This is a feature request. I'd love to see Google do this but I imagine this might also be possible via a third party service built on the gmail api.

I will often log into my gmail account on a conference room display in order to find a document that I want to load on the big screen. I do this a lot and I see many others do this frequently. Many entrepreneurs will do this when they come to see us. They will log into their gmail on the conference room display, they find the presentation they want to make, and then load that on the display.

The problem with this move, of course, is you briefly display your entire inbox to everyone in the room. That is suboptimal. But even so, I do this all the time. I've gotten pretty good at jumping into the search box quickly and running the search in order to get out of the inbox display.

So here's what I want. A simple app I can use that runs at something like I go there, log into gmail, and then do a search on my inbox without having to reveal my entire inbox first.

It is possible that this feature already exists. If so, please tell me how to do this. I can't figure it out and I have tried. If this feature doesn't exist, it should.


Comments (Archived):

    1. fredwilson


    2. Edvinas Bartkus

      If only it were a web solution…

      1. OurielOhayon is a web solution first. and on the mobile you have to go apps..

      2. Rohit Nadhani

        @google-a9bcc4ca4eef3c66dc74682d28a175bc:disqus CloudMagic is a web-solution. The extension is just a front-end. Your index is stored in the cloud to give you device independence.

    3. Fernando Gutierrez

      I tried Cloudmagic’s Chrome extension for some time like a year ago. I loved it. It also allowed me to search in several accounts at the same time (Gmail, GApps, Twitter…), which is amazing. However I ended up removing it because it crashed a lot. I’ll give it another try because I see that they developed a lot since then.

      1. OurielOhayon

        yep. try it again because they have seriously improved it and their ios/android app is just a blessing. amazing that google, a search company, did not solve that in the first place!

        1. Fernando Gutierrez

          Yeah, I also remember it worked much faster than gmail because it made local indexes of everything.

          1. Rohit Nadhani

            @fernandogutierrez:disqus CloudMagic stores the index in the cloud to give you device independence. However, the search is still extremely fast compared to Gmail’s native search. The experience is similar to local Spotlight search.

          2. Fernando Gutierrez

            Thanks for the clarification.

        2. Rishit Jhunjhunwala

          Hey Ouriel, thanks for recommending, glad to have you as a userCheers, Rishit Co-founder, CloudMagic

          1. OurielOhayon

            My pleasure. i was one of your very very early adopters 🙂

          2. Rishit Jhunjhunwala

            🙂 Yep, clearly remember from your fb and twitter comments, as well as feedback

      2. Rishit Jhunjhunwala

        Hey Fernando, can you try the latest extension from…Would love to have you back!Cheers, Rishit Co-founder, CloudMagic

        1. Fernando Gutierrez

          Hi Rishit, just tried it again and it’s great how you have improved it. I’m back 🙂

          1. Rishit Jhunjhunwala


    1. fredwilson

      there it is. a bit wonky for a mainstream user. but it does appear to work.

      1. Edvinas Bartkus

        I believe, most of the cases are the ones that you need it on someone’s else computer?

      2. Guest

        Just what those of us in the mainstream need…more “wonkyness” in our lives….. :)I am still savoring yesterday’s post and decided to write a book, “Embracing Your Failures (Somebody has to fail to make successful people stand out!)”I will make it an ebook, but the link will probably end up being one like the engagio survey in the email from William…it leads to something odd…

          1. Guest

            I will get my survey in shortly! Want to make sure you have lamestream, I mean mainstream input, not just that wonky stuff…. 🙂

      3. BilalClickable

        Once you know about firefox bookmarks keyword or Chrome search engine setting, it doesn’t sound wonky at all.

      4. CJ

        Fred, you could also try this. It’ll automatically dump your attachments to Google Drive and then you can skip Gmail completely.

        1. fredwilson


          1. CJ

            No worries, just realized the link to the automatic dump to Drive was buried in that article, here’s the direct link to the write up for that particular function.

    2. Ants Maran

      I’d prefer if all attachments in Gmail would be listed in Google drive under an Attachments folder and searchable there. But yours is a start.

      1. William Mougayar

        That’s a great idea actually. All attachments would be automatically archived and searchable from Google Drive, DropBox or other cloud service.

