Google Labs has announced the testing of a sweet new feature for GMail users – Nested Labels. Designed to give users more control over how they organize their inboxes, users must currently opt in to enjoy this new functionality.
Heavy GMail users have long known that for all of the cool features available, one of the downsides to Google’s mail offering is the difficulty in organizing your inbox. GMail already offers both folders and labels. Deciding which to use and when, however, has left many a user scratching his or her head. In fact, most folks we know have simply chosen to let their inboxes fill up and just use a search to find what they need. A packed GMail inbox is a daunting sight!
Google has sort of acknowledged some of the short comings of its original organizational scheme in the blog posting announcing the new Nested Labels. Under the current system, messages can have multiple labels but can only be placed in one folder. The labels, however, could not be hierarchical like traditional folders. So, you could label your e-bill from your electric company as “home” and “utility bills” . . . but they would always be standalone labels. You could not make “utility bills” a subset of the “home” label. At least, you could not until now.
What Google has done with it’s Nested Labels system is essentially marry the searchability of labels with the functionality of folders. Though there is a slight learning curve when it comes to creating subsets of labels, once you get the hang of it, it is a powerful new feature. Not only does it help you tame the beast that is e-mail glut, but it looks great graphically too. For now, users wishing to check out GMail’s Nested Labels have to opt to activate this functionality via Google Labs.
Full instructions on how to turn on Nested Labels and manage them is available on the official GMail Blog. Google also announced the testing of another neat feature called “Sneek Peak”. You can read about that there as well. Sneak Peak is pretty cool, but it was the Nested Labels that wowed us most!