Using Gmail as a Large Database for Research

Written by Amit Agarwal on Nov 15, 2007

Steve Rubel – Gmail runs my life. I use it as a giant tickler – a record. I have increased the storage to really push it to the max. In Gmail I have a bunch of different labels for the projects I am working on and things I want to track. As I find things on the web or in files, I email them into Gmail to a special address formatted as steverubel+[secretword]@ From there I have filters set up to shuttle them out of the inbox and into my archive filed under a particular label.

So, let’s say I am researching to buy a dog. I would email entire articles to and have those messages filed away under “dog” label. Now, I can pull up the label and execute searches against it – e.g. “toys label:dog” or “bites -toys label:dog.” That basically turns Gmail into a database for research. Plus with IMAP, you can start to add functions that Gmail does not include in the web platform. Link.

Related: Create Email Aliases in Gmail, Gmail Search Commands

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