Gmail – IMAP and labels

October 26th, 2007

Yesterday I wrote about Gmail’s introduction of IMAP. After fiddling around with it a little I must say that I’m not impressed by their IMAP implementation of the tagging system, or “labels” as they call it. On the client side the labels are represented by individual folders, one for each label. So if I want to tag one of my e-mails with “work”, “php” and “project”, I simply create 3 folders with the appropriate names and put a COPY of my mail into each one. Although Gmail lets you nest these folders, I wonder what my Outlook will look like in about a year….thousands of folders….

And if you think that is a real downsite, think again: During synchronization between Gmail and your client program, the mail from above (labled with “work”, “php” and “project”) is downloaded 3 (in words THREE) times, one time for each folder. Even if you try to circumvent this by labeling your mails with solely one tag, your .pst file will be bloated to twice the size because each mail resides within the label (-folder) AND by default the “All mails”-folder.

One workaround is to let your client download only the headers of unimportant mails, although I prefer having a hard copy of my mails on my HD. I guess removing the mails from the inbox will cut the local disk usage of the .pst file in half (you still have all your mail in the “All mails” folder). But then again, the “All mails” folder contains ALL your mails, including the ones you sent, so it is kinda messy.

I hope Google will do something about this.

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One Response to “Gmail – IMAP and labels”

Finde ich auch nicht wirklich gut gelöst!

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