Does Anyone Prefer Gmail E-Mail Threads? I Thought Not

Categories: Tech

Just say no to conversation view!
Since e-mail began, it was always sorted the same way. Every e-mail received ended up in an inbox including replies, forwards and everything else. Google has attempted to change all that by sorting emails in the form of a conversation thread. The idea is to make e-mail more like a text message conversation, but, honestly, does anyone prefer this?

This would make sense if all your e-mail conversations were actual conversations, but they aren't. Often, particularly for business, these are quick call and response moments in time and being able to sort them that way makes it easier to find and track them later.

Here are a few reasons why the e-mails sorted by conversation concept is a bad idea.

E-mails are not text messages.

When sending text messages back and forth with someone, it makes sense to group them all by the person. Because people don't regularly text with strangers, having all your messages with that person in a single thread is convenient and probably easier on the memory of your phone. But, most people send lots of random e-mails to various people and places. We get newsletters and send customer service requests. Trying to sort the thousands of recipients is awkward and uncomfortable for everyone.

Sorting and storing individual e-mails is nearly impossible.

For work and for lots of other reasons, I keep my e-mails stored in folders, some in the cloud and some on my computer. They are often sorted by company or by a particular event. For example, when I recently purchased a house, I kept every e-mail relating to that in a single folder. Of course, I got e-mails from a lot of different people and often many responses to one e-mail from a host of individuals. Were those e-mails sorted by conversation, it would be nearly impossible to find things quickly.

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