Gmail’s interface cleverly deals with long email conversations by turning them into threads. It makes it easier to catch up on a conversation or to quickly go over a long one before you address the latest issue regarding it. The feature is pure genius and sure beats having to manually search your email for old conversations. The only problem that arises is when conversations get too long for you to skim through them quickly and that’s when you realize how convenient it would be if you could post a virtual post-it note on a conversation and write everything you need to know on it. While many note taking add-ons exist, none let you separately add notes for each conversation, none except Gmail Notes Sidebar. It is a nifty little add-on for Firefox that works with a the help of a web service at its back end. Gmail Notes Sidebar allows you to create notes for each conversation or email in your Gmail account. With Gmail Notes Sidebar, you can create notes to, let’s say, summarize key points in a long conversation thread, or record notes from a follow-up. The add-on works via a separate web service which you will have to authorize to connect with your Gmail or Google Apps account. Notes are stored on the web service’s own servers and not to your Gmail account or local drive.
After installing the add-on, simply use the Alt+Ctrl+G key combination to access the Gmail Notes Sidebar. Visit the add-on’s options to modify this shortcut and set the width of the sidebar that will open.
The Gmail Notes sidebar opens at the left side of your browser. The sidebar is divided into three tabs; About, Lists and Notes. The list option allows you to download notes from the server and change settings for displaying them. To download notes, visit the List tab and expand the Display option first. Select which notes you want to download. You can download all notes that have been added to emails and labels or only emails or labels. The notes can be ordered chronologically and filtered by entering text. Once you’ve set these parameters, expand the Download option and download the notes. Each note has a link to the conversation it was added to so you can open it easily.
Go to the Note tab and open an email conversation. Click the Create Note link and a rich text editor will open. Type in your note and take advantage of the editor; highlight text, create lists, include links etc. Click the Other actions button to Insert a Gmail link, Insert a Timestamp or Revert Changes. Toggle the bar open/close or switch to and from one tab to the other when you move to a different conversation and want to add a note to it.
Gmail Notes Sidebar is a handy Firefox add-on that works like a reminder and lets you keep track of all your important tasks. The add-on can be installed from the link below.