        1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          1. William Mougayar

            How would that tie in with Engagio?It makes more sense for @google to do it, no?It’s so close to their products.(unless I missed something)

          2. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          3. Timothy Meade

            Engagio seems to me to be about contextual and automatic search, having the things you most likely want to reference in one place. Sort of like an inbox for the rest of the web. At the same time, you take an email with attachments out of it’s ordinary setting, alongside site emails and spam, and treat it as special.

          4. William Mougayar

            “Inbox for the rest of the web” I love it.

      2. fredwilson

        ooh. that’s a great feature request for google. i would love that.

        1. Ants Maran

          I’m sure you have better connections in da G house than me so pass it on; and the article on a chrome extension for Drive looks good too 🙂

        2. Michael A D'Eredita

          See my post above. We find your important nuggets embedded in email like links (attachments later) and make them easy to find via filters. We want to eliminate the need for folders–so we organize the important stuff for you and make it easy to find. Starting with gMail, but as suggested below adding sources like Dropbox, Drive, etc. and maybe even Evernote would make it even more valuable (

        1. Ants Maran

          Nice and what a timing!

      3. Michael A D'Eredita

        I am a litte late to the discussion, but–if I am understanding you correctly–we have built something very similar to what you suggest. It’s not a plug in, but OAuth functionality keeps it simple. All your more valuable links (docs soon) in a separate window from gMail and only a filter or two away.Check out … It automatically categorizes links (and soon attachments … many of which will probably reduce to a link soon) and enables you to get to any link via a simple filtering system (people, topic and time). We are trying it with only a filtering system right now and simply seeing if our user-specific filters are enough. Private beta now, but public beta is on its way.

        1. fredwilson

          Thanks. I will check it out

  1. Jan Schultink

    Gmail is replacing the hard disk directory structure as the new digital filing cabinet

    1. fredwilson

      they certainly have in my life

      1. John Revay

        Next you will be tweeting that you are using Google Play

    2. Fernando Gutierrez

      More so with GDrive now. I feel divided though. I love Dropbox and been a loyal client for some time, but having all my email in Gmail/GApps and carrying and Android around, the integration level GDrive can give me is amazing. I hate depending so much on Google, but I think I’ll do the switch sooner than later.

      1. Jan Schultink

        I agree that a powerful alternative to the directory structure (which Dropbox is still using) is probably the only feature that can create a “Dropbox killer”

  2. Zach Kestenbaum

    Hey Fred,Go to Gmail and do a search in your Inbox for something that definitely will have no matches. I did “nomatchhere”, but you can search for “jksndus”. The resulting page’s URL was…. If you bookmark that resulting page, you can go directly to a blank search results page, from which you can then do a search on a different term or set of terms.Let me know if that works for you!Zach

    1. fredwilson

      nice hack!thanks

      1. Guest

        Fred, I don’t know where to suggest topics for your blog so I’m doing it here.What we need is some posts about how to get seed money for people who only have an idea. There’s lots of hackers hacking up stuff and that’s great the more programmers the better (because more programmers means I don’t have to write any code). But, I see lots of posts around the web where people have ideas and can’t find money to hire programmers to make v1.I think that is where a large gap exists – seed money for idea to product stage. Now with the new crowdfunding bill things will get easier. But, your knowledge would be great to have here.

        1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          1. Guest

            It appears they struggle with technical issues and aren’t able to write code themselves. I saw on where Brad said it’s becoming hard to find programmers. I don’t see that problem myself. But maybe people who are struggling to bring their ideas to market aren’t able to get the programming help they need?I feel better now having read your post. That whole dinosaur thing is just plain entertaining.

          2. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          3. Guest

            “IDEA-ERS”That’s great!I have to disagree with #2. Programmers don’t need seed funds. They just need beer, pizza, and a code editor.

        2. fredwilson

          if you can’t start to turn your idea into a product without any seed capital, i don’t think there is much i can offer in the way of advice.

          1. Guest

            Oh my, disappointing. Some of those ideas have to be good for the consumer. Well a good thing is I’ve identified a gap that needs servicing. I feel bad for people who aren’t techies. It’s a shame to see them struggle so much.I always learn from your posts even in situations like this where you don’t have any direct advice, thx. So, you might be asking what have I learned. I learned that I shouldn’t have stopped teaching programming classes. People need it now more than ever.

    2. Vasudev Ram

      Cool. Tried it. Works even for phrases with spaces between words (I thought I might have to manually URL-encode the spaces as %20 to make it work, but not needed). Though I didn’t have an immediate need for it like Fred does, I can see it being useful sometime. Thanks! (BTW I am using DuckDuckGo as my default search engine in Chrome – just mentioning it since those with different setups may find it doesn’t work).

