Linking to Specific Content in Gmail

    November 19, 2007

Google has made their web-based email client Gmail more accessible in their recent update.

Now, the URL on top will change with your actions – meaning that if you switch to a certain conversation thread, or you switch to a label, or you perform a search, you can then actually copy the address on top as a kind of permalink (oldtimers among us may still remember this kind of feature from websites of the 1990s!).

Here’s why this can be useful:

  • Sometimes a conversation thread contains details for a certain event, an event which you now decide to add to e.g. Google Calendar. What’s easier than copying & pasting the conversation information into your event? Right, just linking to the Gmail thread from your calendar event is. (Your thread is password-protected with your Google account credentials of course, so you won’t create an additional privacy risk either – though I would probably not post such permalinks in public places, who knows what the permalink ID can be abused for with some hack!)
  • You can now share searches with a friend, e.g. tell them “Check out the previous mail I sent you at …”.
  • You can now bookmark certain labels. In Firefox, you can also then create a shortcut for such a label bookmark. Say you bookmarked “” – right-click the bookmark and select properties; in the keyword field, enter “job”. Now, you can enter “job” in the Firefox address bar at any time to be taken straight to your Gmail job label/ folder and the conversations contained within it.

[Search sharing tip via official Gmail blog.]