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3 Reasons Why I dont Like GMail

G-Mail is the most popular E-mail service and it offers a lot of features compared to other Email service providers. They have excellent spam filter, Ajax based interface, POP3 access and lots more. Here I’m not going to explain the features of GMail, but the three reasons why I don’t like GMail.

GMAIL

  • First and foremost thing which I don’t like about GMail is the default skin. Its long time GMail thought about giving some customization options for UI. To be frank I’m really bored of seeing this skin, it does not have the Web 2.0 effects. Although there are Greasemonkey scripts for Firefox to customize the skin, I cannot install this in all the PCs I use. Even Windows Live Mail and Yahoo Mail allows you to change the look of your mail box.

  • Second important feature missing in GMail is the folder support. Most of the Email services including smaller services allows you to create folders in your mail box to sort out the mails. GMail only offers labeling which I feel is not the best solution to organizing your mails.
  • Another feature missing in GMail is the drag and drop functionality. Yahoo mail and Windows live mail allows you to drag and drop mails to your folders. Its also allows you to delete mails directly using the keyboard delete button. Sadly this is also missing in GMail.

Even though there are still scope for improvement, I would say GMail is the best Email service ever offered. I think my readers would agree to this, comments welcome.

This post is part of Daily Blog Tips Blog Project 3.

About Nirmal

Nirmal is a Technology Blogger and a Microsoft MVP in Windows. He can be contacted at nirmal@nirmaltv.com. You can find Nirmal on , and .

90 comments

  1. I have no problem with the default skin – I like things simple. Also, I don’t mind the fact that Gmail don’t have Drag and drop – again, I like things simple.

    However, I do wish that there was some kind of hierarchical structure like folders. Don’t get me wrong – I like the whole tags idea – but still, I like to have folders too.

  2. 1) It’s kind of hard to say G-Mail is the most popular in my opinion. Microsoft and Yahoo!’s services are pretty large too.

    2) Labels can be used to function exactly like folders if you wanted to. Just label the message how you want and then archive the message. For the most part you will only see it under the label then.

  3. Don’t like GMail? *gasp*

    Actually, its always to see others opinions, so thanks for sharing yours!

    As to your reasons, their is a GMail extension that changes the skin, or a Better GMail extension which installs the greasemonkey scripts (different one).

    You can also now use Greasemonkey scripts in Opera and Internet Explorer, so you’re covered on pretty much any type of computer, including work :)

    There has been some talk about adding folders by Google, but really the labels are actually better than folders (in most people’s opinions) because it allows you to place an E-mail in more than one label, where as you can only place an e-mail in a single folder, not multiple ones.

    I think if they add folders, they will add drag and drop as well, although I suppose right now it would be nice between Inbox and Spam, or whatever. :)

  4. I don’t really mind the lack of drag-and-drop or no folders, the tags work for me, but I definitely agree about the skins. I have the GMail skins extension for Firefox, but Google probably should have it as part of the settings by now.

  5. a very timely post indeed. just yesterday i was cribbing about gmail on pownce, lol

    i hunted high and low for a way to either sync or import my contacts of my @gmail.com id to my gmail domain apps id.

    i signed up for plaxo but of course, there wasnt any gmail support. suprising, if they can release the google calender API , they should realease the gmail contacts API too. it could fuel the long pending development of so many wonderful apps. (eg: gmailerXP)

    so needless to say since the importing of contacts from another account directly without any csv is missing, that is my reason to not like gmail…at least until i forget that i had the need to import :P

  6. I have no complaints, except that you are not allowed to edit the Html Content of your mail. i.e. no HTML sig in your mail, of course you can hack your way in. :twisted:

  7. I’m not really a fan of Gmail interface. Somehow I started to hate it ;-) As I said previously, that is a main reason for keeping me sticked with Yahoo! :-)

  8. I, too, wish they offered a way to modify the Gmail UI. I strongly support their labeling convention though. It beats folders by far, in my opinion. Technically speaking, labels really do behave as folders. Drag/drop would be nice as well. It is kind of bothersome having to first click on something in the inbox only to click another to move it to the spam folder.

    One feature I would like to see is the ability to attach messages to new ones.

    And it’s been over two years, couldn’t they make the leap and take it out of beta? :P

  9. 1. Kyle Eslick already said this. Do you know ,we have atleast 5 more skins for Gmail. :mrgreen:
    Get BetterGmail extension for FX now.
    http://lifehacker.com/software/gmail/lifehacker-code-better-gmail-firefox-extension-251923.php

    2. Labellings is one of the most efficient want to organize your mail. I think you should read LH regularly. :wink:

    3. Why you want to delete if you can archive? Anyway, you can delete message even without opening the mail if you have better gmail extension.