  3. Robin Wauters

    One option if you don’t want to use third-party services for this is to bookmark the search query URL (e.g.… which puts on overlay on most of your inbox and lets you search even quicker.

    1. fredwilson

      yes, that seems like the best option given all the comments in this thread

  4. Joe Yevoli

    This has worked for me. It still brings you into your inbox, but it lets you search from the URL bar in Chrome, and when it bring you to your inbox only the search results are showing:…To search Gmail from Chrome:1. Open Chrome.2. Right-click the address bar and select Edit search engines.3. Click the Add button.4. Input a Name (Gmail) and a keyword (gmail) and use the following for the URL box:…. Click the OK button.6. Click the Close button.When you want to search Gmail, simply input gmail into the address bar and press tab. Search Gmail:will appear in the address bar. Input your search criteria and press return.

    1. fredwilson

      that’s great. thanks

  5. mekalav

    Hey Fred,Have you tried using this might be the solution :-)Cheersmekalav

    1. fredwilson

      i will now. second suggestion in a few minutes.

      1. Rishit Jhunjhunwala

        Hey Fred, Would love to hear what you thought of CloudMagic after you’ve given it a spinCheers, Rishit Co-founder, CloudMagic

        1. fredwilson

          i just opened an account. i tried searching my mail. got a null result. how long does it take to index a mailbox?

          1. Rishit Jhunjhunwala

            Takes anywhere between a few hours and a few days based on your inbox size, though you should see the most recent results pretty much immediately. Still seeing no results found?

      2. Robert Holtz

        Fred,With due respect to the Cloud Magic suggestions, I think that is missing the point of what you’re trying to achieve. Cloud Magic IS an excellent product but it searches against MORE places (not just your Gmail) so when you search, it will show MORE of your other information that is none of anyone else’s business.Your goal is to be able to get into your Gmail search without displaying your private email for all to see. Here is another idea that just occurred to me that will solve your problem instantly and easily.Instead of logging into Gmail as you do now, log in at this URL:…This opens your gmail inbox with an existing search for all messages with the label “nul” which should be NO messages. The result is that when you open your gmail, your inbox area will be blank. You can then conduct your search as usual within the Gmail interface. No revealing of any messages in your general inbox… not even for a second.

        1. fredwilson

          you are right robert. the bookmarklet at the top of this thread uses that URL and adds some logic around it.

      3. William Mougayar

        @aweissman uses CloudMagic. he can tell you about it 🙂

    2. Rishit Jhunjhunwala

      Hey Mekalav, thanks for recommending, glad to have you as a userCheers, Rishit Co-founder, CloudMagic

  6. Avi Deitcher

    Let me understand this: your entrepreneurs (and you) are walking into a room with a projector. The projector is attached to a local laptop/computer. You need access to your files in the cloud, so you log into *their* computer to search and display.And, you already have a highly personalized cloud access device on you – iPad, iPhone or Android.That is inefficient (and insecure). Why bridge the gap that way? Why not find the item *on your device* and then stream it to the projector?I have a client that put $99 Apple TV devices in every conference room. Dirt cheap, and now we just stream from our laptops/iPads/phones on demand.

  7. Yonatan Raz-Fridman

    greplin is not bad, and xobni also.

  8. Michael FitzGerald

    Good idea. I have needed the same… but what I do in the meantime is, as soon as I open my Gmail, I click on the Spam folder and then click into the Search box.Mic.

    1. fredwilson

      ooh, that’s clever. i should have thought of that.

  9. Robert Holtz

    Fred,What you’re talking about exists already. I experienced exactly the same thing as you and this is what I figured out…First, when you have a file attachment that you need, you can place it in your Google Documents. It is there under lock and key using the exact same credentials as your Gmail. There is no downloading and uploading like you would need to do if you were using a non-Google cloud locker of some sort. A duplicate of the file is stored in your Google Documents with a single click and the transfer is instantaneous.When you make your presentation, instead of opening up your Gmail, login directly into your Google Documents:à! No inbox is exposed… just your file.(I only ever put my next one in the home folder and put the others way in subfolders when done so an audience never sees anything but the file I want).You can also use Cloud locker services like Dropbox,, or any of the MANY choices out there for remote storage but that involves more steps in moving the files from where it is to where it is going.That leads me to third point that I THINK is good news:Google Documents is about to be replaced by Google Drive which will work even more like Dropbox (and the like) but has the additional benefit of its integration with Gmail (i.e., web-based viewers/editors for all major file types including Office Files, and most importantly using your Gmail login credentials and this instant transfer with a click capability I mentioned).You can learn about Google Drive here: Drive is going to make it possible so you don’t even need the file but simply a link to it so that the file ALWAYS lives on your Google Drive “automagically” when someone sends you a file attachment so it will be even more like what you’re looking for eventually. Google Drive is already available as a separate service and the “upgrade” of changing over Google Documents to Google Drive inside your Gmail is literally days away from happening according to my sources.Hope this helps.

