Gmail Feature Request: Send and Delete

Nothing has made my email productivity increase quite like adding the "send and archive" button via the "Labs" tab in Gmail settings. I got to zero inbox for the first time in years last night during the Jets-Dolphins game because I've become fanatical about archiving my email. My inbox is full again this morning but I am confident that I can keep my email under control with this new routine.

But I'd love for Google to add another function in Gmail: send and delete. I don't want to archive every email. I want to delete many of them. So the combo of send and delete and send and archive would make my gmail usage even more productive.

I realize that many people could care less about stuff like this. But when you receive hundreds of non-spam, non-newslettter, non-notification emails a day that demand replies, every second matters.

I'm hoping someone out there works on the gmail team. If you do, please help me by adding a send and delete button. I'll thank you and so will a lot of your power users.

Note: I realize that keyboard shortcuts are the ultimate solution here. I'm getting there with them, but I still think adding a send and delete button to gmail would help a lot of people, me included.

Second Note: I want to thank Kortina for tipping me off about send and archive via Twitter last week. I've received dozens of great gmail tips on Twitter and thanks to everyone for that.

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Comments (Archived):

  1. Jordi Soler

    I think in the first sentence you mean “Send & Archive”.

    1. fredwilson

      Oh shit. That’s a major screwup. And I’m off to start my day. Will try to edit on my bberry. Thanks for the catch!!

  2. jerrycolonna

    I agree completely. Congrats on zeroing out your inbox!

  3. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

    I think you mean “send and archive”, first line first paragraph…

    1. fredwilson

      Yup. I screwed that up. And not likely to be able to fix it this morning. Ugh

  4. Kivanc Anar

    Hi Fred, G’morning…Here is my solution for your problem;1- go to filters and create a new filter 2- create filter form; type [email protected] to “TO:” textfield. I am assuming your e-mail address is “[email protected]”3- hit “next step” button and check “Delete it”4- hit “create filter”For now, when you send an e-mail if you BCC to [email protected] gmail deletes it automatically. (for adding BCC i think auto-complete functionality of gmail helps you find “send.and.delete” attached e-mail address)But if you think adding BCC is another hassle; if you use greasemonkey plugin, I can write you small script that injects “send and delete” button end of the mail editor and when you click it, it adds BCC with special e-mail and send the e-mail.-Kivanc

    1. fredwilson

      Thanks kivan. Nice hack. I’ll try it. But I still think google should add this feature

      1. Kivanc Anar

        No problem, I agree with you, but believe me Google will not implement it anyway; they want you archive your e-mail πŸ™‚ not delete them…

        1. fredwilson

          Not even google wants the emails I delete πŸ˜‰

          1. Mark Essel


  5. Aaron Klein

    I love Gmail, and inbox=0, but this is one of those things that Google can be stubborn about. Remember, it took them forever to even have a delete button. The tagline for Gmail was “never delete e-mail again.” You had to select the message, pull down a drop down and select “Move to Trash.” πŸ™‚

    1. fredwilson

      All the more reason to create a groundswell movement

  6. ShanaC

    Hmm I actually want to see a communal list of hacks, I’m managing two email addresses from one gmail address, and I’m starting to get very overwhelmed. And this is with autofiltering out most of my coupons. What’s the hashtag for gmail hacks?

    1. ShanaC

      πŸ™ There isn’t one immediately. there is #gmail I’m thinking about creating a separate one…

  7. Serge Kassardjian

    Is there a “Send & Archive Button” already? I cant seem to find it on my gmail.

    1. Kivanc Anar

      @sergekass under gmail labs

    2. fredwilson

      Go into ‘settings’ then ‘labs’ tab then scroll way down. It is near the end. Its a life changer

      1. Serge Kassardjian

        Thanks guys. This is fantastic!

  8. sdhouston

    It’s in google labs

  9. tom voΓ»te

    i don’t see why you can’t archive everything and delete later if at all. it’s great to save time and effort by never having to think whether you need a mail later on and hit delete or archive accordingly.

    1. reece

      Yeah, I archive most email, but there are still some that I delete – primarily mailing list messages. I could archive them, but it’s just more noise to filter through later in a search.Besides, there’s something zen-like about deletion and a (0) Inbox.

      1. fredwilson

        A delete is metadata that google can use for all sorts of things

        1. reece

          True, though I was referring to my own searching, particularly avoidingsifting through emails that I won’t ever need again.

    2. fredwilson

      I already use 9gigs. If I archived everything it would be 2x that by now

  10. Gerald Buckley

    Fred, Is there a SarbOx reason we’d want to keep ALL emails? Seems like I recall a situation at a previous employer where what seemed a trivial email exchange turned not-so-trivial at a later date. The key bit of minutiae was irretrievably lost due to aggressive email tending. Could be your Shake Shack emails (or do we call them SHexting?) could be the smoking gun some day. :)Just a thought/observation. Stay well.