    Yes we miss drag and drop things. But honestly I never knew we could do all this in Yahoo!

  10. Yeah u r Right. I agree with you

  11. I have been using GMail for more than 6 months now and there are a few features that I think worth mentioning.
    Yes, they don’t have folder, but they let you have labels, and you can always filter your message to the folder that you want, this way, you can save more time to read more important messages from the people you know and those that you don’t know.
    I myself subscribe to a lot of newsletters, so what I do is, I use the filter function to separate the messages into different sections.
    That way, I can save time by avoiding myself browsing the emails and reading unneccesary stuffs. And that’s one of the most important reason why I like GMail.

  12. I’ll say these are the pros of Gmail :)

  13. Seems like there is a good discussion going on here.

    @Jake,
    I also use Live mail and Yahoomail more than GMail.

    @Kyle,
    My work in IT field is such that I need to change my PC when I move from one project to another. So I can do the job of installing greasemonkey scripts each time.
    The label options may be better than folders, but all the labeled mails will still be there in Inbox, I dont think feature, that why I’m so particular about folders.

    @Sindhu,
    You can only import using the .csv format. Online import is not available. :smile:

    @Benedict,
    I’m also a user of Yahoo mail like you, but I use the yahoo mail beta, I think you are using the old interface. :smile:

    @Ashwin,
    I think I have answered to your first and second point. :smile:
    Coming to third one, even if you have unlimited storage space, i like to keep my inbox clear of all the unwanted mails, that why I’m want that delete functionality.
    And all these features are available in Yahoo mail beta and Windows live Hotmail. :grin:

    @Mayank,
    Why is that prons of Gmail? :grin:

  14. I think the main perspective of gmail is to have a minimalist approach for email. Thus the simple gmail skin. As for the folders, I prefer labelling actually. Too many folders can be confusing sometimes. :lol:

  15. I seem to have no complaints on all the 3 points mentioned.
    Love the simple interface. Even though yahoo and live mail allow you to change the colors, whats the point when the interface itself sucks (especially live mail). Yahoo UI is pretty decent.

    And I love the label support,much cleaner than folders. Apply/Create new lable and click archive. Your mail is moved to the logical folders :)

    regarding the last point, yes, I would like Gmail to support drag and drop and this should automatically apply the label and archive. Would love that :)

  16. Yeah !!! I miss folders too as i dont want my inbox to be so crowded. Other than this ,I dont think i would have any complaints. But hey , now google has a official gmail blog, So dont you think lots of announcements about new additions will be taking place. Quite possible folders will be available soon . What so ever, Gmail Rocks !!! :mrgreen:

  17. Folder is definitely, one of the weaknesses, i find nothing wrong in other stuff. Its good to work in here, especially, its AD free. be it YAhoo or MSN, they do show ads on the main page, giving us a smaller are to work on. But Gmail satisfies us completely. :razz:
    Shocked by ur views :shock:

  18. @Kuanhoong,
    Similar to too many folders can be confusing, too many labels can also be confusing. :mrgreen:

    @Venu,
    Frankly I dont like the concept of Logical folders. I always keep minimum things in my inbox and I want everything to be sorted in folders. Although labels may serve the purpose, I like folders. Being a software engineer invloved in design, I would say Live mail has the best interface. :smile:

    @Kanak,
    Gmail definitely rocks! :mrgreen:

    @Vaibhav,
    You will be more shocked if I say I use Gmail only for chatting. I use Yahoo and Live mail mostly. :mrgreen:

  19. I agree with the drag and drop functionality thing. A better UI has now become very important. But gmail is much quicker than other mails..and plus spam guard rocks in gmail (this is the only reason i have stuck to gmail)

  20. @Kyle,
    My work in IT field is such that I need to change my PC when I move from one project to another. So I can do the job of installing greasemonkey scripts each time.
    The label options may be better than folders, but all the labeled mails will still be there in Inbox, I dont think feature, that why I’m so particular about folders.

    Good point on the IT thing, makes sense :)

    Simply label them, then archive them. They’ll be out of your inbox and you can easily access them via e-mail.

    I guess I can see why some may not use GMail, but I really think there faults are better than the other services faults.

    Also, I use GMail as a hub of sorts, where all my different e-mail addresses forward to my main GMail address (or are fetched) and then I use POP3 to load it into Outlook 2003/Thunderbird 2.0, so I get all of the desktop client features while still keeping a copy of everything in my GMail account labeled and easily accessible from any computer!

