Phil Sim

Web, media, PR and… footy

Gmail getting there but still needs unthread

As a long-time Gmail user I’ve been overjoyed at some of the additions that Google have added to the Gmail platform via the Labs features.

Being able to add widgets to my Gmail sidebars has been wonderful – it’s particularly nice to be able to see my calendar from within the mail environment.

However, I can’t believe for all this progress Google has still not addressed the fundamental issue that stops many from embracing the gmail platform – which is the forced threading option. Its an issue I blogged about more than two years ago and there’s still no solution.

Quite simply, if you send out emails to groups, then Gmail is close to unusable. All your replies come in under the one thread and you can soon build up a conversation of dozens if not hundreds of messages in the one thread which makes it not only impossible to sort, find and use but it means you can miss messages that get buried under others.

C’mon Google, give users the option to thread or not and you’ll instantly make the service more usable for many more users. One thing Google has to recognise is when your thinking of rolling out this across the enterprise you have to take into account the needs of all users – and right not I can imaging lots of people in sales and marketing finding gmail unusable due to threading. Yes, you can let them use a desktop client via IMAP but surely an unthreading option is not that hard.

I’m certainly not the only one who thinks this way.


Filed under: Google,

6 Responses

  1. The fact that the web interface only sorts on date is a problem, too. Unbelievable that Google has not provided this basic functionality for this amount of time.

  2. HSCharles says:

    I have a flash website
    i’m looking for the script who shows google adsense on flash.
    how can i get it?

  3. John Nicholls says:

    Totally agree. My recent experience of sending out a group email to nearly 100 people has driven me to being ready to give up on gmail. Handling the replies is a nightmare. How hard can it be to simply give us an option to turn off threading?

  4. Sven Liden says:

    I actually love threading except for the instance of responses to a group message. So I’d like to keep it on, but be able to “dethread” a particular message.
    What would be ideal is just a dropdown under “more actions” which says “Unthread this message” so that you could pull a particular conversation out into a new thread. If it were smart, it would know that my sent message is part of multiple threads, but that the replies each show up under a different thread.

  5. Natarajan says:

    Only choice is having an email client like Outlook or Thunderbird.

  6. Rebecca says:

    Please, please, please someone solve this simple problem!

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