I hate Gmail’s filters.
I’ve been using Gmail for a number of years now, and the most irritating, hair-pulling experience is whenever I have to make changes to my filters. When I was in college, I used Pine in conjunction with Procmail and I was a happy little ducky for a long time. Then CCIS upgraded to Zimbra, and I thought, “Hey, I want to try that new stuff!” and got my email transitioned to the web client. Well, I couldn’t use my procmail settings anymore and while the filters weren’t as nicely set up and I had to deal with a lot more clicking than I wanted to, it was still fairly straight forward to get my mail directed to where I wanted it to go.
Now that I am graduated and have grown out of my college email address, the logical next step was to something like Gmail because hey, everyone™ uses that now, right?
Every time I have to make a change to one of my filters I have to take a deep breath and try my damnedest not to kill my screen in the process.
- You can’t logically order them. Every time you make a change, that filter goes to the top of the list. I have to do a text search to figure out which of my filters I need to edit.
- You can’t do an OR on two different types of fields. For instance, I’d like it to search for something in the subject or if the email is from a certain address. Impossible to do!
- You can’t do precedence. What is great about Procmail and even the mail filters in Zimbra, you can order filters to your heart’s content so you can check if it fits one filter and then nothing else is acted upon it. Gmail doesn’t have an indication to do this.
- Impossible to edit complicated filters. This is my filter to label things as “Shopping” so that they get shuffled off into a separate folder with a “Shopping” label instead of cluttering up my inbox.
12Matches: from:(*@masterbeat.com |*@stores.gap.com | *@koss.messages1.com | *@e.victoriassecret.com | *@athletag.delivery.net | *@shop.sephora.com | *@piperlimeg.delivery.net | email@example.com | *@giltgroupe.com | *@ideeli.com| firstname.lastname@example.org | BarnesandNobleEmail@email.bn.com | email@example.com | *@trans-em.jetblue.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | email@example.com | *@es.shoebuy.com | *@es.bagsbuy.com | *@stewleonards.com | *@zipzoomfly.com | *@gapinc.delivery.net | *drugstore.com | firstname.lastname@example.org | *gap.delivery.net | email@example.com | News@insideapple.apple.com | *@pragmaticbookshelf.com | *@e.staples.com | *@bedbathandbeyond.com | firstname.lastname@example.org)Do this: Apply label "Shopping"
That is impossible to edit in a couple hundred pixels input form field.
I’m sure there are other things about the filters that piss me off but those are the top four. In my opinion, Gmail really needs to step it up quite a bit and I’m disappointed there really hasn’t been any major changes since Gmail Beta. Gmail has the opportunity to have some really awesome filtering capability that integrates well with the label and folder system but it is just too frustration right now to be really useful!