    Good discussion here.

  21. There seems to be a lot of support here for folders and I’m struggling to see why labels aren’t seen as the stronger solution. :???:

    Perhaps it’s just the way I work with Gmail that makes labels so appropriate for me, but I’m interested in knowing why being able to place a message in more than one spot is such a disadvantage to others.

    If I’m thinking a message can be considered in three different “categories” (a.k.a. folders), then would it not be better to use tags (which is what labels are) to assign to that message instead of placing it in one folder and trying to remember which folder I placed it in? So if I give a message three tags, I’m three times as more likely to find the message I’m looking for as opposed to one folder.

    Of course, Gmail has a strong search feature with it’s mail so that has helped me out numerous times as well. :smile:

  22. @Kyle and Mark,
    Thanks for the detailed explanation on labeling. It was a wonderful discussion. It would be definitely useful for me, if I start to use GMail in future. :smile:

  23. See Nirmal Most of the people are with me :lol: !!!

  24. Hmm… I’d love to have folders like you said, and it’ll be really funky to have the ability to customize the skin.

    And when they’ve put AJAX into great use on Gmail, it’s bad that they don’t support HTML siggies, and the addition of images in mails inline.

  25. @Mayank,
    I have seen many posts talking about Gmail being the best service. I agree to all points here, but no one has ever mentioned these things, that why I chose this topic. :smile:

  26. @ nirmal : My eyes poped out man, u use gmail only for chatting :!: One day you will shift to GMail…
    As mayank’s post today said it all about Gmail :lol:

  27. @Vaibhav,
    You got it right! I use Gmail ID only for GTalk. :lol:
    Maybe one day I may shift to GMail, but no plans in the near future. :mrgreen:

  28. @ Nirmal : Well, no one asked, because all of us know that why you chose this topic :twisted:

    @ Vaibhav : Why are you shocked :roll: I use Yahoo for chatting only. Its again personal preference :)

  29. @Mayank,
    What is the reason for me to chose this topic? :shock: :?:
    I told that statement, because you told that most of the people are with you. So I was trying to say that in spite of me knowing that GMail is best or Rocking..whatever it be, is because of these factors which I dont like in GMail. Simple…. :grin:

  30. Nirmal, you told:

    The label options may be better than folders, but all the labeled mails will still be there in Inbox, I dont think feature, that why I’m so particular about folders.

    If you put a label and make a mail archived, it behaves exactly like a folder… Try it out

    Also you can create a filter make it happen automatically… It is far far better than folder feature

    That’s what I do for emails I get from blogs and orkut :grin:

  31. @Harish,
    I know that we can archive it after labeling, but it doesnt serve my purpose. I want mails in different folders, not in an archive based on labels. It all depends on you personal taste how you want to archive old items. I have been using Outlook for my official mail Id and I like to create folders , so my preference everywhere is folders.

    And about creating filter, that good idea for directly sending mails to archives. I have already written a post on that- + addressing in Gmail.

  32. Nirmal –
    I think you need to go through this goodness. I’m sure you’ll never want to use folders again:
    http://lifehacker.com/search/gmail%20label/all/

  33. Just for the record,
    Gmail’s userbase is a fraction of the likes of Yahoo and AOL and Microsoft.

    Gmail is more for the geeky-crowd.

    Tom

  34. The title definately caught my attention . I agree with the 3 points but what i like about gmail is its speed .

  35. @Ashwin,
    I still like to use folders. BTW I have read that before. :lol:

    @Tom,
    GMail is good only with Tech Saavy people.

    @Madhur,
    GMail does have good speed, but there are also other mail services with equally good speed. :smile:

  36. I don’t agree with any of your points.
    1>Default theme:
    Simple is good. and you make error in your password & immediately u’ll get the error msg. compare this feature with yahoo mail. :smile:
    2>Labeling is as good as folders maybe you’ve not tried the filters option, which allows the related message to directly drop into your label in spite of inbox. :grin:

    3> In the settings option of ur gmail interface activate the keyboard shortcuts option & you’ll have every option compared to yahoomail. :grin:

    Your blog is a nice read.

  37. Excellent post Nirmal :)

    The points are well explained and thats exactly what I don’t like about gmail

    rest Gmail owns :D

  38. I am all the way for gmail baby………

    vijay

  39. i love GMAIL, but you’re right on with those 3… that’s what i hate too!

  40. .. ohh and i also don’t like how you can’t turn of the ads at the top… that would be handy.

