to use the archive button" for people that don't understand what its for, like people who spell 'me' as 'mee' and for those whose reading comprehension couldn't pull it from the original post.

    PEOPLE, if you don't want your messages in the inbox, ARCHIVE them. It's one of the biggest buttons on the page!

  146. I belive that most everyone on this page is correct, gMail is the best email interface. I personally love the tag systme better than the folder system, especially if you color code the tags.


  148. I have over a hundred folders in Outlook. I'm DYING to move away from my Microsoft addiction like I have with my servers, desktop OS, blah blah blah.. I agree to disagree. Labels are great. However, when you have 100 folders, turn those into labels and try to sort them non-alphabetically.

    Folders = Convenience & Organization
    Labels = Search and Indexing

    my 1/2 cent...

  149. @Anonymous (December 26, 2008 9:52 PM PDT)

    I understand some way to group the labels would be nice, especially with 100 of them, but i'm curious what you need that many folders for - surely some of them could be split & re-combined into fewer labels?
    eg 2007-jan, 2007-feb, etc, 2008-jan, 2008-feb (24 folders)
    could become 2007, 2008, jan, feb, mar, etc (14 labels)
    Though this only works for some folder structures :-/
    - imma

  150. Yes, Yes, label's good, label's useful. But what about visualization?!! I like to make a lot of labels (I prefer to view them as tags), but I don't want the label list on the right to run off my screen!!!!

    So... ditch the folders, but how about-
    Hierarchy labels, or grouped labels? Anything, that could help me to manage the visualization?!

  151. Here is a novel idea; customization. Have an option for folders for those who prefer folders and labels for those who prefer labels. It's really not that hard. One way isn't better than another just different. Gmail has many benefits over other web based email application. Forcing users to adopt a new paradigm for email isn't one of them.

  152. The thing I loved about folders in Outlook Express was being able to make rules which automatically moved labels with a certain sender to a certain folder, so that you could just click on that folder and see all the emails you had from that sender.

    The problem with labels is that you have to manually assign them yourself, and if you could have Gmail automatically assign labels to letters based on certain rules, I'd be more happy using Gmail.

  153. Come on people, learn to use what you've got before you ask for stuff that's already there. If you want stuff to happen automatically, set up a filter.

  154. yeah, gmail already has auto-assigning labels based on rules & you can go to a contact & click on recent conversations or just search on their name (which also gives you any conversations that mention them ;-)

    I love Gmail but I also love keeping my stuff neatly separated into folders, its the way I do it on my computer and I'd like to do it in my email too!!!
    Please add the folder option!!!

  156. @paul - can't you just keep them neatly organised labels, like me :-P

  157. What I see here is type A personalities (go folders!!) vs. type B personalities (yea, labels are cool...)

    Just a different way to organize, neither is wrong.

  158. A great website that explains everything about labels and filters, it even has a video for the lazy ones:

    It is literally impossible to still demand folders if you know how labels work.

  159. @Anonymous - January 13, 2009 9:05 AM PDT

    Thanks - that's a nice summary :-)

  160. Thats Great!!! Thanksneeded Help there a bit!! Yahoo alot simpler!!

  161. But what if I want folders not to find stuff so much as to unclutter my inbox? My inbox looks very busy now that I've joined a mailing list, and I'm wishing I had an email sorting option to automatically send them to folders.

  162. If you had read many other comments, you'd see that you can automatically apply labels and automatically 'archive' them which sends them to the 'All Mail' folder, thus removing them from your inbox and organizing them at the same time.


  163. Sorry, it was a lot of comments to read through. I'm still learning. I have now applied automatic filters. :-)

  164. Excellent, glad I could help! Sorry about the caps, not meant for you personally.

  165. Mutually exclusive labels is what Google lacks, and one of the main reasons why people want folders.

    Basically, if a conversation has two labels, it shows up in both screens when you click either label. While sometimes this is a desired feature, sometimes it just isn't. Sometimes you wish labels wouldn't show mails they share with other labels.

    And this is not available unless you specify a custom search query.

    Am I wrong?

  166. A search of "label:apples -label:oranges" will return only apples. Is that what you meant by custom? That's how it works.

  167. You obviously don't know how to use Google mail efficiently. Please don't blame the product for your own inadequacies.

    Google has brought countless innovations to us.

    Labels work better than folders. If you have emails that appear in two labels that's great if you don't want it to that's also great.

    Create a label then create a filter to place your emails into that label, if you don't want to see the email in inbox, guess what, there's an option in filters to skip the inbox altogether.

  168. @Jim:

    Yes, that is what I mean by custom. And by a Google Labs feature, you can save it as a quick link. But the problem is, the search query gets longer and longer with every label.

