Gmail Improvements – importing, digital signatures, group filters

11 years ago
Eric Vanderburg

In recent months I have submitted a variety of suggestions for improvement to the Gmail system. I figured I would blog about those suggestions to see if others would benefit from them as well.

Importing

I find myself using Gmail for everything. The Gmail search features are fantastic, but I can only search back to the point when I first opened the account a few years ago. I have many archived messages that I have received over the years at other accounts that I would love to import into Gmail so that they could be searched as well. Mine are stored as Outlook .pst files. I suggested that Gmail support a variety of message import methods so that others could truly migrate over to Gmail without ever having to rely on another current or previous email account.

Integrity with digital signatures

Security is more important than ever, and it is a fascination of mine. It has been possible for quite some time for users to digitally sign the emails that they send. I suggest that Google set up a certificate server and distribute digital certificates to Gmail account holders who present information to prove their identity. The process would be optional. These digital certificates could be used to sign emails and Google Talk chat sessions so that the other user is assured that they are talking with the person with whom they think they are talking. Filters could also be set up in Gmail to allow digitally signed messages or treat unsigned messages with heavier security measures. Since Google is so large and they have many Gmail users, it would be very feasible for them to set up their certificate server.

Group filters

Gmail allows the use of groups in sending messages. Many other providers have offered this in the past, but I was happy to see the feature in one of the last few updates from Gmail. One thing annoys me about it though. I would like to filter messages and apply labels based on group membership but I cannot. I am forced to create filters individually for each email account. This is time-consuming, and also it requires me to edit my filters if membership in a group changes. I suggested that Gmail allow groups to be used in filters as well as accounts.