    1. andyswan

      SarbOx is a reason to DELETE all emails, not keep them. Just ask Countrywide and Sen. Dodd πŸ™‚

      1. Gerald Buckley

        Keep in mind… we’re talking with Mr. Transparency here πŸ™‚ I suspect he’s talking gmail acct and not his official business accts. Further suspect Fred’s wanting to arbiter which emails are deleted and not pressing the Send then Delete each and every time.

        1. andyswan

          Ha no doubt

        2. fredwilson

          I now use gmail as my official business account. All my email affresses point there and that’s where I do all non blackberry email

    2. fredwilson

      I posted about this. I think the post uses the words ‘pack rat’ in it. So if you want my take on this important issue google ‘ “pack rat”‘

      1. Gerald Buckley

        Thought I remembered you weighing in on this not so long ago. I must be a “white hat” pack rat then. I’ve saved em all (including some of the funnier spam messages) going some ways back. Storage is cheap insurance.

  11. samfjacobs

    Sorry for being stupid but what does archiving accomplish? Does it essentially mean move to a different folder?

    1. fredwilson

      That’s an ‘outlook’ view of the world and one that I’ve finally left thankfullyThe gmail model is search driven. Archiving gets it out of the inbox but keeps it searchable

      1. samfjacobs

        Ok. But there’s no other underlying functionality/impact besides notlooking at it anymore. That’s my question. And I’m taking it the answer isno. Sounds good.

  12. Nate

    Doesn’t it seem broken that you have to do email during a Jets game? Email doesn’t scale. It’s too cheap for people to send and too expensive for you to manage.Can you delegate email to a trusted assistant? Set up a whitelist of key people? Create expectations that the best way to reach you is via Twitter or blog comments?The answer isn’t “faster deleting” because your inbox will just be full again tomorrow.

  13. Michael Rahmn

    Keyboard shortcuts are your friend. I have mine setup to “t” is trash (its in Labs to pick your own). Tab from the body to the send send button, hit enter then hit “t”. Takes 1/10 as much time as moving your hand to the mouse and no new feature request needed. (note: for archive, it’s “a”, so easy to decide after you reply).

  14. dredding

    I’ve tried to love gmail but I just can’t get used to the UI. How tough would it be to build an optional Outlook skin? With the same look and feel and keyboard shortcuts, that would be killer for millions of us.

    1. fredwilson

      That’s what I wanted for four years. I tried at least twice to switch but I couldn’tThen I pushed myself earlier this year and made itThe gmail interface and metaphor is so superior to outlook once you get itThe hrdest thing is collapsing convos. But I couldn’t do email without them now

  15. OMA

    Or better yet, add macro capabilities, so that everybody can record a macro and make it into a clickable button.

  16. joshgrotstein

    I share your love of Gmail, Fred…and agree about Send and Delete…AND am particularly happy to see that they just added to Labs a feature which should hopefully save me from a few of the unintended auto-complete issues I’ve encountered in the past):

    1. fredwilson

      Hi JoshAutocomplete is always a double edged sword

  17. Justin

    Google’s whole “shtick” about Gmail is that they give you enough storage space and search power that you don’t ever have to delete email again. That’s why its not there. But I too would like that feature. I hate clutter.

  18. Scott Porad

    I completely agree with you on this…in fact, I’ve thought the very same thing myself. The solution I’ve considered is this:Gmail has a set of actions–send, archive, delete, etc. It would be nice if Gmail let you customize the action(s) that each button performs. That’s what “Send & Archive” does: one button does two actions in a certain order.This is along the lines of a macro in Excel.

  19. Jeff Slobotski

    Fred-Great point…have often thought this is a great way to not only delete back and forth responses, but keep my storage levels down….Would be interested in hearing your other gMail tips you’ve picked up from Twitter…maybe in a future post?

  20. Juan Lopez-Valcarcel

    Another excellent time-saver for Gmail is installing this greasemonkey script so that when you hit archive or delete on an individual email you then go to the next item NOT back to the inbox.

  21. SpeedNY

    One other I’d like Gmail to add:a delete button when you open the email by clicking the GTalk notification.that’s my standard practice to open an email, and you have to revert to your mailbox in order to delete.

  22. markhurst

    Amen on the productivity increase from emptying the inbox.One thing Gmail doesn’t offer, that I’d invite you to try, is sending emails to a future day’s task list. I can walk you through it, but does this (also described in my book “Bit Literacy”)

    1. fredwilson

      I am slowly but surely becoming bit literate. Its hard for me