Gmail Threaded Conversations

I’ve been seeing a few people complaining about Gmail lately, and I’m concerned that they are possibly going to head back to Outlook. Outlook is terrible. No one should ever go back to Outlook. In fact Outlook should go the way of Outlook Express (remember that?).

The problem, many of us have when we switch to something so dramatically different, is that we’re looking for it to do the same things, in the same ways. The problem is that it would be no different then. It wouldn’t be so much better, like Gmail is, compared with outlook.

It’s just a learning curve, and you have to set aside everything you think you know about how to manage e-mail.

With Google’s most powerful search, and the label system, which allows for multiple labels to be assigned to single e-mail, it is easy to set up your e-mail so that information you need later is organized, categorized, and easily referenced. With Outlook, you can file an e-mail in a single folder. That’s it. What if you have more than one frame of reference for it? This is why I grew to love Gmail’s labels much better than Outlook’s folders.

In the long run, I’ve substantially stopped even using labels, because the search in Gmail works so well.

This time we’re looking at threaded conversations. With Outlook, your threaded conversations are a mess. You have to scroll all the way down to the bottom, and work your way backwards to read the history. What’s worse, is that with all of the indenting, and e-mail signatures in each message, it can actually require a law degree just to understand the conversation.

With Gmail, the conversations are threaded based on subject (you can set up Outlook to do this as well, but it isn’t by default). At first I thought I hated this, because I was so used to being able to sort my e-mails in outlook by sender. Over time I grew to love the way Gmail threads the conversations, because it makes it really easy to get the context of the entire conversations. With Outlook you can sort by subject, but if you have two conversations with a similar subject, good luck sorting that out.

There are a couple of important things you should know about when you are reading a threaded conversation in Gmail. The video above will demonstrate. If you didn’t already know about these tips, they will probably make your life a lot easier.


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