A few weeks ago there was a rash of people on TUS who had invites to give away for Gmail accounts. I have, with jenipurr.com, and stonegoose.com, and our DSL provider, more email accounts already than I really need, but the whole concept of Gmail intrigued me. So when it seemed like there were no more takers, I raised a virtual hand and said if anyone still had an invite to throw away, I'd take it. Within a day I had a response, an invite, and I was set up on my brand new Gmail account.
I decided I would be a good little beta tester and I transferred my subscription to the highest volume newsgroup, naturally – over to the new email address, just to keep email going in and going out. I've done a little poking around here and there on all the settings since I got it. And yes, it's nice to have a web-based email account that is accessible from anywhere, plus lets me keep a decent amount of information without having to worry about running over some ridiculously low space limit. The ads – such as they've been so far – are small and discrete and half the time are not there at all. There are things I like about it – the way it threads messages is nice – and things I don't. The biggest issue I have with the system right now is that there is no ability to stash messages in folders. Yes, I know I can keep every message I ever receive, but I really prefer to organize all my data into folders. It makes me happy to see a series of folders, nested neatly within each category. I do not like lots of excess gunk cluttering my inbox. I don't like clutter at all, quite frankly, when it has to do with computer things – even the desktops on my home and work computers remain as bare as I can make them, with only a single row of shortcuts on the desktop itself, and all other programs access through – you guessed it – neatly organized folders. So to have to deal with a pile of email that I want to save but cannot move out of view makes me antsy. You can apply nifty labels to the emails to categorize them, but you cannot move them into other folders. What on earth are they thinking, not giving me my folders?
Frankly, if the lack of folder functionality really just gets too annoying, I am perfectly willing to just let the account idle until it dies, since it's not as if I really needed the it in the first place. I also suspect that eventually I will transfer that email list subscription back to my regular account, if only to no longer have to log in to two places every time I want to look for new mail. But for now it's a new toy to play with, and if nothing else, I suppose I can use it as a place to store large files, or lists of links I might want to access when I'm away from home.
This has been an entry for Alphabytes.