Post written by Leo Babauta.
I have to admit I’m a bit of a Google fanboy (in addition to being an Apple fanboy). I know that’s not healthy, being such a big fan of a company’s products, but I just love their software for its simplicity and ease of use.
Gmail has evolved with such smart little improvements to email that no other email software is even close, in my opinion. Threaded conversations, archiving and labeling instead of filing in folders, filters and search and widgets such as Gmail Tasks … I could go on all day. Today they announced Send and Archive, which is such a small change but so smart and useful.
Google Docs and Spreadsheets have allowed me to put all my documents online. And yes, I know some people are worried about data privacy, but personally I don’t think Google cares about the things I store in my documents, and what’s more, if for some reason a Google engineer was snooping into my files (of the billions of gigabytes of data they store – a likely scenario) it wouldn’t bring my world crashing down.
Google Calendar is just fast and easy and accessible from everywhere with no hassle. Google Reader is simple and fast. Ditto with Gmail chat.
So yes, I’m a Google fanboy, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. If another company comes out with better software, I’ll switch.
But Google hasn’t achieved everything yet. They make strides everyday, but there’s much more for them to do.
I’ve decided to give them my feature suggestions, in case anyone in Googleland is listening (and based on the improvements they make, I think they do listen). Here they are, in no particular order:
- Ability to send an email through Gmail using Google Quick Search interface (similar to Quicksilver), without having to open Gmail in the browser.
- Similar ability to use the Quick Search interface to create new Google doc, quick add an event to Gcal, quickly add an item to Gmail’s to-do list, and send a tweet in Twitter.
- Schedule when an email is sent instead of having to send instantly.
- Sort your inbox (or other search results or labels) based on sender, size of files in the email, date received, etc.
- Ability to turn a Google doc into a distraction-free, full-screen writing tool like WriteRoom (yes, I know this is more dependent on the browser but I can dream, can’t I?).
- Ability to tell other Gmail users that I’m busy and can’t be bothered with more email, similar to how your status shows in Gmail chat, but appears when they’re about to email me. If they decide to email me anyway, despite my “Do Not Disturb” status, they will be warned that the email probably won’t be read, will be archived and become dusty, and that they’ll have to send a follow up message to me in a few days because I’ll have completely flaked on replying.
- The ability to remind you to follow up on an email if someone hasn’t replied and you’ve marked it as needing a follow up. Also, if you enable auto-follow-up, it’ll automatically follow up with a short, polite email. Or maybe it’ll just play a small coughing sound in the other person’s Gmail: “Ahem…”
- Phone answering service. Should be able to converse with the caller, and sound like me, and route any relevant info to Gmail. If the caller is a telemarketer, the Google service should try to sell them something, such as my book, and be very pushy about it. Don’t take “no” for an answer, Gphone!
- A button similar to “Report Spam” for when you receive a spam email, except that it says “Spam Back” and when you press it, the spammer receives all the spam you’ve received in the last 90 days.
- Yet another similar button that says “Report Joke/Chain” so that anytime someone keeps sending you joke emails, chain emails, or sappy forwarded emails, these are automatically filtered out (like spam is). Real emails from the same sender would be let through the filter. In addition, you can enable an automatic reply to the sender of chain/joke/forwarded emails that informs them that they really should pause longer before forwarding messages to people, as it fills up people’s inboxes needlessly, the blonde jokes weren’t very funny in the first place, and no, Bill Gates isn’t really tracking this chain email and won’t give you a million dollars for forwarding it.
- Automatic processing of your entire inbox based on text recognition: sends automatic replies based on your previous replies, completes tasks based on your previous actions, schedules appointments in your Gcal, archives everything, then makes your coffee. This might take awhile to become reality, but I look forward to Gcoffee, which I imagine to be more productive than most coffees.
- Google Stalker: Compiles most intrusive information on a person based on things found in Google searches for their name (such as very personal messages posted on Facebook or Twitter), Google images of the person, and Google Earth street-level images of their home. Google Restraining Orders would be a complimentary service that would ensure Google Stalker remains at a safe distance from you at all times, for a small fee.
- Automatic writing of blog posts based on previous posts and what you’re reading lately.
OK, so I started to get carried away towards the end there. My apologies.
I’d love to hear your thoughts/ideas in the comments! If your comment is that I should stop being such a fanboy, please email it instead to “firstname.lastname@example.org”. Thank you! ;)
Post written automatically by Google autoblogger.