Google have introduced a “Send and Archive” function in their Gmail (Google Mail) application. This is a labs feature at the moment and so isn’t turned on by default. I caught sight of this from a post on Mashable in my RSS feeds, which in turn refers to the Google Labs blog announcing this feature.
I already posted a link to this via twitter on Monday, but I thought I’d add some thoughts here now that I’ve used the feature in Gmail. And to say that it is very similar to a feature introduced by Interwoven in WorkSite already, their “Send and File” functionality.
On the left is Interwoven’s product integrated with Outlook and on the right is the Google labs feature.
Basically both are designed to get your emails out of your inbox into a long term storage area. In Interwoven’s case this means into a Workspace for the matter you’re working on and in Google’s case into your Archive area within Gmail.
After playing with the Gmail version for a while, two things struck me:
- Subsequent replies to your email don’t seem to be auto filed in the archive, I had to chose to archive these (admittedly one click archives the whole email thread). The Interwoven version though will “tag” the outgoing email so it can then file the incoming replies automatically.
- There is no structure to the archive (unlike say sub folders or workspaces), it’s just a big “bucket”. Google can handle this either by labelling the emails (from what I can see rather like a categorisation tag) or alternatively by just by relying on their search engine to find your stuff.
It’s this very last point I want to touch on. This to me is the killer feature! When your search engine is as good at returning what you’re after as Google’s, why bother structuring it at all?
After all email is an absolute pain to file in a rigid structure. For example, that email you received from the client may refer to two matters and some personal information just for you, how do you file that in a single folder? But a big bin with a fantastic search capability might just work!
Will the velocity engine from Vivisimo that’s in Interwoven WorkSite 8.3 bring the “Google search” to WorkSite? I’ll let you know when we get it up and running!
And if you’ve already got it up and running why not post a comment?