Right now it
seems is pretty popular to use Gmail instead of other providers. In fact, having a Hotmail or AOL email address can damage your geek reputation more than standing in line to buy a shiny new copy of Microsoft Office when a new version comes out. I have (since about 1998) used Yahoo! mail as my primary email address and will continue to do so until Gmail makes some upgrades.
First and foremost, I don’t like not being able to open my emails in individual tabs. With Yahoo, I go to my inbox, I see my unread emails, and then I right click and select “open in new tab” for each one down the line. I then work through them, reading, replying, deleting–whatever, each one until they are done. Sometimes an email requires me to go to other sites to get information or I will leave it and come back to it after dealing with other quicker emails. Lots of people use “to-do” lists, well this is like a to do pile. It is just a workflow issue for me. I do it with email clients like Outlook, Thunderbird and (shudder) Lotus Notes 6.0 at work as well.
Contact list: Every time you reply to someone, it adds them as a contact. I hate to be so basic in my critique, but that is just plain dumb. If I want someone in my contacts list, I will add them. I don’t want every email address I send an email to be added. It is a pain to clean it up a couple times a month. At least give us a way to turn that off.
Finally, I really like using folders in Yahoo. Like most people, I am signed up to receive regular emails from other sites. It could be anything from Red Sox updates to special deals for airline tickets to LinkedIn updates. I have a Yahoo filter which delivers these emails to one of three folders, depending on topic. I have used Gmail’s labels and they still don’t cut it compared to folders.
I WANT to use Gmail, I just like the company and truth be told, am probably a victim of their marketing. I know it is popular in the Web 2.0 community to use Gmail. However, I am not one to go for fashion over function.