    1. fredwilson

      this is great. but you have to know ahead of time that this is a document you will want later. that isn’t always the case.

      1. Robert Holtz

        You’re quite right and the same thought occurred to me shortly after I wrote you this initial suggestion. A bit later, I posted a concept of linking into a non-existent label search so that when you open up your Gmail, none of your inbox is displayed.The drawback of that was having to type in a contrived URL. I have since come up with a solution that is inspired by the title of your post. I will direct message you about how to use it via Twitter.

        1. fredwilson


  10. Mark Gavagan

    Anther option is to load the presentation to a site like (I’m a user, but have no connection with them), so you can easily access it without ever using your inbox.

  11. Rohan

    Are we potentially overthinking this?Either freeze the projector for a second, get it and un-freeze if the feature is available -elseJust unplug for a few seconds and plug it back??I guess I am that guy today.

    1. Avi Deitcher

      Love it!

    2. RichardF


    3. leigh

      you’d be amazed at how often hooking your machine up before a presentation doesn’t work. Taking a dramatic chance to unhook or unplug something could lead to the awkward 15 min of “ah, just a second, i’m sure it’s going to connect, it was working 5 seconds ago”

      1. RichardF

        that’s a good point leigh, has happened to me more than a couple of times

      2. Rohan

        Fair point.Maybe freeze is a better option. I just think there’s got to be simple way.But again, that’s just my view… what do I know? 🙂

      3. William Mougayar

        You can toggle/un-toggle the screen sharing from your PC/Mac while doing this.

      4. John Revay


    4. William Mougayar

      Or place a piece of paper in front of the projector for a minute while you search.

      1. Rohan

        EXACTLY. I always have a little cloth pouch where I carry my speakers (x-mini’s – emergency speakers that work without any usb/power – highly recommended!) and end up covering the projector with it anyway..Thanks for bringing it up, William!

      2. John Revay

        Both sound too low tech for Fred

      3. JamesHRH

        projector suspended from ceiling?

        1. William Mougayar

          toggle/un-toggle the external screen from the pc.

        2. andyidsinga

          bring tape with paper, stand on table

      4. andyidsinga

        yours is the “haccams razor” solution 😉

      5. Luke Chamberlin

        Just shout “AVERT YOUR GAZE!” loudly.

      6. Mark Essel

        You reveal your old school roots :), there’s no transparent slides here, he’s accessing a laptop connected to a digital projector right?

        1. William Mougayar

          No, I understood that of course. but i recall when we had to use foils for slides and print them on HP color printers.

          1. ShanaC

            what is a foil?

          2. William Mougayar

            We used to call them Transparencies too. They are like a transparent sheet of paper that you either run through the photocopier or a color plotter (like inkjet), and then you’d need an overhead projector to show them. We did this as late as 1997 probably.

    5. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      Is it fun Friday already?handkerchief

    6. LE

      “Are we potentially overthinking this?”See now I was thinking why don’t you just setup another gmail account and forward everything that you need for the presentation to that account and then login there instead of your main account. When done archive or label etc.

      1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

        I think you underestimate Fred’s gmail and email worries…. do a on gmail and email …i really like the more i use it…. the new OH QUACK is really good.

        1. LE

          “underestimate Fred’s gmail and email worries”Not at all. They are well documented. I was just addressing this one issue which is the question that he raised.

        2. falicon

          Thanks! Hearing stuff like this always makes my day!About 10 minutes after Fred initially mentioned one of the guys at DDG reached out to me to suggest I offer users to extend their search on DDG if returns no results…I loved the idea (and the hustle) so I plugged it in right away…glad someone noticed it (well not that glad because it means didn’t find you something, but you know what I mean…btw I’ll be adding more blogs with comments to the overall collection very soon [working through the bigger things pointed out the other day first])

          1. ShanaC


          2. Dale Allyn

            DuckDuckGo search engine. An AVC portfolio company. 🙂

          3. ShanaC

            ooooo. I just didn’t know the shorthand

          4. falicon

            sorry – DDG is my shorthand for

          5. ShanaC


    7. Matt A. Myers

      It’s all about reducing friction, increasing fluidity. Reducing the number of actions required for any task, making life easier.

