I love gmail. The threaded emails for conversations is a simple idea but brilliant. The no frills interface is great for speedy replies and isn’t a bandwidth hog. It’s invite only policy was a great idea to create a “I want one” culture with nerds the world over.

But I have found a new use for it. A research tool for topics.

  1. Start off by sending a mail to yourself with a heading (Like interesting Macintosh OSX applications or a trip to Canada)
  2. Everytime you come across a website that interests you, or a paragraph you want to note, reply to the email with the relevant heading.
  3. If you like the label functionality you could also begin your subject line with something like “RESEARCH:OSX apps”. Then create a filter search for anything that has the subject line RESEARCH from yourself to be labelled RESEARCH

This works better than a bookmark or favourite because you can access it from any internet connection anywhere. The google email search tool will also help you quickly find the email again even years later (thanks to the 1GB storage gmail offers).

It works best though if you keep gmail open while surfing so that it’s just a quick cut and paste, but that’s no biggy if you live on your gmail account.



3 thoughts on “Using gmail as a research tool

  1. Amyo says:

    Oh, and if you want a gmail account, say so here and I’ll send one to you. I’ve got 5 today.

  2. Kel says:

    Or me, I’m one of Pauline’s invites, and I’ve only ever invited one person…because everyone I know never seems to have a need for it.

    So I’ve got 6 invites as well.



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