As some of you have noticed, in the redesign of 3.0.22.x we removed the ‘Dashboard’ and ‘Label / Search Popup Browser’ from the sidebar.

The reason was simple, the popup had fallen behind all the other features and was becoming clunky, especially compared to just using Gmail’s native search. Due to the complexity (time required) of maintaining it, we trimmed it while we decided what could be improved with it.

It’s also interesting that so few people noticed its disappearance, signaling that we were underperforming with it (i.e. it was not well designed).

Personally, I broke the pro’s and con’s into the following:


  • You could see search results, and preview conversations, without stopping what you were doing in Gmail.
  • It was fast because it pre-loaded all action messages (but Gmail has become fast anyway).


  • The popup interface was hard to read, and hard to use. It was easier to use Gmail’s native search from GTDInbox’s sidebar. This was partly due to the colours we used, and partly due to the fact that the list of conversations occupied too much vertical space (2 lines for a row instead of one).
  • The ability to group messages by Project and Contact was a nice idea, but was too clunky to be useful in practice. More seriously, it required all messages to be downloaded in order to work (rather than just the most recent 20 messages), which was slow.

My question then, for those who liked it, is what did you like about it? Why did you use it? What made it better than just searching in Gmail?

Once we better understand how you valued it, we can redesign it to be much more useful, or make more improvements to normal Gmail search.


This was written by Andy Mitchell