      1. Rohan

        Matt, Read this: Confessions of a recovering lifehacker…”Maybe all the time I spend looking for better ways to do things is keeping me from, well, doing things.”

        1. Matt A. Myers

          Oh, but I’m doing things my friend. ;)At some point you have to move from creative thinking into active execution, of course — and hopefully while maintaining the creative mind.

    8. Luke Chamberlin

      I agree. Actually, I try to run my laptop as a separate screen rather than a mirror so that I have a private “staging area” during presentations.

      1. Ian Smith

        So do I. It also means I can scan the notes field under each slide to see if I’ve forgotten anything.

    9. Mark Essel

      Bonus points for non tech solution.

    10. fredwilson

      too much hassle. i’d rather show my inbox than do that

    11. ShanaC

      Old school can be smart!

  12. RichardF

    Search “my google world” is def something Google should be providing as an option if you are a logged in to Google.It’s scary how many Google products I use. Have to say that Google+ instant upload is just amazing. Photos and video instantly backed up and available everywhere.

    1. Fernando Gutierrez

      Yeah, I’m scared with my Google dependency too. Sometimes I have this nightmare in which a naked Google engineer lives inside my fridge… gotta tell my therapist.

      1. RichardF

        Sounds ok to me Fernando if the engineer is one of the new batch of hot female ones that Google have recently employed to #changetheratio

  13. Michael Freeman

    Add this bookmarklet I wrote to your browser:javascript:function gmailSearch(){ var search = prompt(‘Enter your gmail search’,”keywords”); document.location=’…}gmailSearch();

    1. Yaniv Yaakubovich

      Nice solution. Just added it to my bookmarks

    2. Dale Allyn

      Nicely done, Michael.

    3. Mark Essel

      Sharp hack Michael, the URL was shortened, we can click through an recreate, can you throw it into a gist?<3 bookmarklets (as opposed to plugins)

        1. Mark Essel

          muchas gracias 🙂

        2. ShanaC

          oooo, better

    4. fredwilson

      this is excellent. i am going to put this on the chrome browser in our conference room. thanks!!!!

    5. fredwilson

      michael, will this work if you are not signed into gmail in another tab on the browser?

    6. ShanaC

      I don’t see the bookmarklet, even though I want it…where is it?

    7. Andreas Kwiatkowski

      Cool, much easier solution than we just released at (after some days of hacking).

  14. Amit Agarwal

    You may even use this bookmarklet to search your Gmail mailbox from any other browser tab

    1. fredwilson

      bingo. this is it. thank you so much!!!!

    2. fredwilson

      the one issue with this bookmarklet, which is slick, is that if i am not already logged into gmail in the browser, then i am taken to a login page and then after supplying my credentials, i go to my inbox, not the search results

      1. Amit Agarwal

        Google probably drops the search parameters once it redirect from the login page to the inbox. In the case, the workaround could be that you pre-login through another google property – like – and it won’t reveal your mailbox on the projector.

        1. fredwilson

          yup. that’s the workaround. i’m wondering if that could be worked into the bookmarklet in some way.

          1. Amit Agarwal

            That would be an ideal solution. Maybe we can display the search box only when the user is logged in. Let me think if we can incorporate this logic into the bookmarklet itself.

  15. William Mougayar

    But a minor flaw with this scenario (and others have pointed it out already) is that you’d be revealing other private info from your Search results.

  16. Aviah Laor

    search on the android phone, re-send to yourself on the phone, and then open the first unread email msg in the browser

    1. fredwilson

      that’s clever

  17. Jonas Corne

    Being sloppy in my storage behavior, I would love this app/tool especially if it could also search for documents within my Dropbox account and possibly across two different Gmail Accounts.

  18. San Kim

    In Chrome you can use Custom Search Engines right from the address bar:- Right-click the address bar, then “Edit Search Engines…”- Fill out a new row – keyword: a shortphrase, something like “gmail” – URL:…Now just type gmail in the address bar and hit space, and it will prompt you for a custom search, and will return a Gmail search page for whatever you type in after the space.–Btw I never thought about using it for gmail but I’m definitely adding it now. Some others in my arsenal:Search for a particular address in Google Maps:…Find directions from my office to a particular address:…Create a quick event in Google Calendar:…Greatest feature ever.