    Let me clear this, this is a simulation of threaded labels in multiple accounts. I control 3 mail accounts within a single Google Apps mail account. Now, I create related filters that label mail that came to my account, or

    Later, I create new filters and new labels for further filtering each account (like personal, academic, work from or mailgroups from

    Now there are of course some mail which you don't want to label other than

    The only solution is a custom search: -{label:personal label:academic label:work}

    What is wrong with this approach? Gmail has a very generously placed line just before your set of buttons Archive, Report Spam etc. and this line mirrors the search query you entered. But the problem is, it is too long. So long that the buttons overflow!

    @Jesstern Rays:

    Yeah we adore Google for the countless innovations. And yeah labels work better than folders. But it's not that *great*.

    And the solution you proposed is not relevant, because, as you see, the problem is not "skipping inbox". The problem is "skipping a label that has already skipped the inbox".

  169. @ ´¨crestfaLLen¨`
    Hmm, so if filters let you remove labels as well as add them, then it would work fine for you?

    It would also be nice if they could add and/or remove a list of labels & possibly run triggered by other things, such as forwarding and reading instead of just sending/receiving

    Would a 'View items with only this Label' option added to the 'More Actions' dropdown also cover it?

    Just a couple of ideas/suggestions, not ones i can personally make happen (i think) :-/

  170. @ imma:

    Yes, yes and yes. Exactly the features Gmail needs.

  171. folders are essential to store great quantities of email.
    suppose i have 3 different activities:

    - work
    - hobby
    - love

    it would be 3 different labels.

    but what comes when i need to organize mails "inside" work?
    for example i would like to divide clients by client type, and then i want to divide mail from different clients, and then for each client i want to divide for different kind of services i offer my clients.

    it would like to do that

    |-- client type 1
    | |
    | |--client john smith
    | | |
    | | |-- client request n.1
    | | |-- client request n.2
    |-- HObby n.1
    |-- Hobby n.2
    |-- girlfriend n.1
    |-- girlfriend n.2
    | etc...

    this structure it's impossible with labels.

    I think the best would be have both labels and folders.

  172. @Pigneto

    You're wrong. It's not impossible, and if you do it with labels you have more flexibility to look at the emails.
    Create the following set of labels
    Work, Love, Hobby, client type 1, john smith, request 1, request 2 etc, hobby 1, hobby 2 etc, gf 1, gf2 etc. Then apply the labels in combinations. You even get more flexibility than folders because you could use 'label:"client type 1" label:"client request 1"' to find messages from ALL type 1 clients that are making the same kind of request.
    Or you can see all your hobby email at the same time, you CAN'T do that with folders.

  173. @Pigneto

    That sounds horribly complicated and unnecessary

    If you want to look up an email from/to client.1, type their name in & hit enter

    The same is true for hobbies - eg emails about golf should mention it in the subject or body, so really you don't even need labels

    if you really want to set up labels for all of these, you can, but what is the 'Hobby' folder for?

    Possibly i don't get why you *need* to organise your emails in such a way when they are already easily available ;-)

  174. Imma,

    Not everyone shares your way of thinking. Folders are sometimes easier for some people to conceptualize than labels or labels-forced-into-folder-functionality.

    And for the Gmail True Believers who would turn away such Unworthies from the Church of Gmail, I'm surprised with your behavior. Here you have people asking for an expansion of Gmail's search and organization functionality that many of you have admitted can be implemented with existing Labels, but instead you want the search functionality restricted and shackled to one mode of thought: Labels, only in the way of the Gmail Old Testament.

    If folders are so easy to implement with Labels, why not add a button that lets folder-worshippers to change their Gmail GUI to a folder-based perspective to their Gmail? True Believers keep their unsullied Gmail and its pristine Labels, while newcomers who cannot make the mental leap to Labels (or want the flexibility of both) can have folders.

    The end result is more search options to make the most of the Gmail label system. If you think faster with a folder scheme, you get folders. If you think faster with traditional Gmail label-and-search, you still have that.

  175. Mike, i understand that not everyone understands how to/wants to use labels, it's just rather annoying when they then assume that folders are generically more useful, as labels is simply a less restricted concept (although not implemented as flexably as possible in this case)
    I also feel it is fair enough if people sometimes get annoyed by either side & i'm sorry if i was unfair
    I just find that, having found a webmail system that uses labels instead of folders(as most seem to), i am perhaps overprotective of this rather unique system ;-) & there are lots of folder based options out there

  176. OK - Labels are great; except when you are using IMAP and a Blackberry.
    When I configure my Blackberry to gmail, I use IMAP so that what I delete / answer / send will be the same on both Blackberry and Gmail.
    The problem is that I will always have thousands of emails on both; when I only need to see maybe 200. I have to keep some emails for reference, but I don't need them on my Blackberry.

