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Why Gmail filters are still inadequate !

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If you are advanced user, you will say that “it sucks !!” And I agree.  Some features are really lacking !

With Google products, people have come to expect higher standards and frankly, I don’t see that lately.

Considering, it is free product and has many great features ( much appreciated ), I do not mean to harshly criticize for lacking features, but there is  large scope of improvement and Gmail isn’t doing much about it. And many of enhancement or improvement are easy !! Even Microsoft can do it !  Now, that’s shame for Google.

Well, why they suck , you ask ?

  • You can’t logically order them. Every time you make a change, that filter goes to the top of the list. I have to do a text search to figure out which of my filters I need to edit.
  • You can’t do an OR on two different types of fields. For instance, I’d like it to search for something in the subject or if the email is from a certain address. Impossible to do!
  • You can’t do precedence. This is  very important if you are  Gmail filter Ninja and do advanced stuff. You have very valid need to process one rule before other.  Currently, it  processes rule in order you created !!  Convenient ?  Hell, no !! What does it take to simply provide  “Drag and move Rules around” to set right precedence ??
  • Very difficult to edit complicated filters. If you have a complex filter, it is impossible to edit it. They still provide tiny “text field” to edit all text.. WHY ?? Gmail can do much better then that.. Why can’t they simply provide text field large enough to accommodate big text ???? Auto expanding text boxes are common these days.. Hello  Google, time to wake-up ?? Where is  your UI team ??
  • No Regular expression support – May be I am asking too much here.. But  C’mon, implementation of regular express isn’t very difficult. For Google, it should be piece of cake, you would think. If Support was available, you can have so much power in creating your filters. But Google doesn’t think so !!
  • Lack of good “Exception” functionality – Unlike Outlook filters, Gmail filters have limited  “excluding” functionality. With outlook, you get whole new section for applying your exceptions for rule. It is user friendly and comprehensive. I don’t see that in Gmail filters, making it much harder to write complex rules. May be Gmail didn’t expect users to create complex rules? :)  Poor job !
  • Can’t apply more then one label to any rule – Frankly, this is lame. Gmail currently doesn’t support it. It is hard to believe the poor design Gmail has adopted. Whole purpose of label is that it can be applied to more then one entity, unlike “folders”, where one email can be in one folder only.  Multiple label was one of the top feature of Gmail, when it launched.  If mail can be have more then one label, why not rule ?? It doesn’t make sense. Annoying and poor design !!

While Gmail has many nifty features and I do like them, but Google needs to seriously step-up quite a bit and make this functionality much better.

Hopefully, after millions of request and suggestions, Google may implement it one day :)

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5 Responses to “Why Gmail filters are still inadequate !”

  1. on 11 Feb 2011 at 6:57 pm Ken

    I second the motion. Gmail filters are incredibly lame given the vast engineering power of this company. I want to create filters that show messages that require me to do something, finding those emails in a vast sea of emails. So, all I want is to be able to create a filter that filters gmails that are only to my email and not to anybody else. Cannot be done easily, if at all. Second, I want to find emails that have “Ken,” in the body of the email. Gmail ignores the comma. I have to think that either Google engineers don’t use gmail because they certainly couldn’t live with their lame filter functionality or that they have some secret gmail filter commands that we mere mortals are not trusted with. As far as gmail filters go, and as far as gmail engineer ability goes, the emperor definitely has no clothes.

  2. on 30 Jul 2012 at 8:31 am fkawau

    I’ve been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours Why Gmail filters are still inadequate ! | Samir’s blog. It’s pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

  3. on 20 Sep 2012 at 5:07 pm Marc

    I’m agree with you. Gmail`s filters need an urgent revision like an ajax ordering option, etc…like any desktop email aplication.

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