    1. fredwilson

      that’s a great idea. thanks. i will do that.

  19. John Revay

    Looks like someone already is thinking this way Domain Name: GMAILSEARCH.COM Registrant: Domain Privacy 8 East concourse Beaumaris VIC 3193 AU [email protected] Tel. +61.390057904 Fax. Creation date: 2012-02-08 Expiration Date: 2013-02-08

    1. fredwilson

      like minds

      1. John Revay

        DownUnder – Looks like registrant is in Victoria AU#Go Figure

  20. Dave W Baldwin

    I have to go with @rrohan189:disqus on this one.On your mobile, you can have the screen showing the different categories (inbox, personal, sent….). If an option for ‘search’ were there, it would take you straight to search bringing up what you’re searching for (now a message with attachement, forward into searching attachments) without the contents of your current inbox.That screen then needs to be placed on web. We don’t need to be so ‘Mobile 1st’ that we make other vehicles useless.

  21. Sarah Wilbore

    Hey Fred, have you ever checked out It plugs into gmail and collects all the attachments from your inbox and then you can access these attachments from your account. No need to go into your Gmail at all!

    1. Matt A. Myers

      I have a feeling Google’s eventually going to offer this / have all attachments listed in Google Drive (if they don’t already?)

    2. fredwilson

      i don’t want yet another cloud based service to use for files. google drive should have this feature

  22. sanjeevi

    hey try out the “cloudmagic”….it plugs in small search bar in your browsers…you can not only sync and search gmail but also various other cloud accounts all from one place…must be most apt for ur purpose…

  23. edev14

    Fuck yeah this needs to happen. Gchat/privacy is a liability when searching for a presentation. Just make it a nice little web app, problem solved.

    1. fredwilson

      there’s a sweet bookmarklet at the top of this thread that i am hopeful about.

  24. Matt A. Myers

    Funny. I just had to do this last night at a presentation to local investors/business/tech people who went to pay window in the past.Of course the laptop was already hooked up the projector – as loading the file from a USB stick was my initial route, though the laptop failed to read it for some reason.There happened to be nothing incriminating, exposing, or embarrassing – though I could see for someone who deals with confidentiality, etc. a lot it it would save a lot of worry.

  25. Noam Toister

    I use exactly for these stuff. Usually works faster then the Gmail search even.

    1. David Nagy

      Yeap. Cloudmagic is cool. You should check it out Fred.

      1. fredwilson

        just did try it out. i guess it takes time to index the inbox because i am not getting any email results yet.

        1. David Nagy

          Yes, it needs to index first. It should be fine by now, right? Did you tried it out?

          1. fredwilson

            i did try it out. i honestly prefer gmail native search. but i will give it time to see if there is a use case that jumps out at me.

          2. David Nagy

            A few guys in Berlin are working on something in the same space but with a really cool twist. It’s called…archify: your searchable, indexed personal search engine for everything you’ve ever seen on the internet.

  26. newmaniese

    I use Alfred App as a quick launcher. It does this by default, just by typing “gmail {query}” Quick launching is a godsent for presentations and makes me look super prepared/computer savy to people who haven’t seen them before.

    1. fredwilson


  27. Laura Yecies

    Emailing yourself files? Simply use a cloud service such as SugarSync (or my competitors Dropbox, Goodle Drive etc) and log in to to get your file from any computer or device. No need to show your inbox.

  28. John Rorick

    While your presentation needs might be ad hoc, ergo the need for a spur of the moment inbox search, I find the fact that the entrepreneur coming in has not previously identified the presentation and saved it in a folder like “BIG USV MEETING” curious…I think this is over-thinking. Or simply toggle the screen for a moment.

  29. Dale Allyn

    Sorry to comment without reading all the current comments first (88 as of this writing). I normally read all before posting, but I have my hands full right now. Sorry if this has been mentioned.@fredwilson:disqus You (or other readers) may like the results of setting Apple Mail on your Macs to pole your gmail via IMAP. Then use the Mail search feature or Spotlight to search. It’s waaaayyyyyy better search than Google’s built-in search IMO, faster, better, more precise, etc. Of course, this is not a Windows solution, but I know that you have some Macs in your network. Frankly, I hate the gmail browser UI and almost never access gmail via browser (I use Mail for it), so it’s natural to me. It may not be for you.Edit to add: I did not make it clear, but this method does allow for not exposing your inbox contents, assuming appropriate search criteria. However, is does not help visitors who access gmail via your systems.

