Once upon a time, gigabytes of storage space and message labels and IMAP access in web-based email was unheard of—until Gmail raised the industry bar and user expectations of what you get with your free webmail account. But now that we’re all used to Gmail’s goodness, it’s time to cast a critical eye at the little niggly things that are missing from Gmail’s web client. This week I spent two hours wrestling two Gmail accounts to the ground trying to hack together a filtered auto-response that only goes to certain annoying senders. (The approach worked for Adam back in the day, but it was a no-go for me.) The futile exercise made me think of just a few features I wish Gmail had built-in, but doesn’t. Namely:
- A filtered auto-response that only goes out to incoming email that meets certain criteria (from certain senders, etc.)
- A vacation auto-responder that responds to every incoming message, whether it’s to the main Gmail address you set up or others you mapped to it.
- Outgoing email filters.
- A way to control whether every person you ever send mail to goes into your Contacts list. (And better contact management overall.)
- A way to see each messages’ size and search on that.
A good email client like Thunderbird (or even Outlook!) has all these features. Because I love Gmail, I want it to have them, too. What are your most wished-for, gaping holes in Gmail’s feature set? Post ’em up in the comments.