I am guessing that most people who have been using any form of email — personal emails with Yahoo, Hotmail, Google, etc, or work emails — have at least a couple of thousand emails in their Inbox or other folders. Many of us just leave it all in the Inbox and SentMail folders and use search tools to find something when they need it. This works well most of the time, but when you refer some some category of emails often, it is nice to have them sorted into folders. Many Yahoo, Hotmail or Outlook users have folders into which they sort their emails, in some meaningful way. These clients also have nice automatic mail filters that let you sort incoming emails into some folders.
I started using Gmail from Google about a year or so ago. One thing that I noticed right away is that Gmail does not support folders!!! It felt strange that for all that Google is famous for, its email client did not have a way to sort emails into folders. But it wasn’t very long before I realized why Gmail did not have to support folders.
Gmail lets you assign “labels” to your emails. You can assign one or more label to your emails. This way, you can do what you could with folders and more! With folders, you can put an email only into one folder. But what if an email really belonged to more than one folder? For example if you had a bunch of emails where you discussed something about audio-books with your friend, you might want these to be in a folder where you kept all your emails to your friend, as well as in a folder where you kept emails related to audio-books. Now, the Gmail labels let you do exactly that! You can select all these emails and assign them labels “Joe” (your friend) and “audio-books.” Doing so will make these emails part of two categories, “Joe” and “audio-books.”
Once I figured this out, I am finding it hard to deal with the fact that with my Yahoo and Outlook emails, I have put so many emails into single folders, while they really belong to many categories 🙂