  41. The first one I’m pretty okay with. But the last two? I actually switched to Windows Live for those mistakes. They have keyboard shortcuts, so why can’t they have drag and drop or sub folders?

  42. A few greasemonkey script and betterGMail extn should fix all those issues for you.

  43. For use as a POP3 mailbox gmail is great. I like the feature that allows you to store almost 2GB of content for free and additionally you can use this space for storage!

  44. @DJ,
    Thanks for the comments.

    @Grace,
    I’m also using Live mail along with Yahoo.

    @Vinod,
    As I mentioned before, installing grease monkey is not feasible foe me.

    @Andrew,
    POP3 is access is one of the best feature of GMail.

  45. Erm, why should it be Web2.0?

  46. I think you’re missing the point. With the ability to search all your mail you don’t need to waste all that time organizing things in folders and dragging and dropping items to and from folders.

    Want to find an email from that old friend from several months back — just search on her name.

    Want to find the confirmation of that hotel booking — just search on the name of the resort.

    And so on and so on.

    It’s magic!

  47. @Tillerman,
    Search is available in all mail services, but I rarely use search. I still like to organize mails using folders.

  48. Funnily none of the things you mentionned bother me at all. The major issue with Gmail to my point of view is privacy, and it’s getting scarier with every Google aquisition…

  49. Ok i disagree with all 3 dude…it’s obvious you dont use gmail much

    1. The default skin is fine seeing as i dont want a fancy ass skin; they usually take long to laod and it’s confusing to most people(believe it or not)

    2. Labels is the best thing since the wheel; as a matter of fact that’s why i love gmail so much. Labels are like folders only more advanced. I get alot of mail and they automatically go into a label. I can decide to archive it or let it show in my inbox.

    3. Drag and drop is not necessary because majority of people dont use it…there’s no harm in having it but it’s not necessary

  50. I would like to disagree with the reasons becauase
    1) Labels are much better than Folders
    2) Default skin of GMail is much faster and very clean when compared to Yahoo and Live Mail
    3) Drag-and-Drop is not possible with labels concept.

    Tech Thoughts

  51. @Tech Thoughts,
    1. “Labels are much better than folders” thats your opinion, mine is “Folders are much better than Labels”. It all depends on the usage. :smile:

    2. Regarding the default skin, for me Yahoo is still the same speed and much faster than Gmail.

    3. I still like the drag and drop feature. Do check out my review on inbox.com

  52. and they also said, that we couldn’t last togethe. Frederik Kyleigh.

  53. I disagree on #1,2.
    Being on a slow connection(100Kbps), the lightweight interface is a boon.
    Also, the very advantage of labels is that it does not act like folders. You can apply multiple labels, but not so in case of folders. Also,labels can be used to archive stuff (used in conjunction with plus addressing).
    As for #3, it depends on your connection. Drag and drop requires JS files, which inflate load times. being on slow connection, I despise that.

  54. You must be kidding… So if not gmail which one do you use?

  55. If you like folders more than labels, then I submit that you do not know how to use the labels effectively.

    Basically, labels are like folders, except they allow you to drop a single email in more than one category(folder). So if a particular email could be filed under either Finances or Entertainment (for example), you don’t have to choose – just file it under both!

  56. I used to use Outlook Express and had dozens of folders. Switching to gMail was an adjustment, but I got into a new way of thinking and don’t miss folders at all. In fact, don’t use labels that much either. The search feature in gMail is GREAT! In addition to the examples above, let’s say you’re trying to find an email from a few months (or a few years) ago. All you can remember is a sentence fragment that was in the message, or perhaps a few unique words that were in the message. Enter what you can remember in the search and in a few seconds, you’ll have located the message! Fantastic!

    Worst modern inventions: Skins. Think of all the FUNCTIONAL improvements that could have been made using the time wasted
    developing window dressings.

  57. I think these are the three biggies, but there are more which is why your claim of it being the best ring hollow.

  58. Folders are so 1990’s. Gmail will probably never have folders. Why be like everyone else? Sounds to me like you already found the answer to your Gmail problems, simply switch to hotmail or yahoo.

  59. Search “GMail Redesigned” and then u will love gmail!

  60. Time to come up with a new list!

  61. @Kim: Yea, because all three of these have been implemented since this was originally posted.

  62. Thanks for your post I actually learned something from it. Good content on this internet site Always looking forward to new post.

  63. I know how to use labels, but I still prefer folders. Those saying that we don’t know how to properly use labels are just being narrow-minded. Perhaps labels are more efficient for you, but for me having folders is the way to go. It makes more sense to organize my information that way.

    To each his own…but why not support both?

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