    Since Blackberry ONLY IMAP's the INBOX.... I would like to create another folder 'Archived Email' that my Blackberry will never see and put the email that I want to keep as reference in there.

    Anybody have an alternate idea; save for 'deleting' my email?

  177. Switch to Iphone Sherman. My iphone lets me choose which messages to download from what Folder(Label).. oops did i say Folder.... and turn on the Advanced IMAP settings from Gmail Labs.

  178. the only problem i just met is that when i accidentally hit archive, an email got removed from the inbox and i had to recover it from all mail...but in all mail there are so many emails and i don't know which of them are not in inbox

  179. Hey! When you archive a message, Gmail shows this message at the top of the page:

    "The conversation has been archived. Learn more Undo"

    If you accidentally archived the conversation, you are supposed to click on "Undo".

  180. I wish gmail would have folders!!!!! I'm going to yahoo! I like labels but folders would be great too!! Too bad gmail!

  181. i completely agree. folder please. having every email in the inbox is like having massive amounts of paper on my desk. i want to file it away, know exactly where it is so i can retrieve it when i want it, but when i don't need i want to be able to look at a clean desk/inbox. please google, let go of your ego and create folders.

  182. please let go of your ignorance and use labels and the archive button. thx

  183. I just don't get it... why all of people that think Folders are so great, don't see or can't see or perhaps don't want to see, that LABELS are FOLDERS on steroids!! They are the same thing! Only you can do so much MORE with the Labeling System.

    I think what I read in some comment on this blog, is right, that Google's only mistake, was trying to call the upgraded version of a folder a label.

    Everything I read on here about arguments about why we need Folders, is already included in a label system if you just use your brain and make it happen. It's all quite simple.

    Except one thing: Google Does need to add what is included in Greasemonkey. They need to make the hierarchical structure of the lablels/folders a part of all Gmail or Google Apps accounts. Such as the sub-label concept or even exactly what Greasemonkey does or this script does:

    If you like that, Better Gmail 2 is actually a better choice... although I shouldn't have to use a Browser Add-on to give my email a hierarchical structure.... I think this would give people more of a sense that they are using folders, if was added for everyone...

    Then maybe, we'd stop getting all these stupid comments that are basically arguments for what makes Google's system so great and different... if you don't like it or aren't willing to learn how to use it right, then switch to an archaic and not so great webmail system like Yahoo or Hotmail... we wont miss you!

  184. The problem with labels is that, after importing my IMAP mail from a previous account, I have over 3500 of them, and Javascript grinds to a halt. Also, despite the various hacks out there, nested labels don't really work, so Ecommerce/eBay/2008/Receipts, as distinct from People/Business/M-O/McCarthyJoe isn't nearly as useful.

    Don't get me wrong, searching is a big win, but there is still a need for folders that at least the current UI for labels does not satisfy.

  185. Labels are great if you only have 1 email account. Try having 10+ pop accounts feed directly to an inbox... labels don't look so hot now.

  186. Wrong, they're still great. Just create a label per pop account and have them applied automatically. Then layer on the additional labels you have.

    In fact, when you add a pop account, you have the option to automatically add a label that identifies mail from that account.

  187. *Agrees with Jim*

    @Anonymous March 31, 2009 12:21 PM PDT
    Well don't set up 10 accounts to go into one inbox then, that's just silly. Have them archived automatically too ...

  188. I agree about needing folders. Not that I think it's better necessarily (everyone is different), but for my particular organization style, I like folders. C'mon Gmail!

  189. We need folders damn, we are so used to such things. I really find it annoying that they can't provide such a feature !

  190. Hooray for labels and conversations. Folders would be nice to. I would also like to be able to forward a folder of emails to another email account.

  191. Folders are handy to organise items into a heirachy structure. It doesnt make sense to have to create a list of labels for each sub-folder etc. Labels have its place too, but i dont see how folders would detract from the system's use. Labels are not heirachical, but they do allow you to have messages in several places, if anything this just can lead to more mess in some cases with "copies" of messages all over the place.
    Comeon.... Folders!!!

  192. I love google over yahoo because of spam control .. but da$%it I want my folders back!! My inbox looks like crap. I have labeled some of the files but I don't really like the way the application displays..

  193. Gmail will never be adopted in large numbers by the business community until it offers folders and the ability to turn off conversations. There is no reason why Gmail can't have folders AND labels, and just let people organize as they like.

  194. Gmail has folders. End of Thread...



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