in Email

Google desktop 2 and streaming email

I’ve only had the new version 2 of Google Desktop installed for a few days and already it’s had a transformative effect, not in terms of desktop search (which I don’t use a lot), but in terms of the email aggregation feature. Since email is such a central aspect of everyday computing, it really is quite significant when a single tool suddenly shifts you away from the various tools you previous were clicking around in on your desktop to check webmail or Outlook mail or whatever. Now, it’s just like another feed that I’m checking in the Sidebar – it took me a day or so to get used to the concept. At first, I wanted to keep deleting new mails that appeared in the sidebar, and was actually a bit annoyed at Google for not only making it hard to remove email appearing in the side, but also realizing that you still needed to go into the email to delete it there as well. But I then realized that there really is no need to delete anything – it’s just a feed, and it allows you to not have to keep switching to your email client all the time. Instead, you get just enough information to make a determination if you want to actually go to the file. As an aggregator app, google desktop also shows me email from both outlook and gmail in a single stream, which I love – I don’t care where it came from, I just want to see a running list of my messages. One huge bonus is that I get to see all the messages from lists, which I have set in gmail to be filtered into their corresponding categories and not show up in the inbox, since that creates too much clutter, but seeing them in a stream is fine. Another thing I love about the sidebar is the scratch pad – I typed this blog entry into the scratch pad while waiting for a file to download.