    1. fredwilson

      i don’t want to use desktop software so this isn’t for me. but maybe this will work for others.

      1. Dale Allyn

        I was pretty sure that would be the case, Fred. I wasn’t sure if you considered such use of an e-mail client (for IMAP) much different from the utility of a browser (I consider them similar). We each have our methods that work for us (hopefully). The bookmarklet script from Michael Freeman is a handy alternative for some as well (edit: or Amit’s).

  30. Nick Zadrozny

    Greplin ( ) does pretty much exactly what you describe here.

  31. Stefano Bernardi

    You can do that with Greplin, but you might still expose some other personal stuff.I wrote for this exact problem. While I’m fine with having all my email on the cloud, I want all my email attachments on my computer, so that I can work on them any time I don’t have connection.Give it a look 😉

    1. fredwilson

      cool. i will check it out.

  32. LE

    One suggestion to anyone using gmail. Gmail does go down. For example there was an outage that affected some users just the other day.http://www.huffingtonpost.c…You can setup a address to fwd all mail to and to archive. This can be another free account at another provider (say an address or a address) that you can setup with the a similar email address such as [email protected] etc.The hardest part of doing this is finding the correct address in gmail (it’s located under the settings icon which is a gear wheel upper right corner of the screen).Or just go here when you are logged in:…And see “add a forwarding address”.That way if gmail is down you can always login to the backup account and retrieve any old email. But it’s also possible that email will continue to fwd to the backup even if you can’t access it on in some cases. Depends on what the gmail issue is.It’s free to do this and also provides a good backup and archive of your gmail.

  33. chris dixon

    Greplin does exactly that (disclosure: I’m an investor).

    1. fredwilson

      i will check it out Chris

  34. jasonpwright

    My maternal grandmother died today. Her name was Evelyn. She was 90.She was diagnosed with lung cancer three weeks ago. I went to her home this morning and found her collapsed but still warm on the floor of her bedroom. I tried to revive her but she didn’t respond. I believe the stress and strain of recent days had become too much and her heart suddenly gave out. I loved her so very very much.I will be absent for a while as I grieve. She was a thoroughly good person with a charming innocence and I will miss her greatly.

    1. Tom Labus

      My condolences on your family’s loss.Take care of yourself and see you soon.

      1. jason wright

        Thank you Tom.

    2. ShanaC

      take as much time as you need – if you need someone to talk to, feel free to email me at shana dot carp at gmail

      1. jason wright

        Thank you Shana.

        1. ShanaC

          you’re welcome – it is the right thing to do.

    3. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      My condolences. At old age lung is the most vulnerable part which gets affected very easily and takes the hit and finally the heart gives up … because it is unable to compensate for the lung’s inability.Take care of yourself.

      1. jason wright

        Thank you Kasi.

    4. fredwilson

      oh man. i am so sorry jason. thanks for letting us know.

      1. jason wright

        Thank you Fred.

    5. Dale Allyn

      I’m sorry for your loss, Jason. Thank you for sharing with us. Blessings to you and your family in your time of sorrow.

      1. jason wright

        Thank you Dale.

        1. Dale Allyn

          You are welcome, of course, Jason. Good to see you back.

  35. Jeff T.

    What happened to “come prepared”? Re-send, reply, … the presentation to yourself before you go so it’s at the top of the heap. Or, better yet, have it already open on your device, or on a usb stick.

    1. fredwilson

      you can’t prepare for every request in life

  36. Eric Leebow

    I can totally relate as I was in a room presenting to a bunch of people, and it’s not just Gmail, it’s Docs as well. Had a presentation, and had all my docs displayed on the big screen in front of everyone. What if my friends personal doc was there with some title I didn’t want to see? If MBA Mondays was on the list of items, it would be good, right? It could be a little uncomfortable for a little bit if someone sees something you didn’t want them to see in a long list of public items. The reality is, even if you have a hundred people in a crowd looking at your email subject lines, they probably wouldn’t think anything of it, or be cognizant of something you didn’t want them to see.The challenge is when you’re on someone else’s computer. I guess the best thing to do in this case is to stand in front of the projector or attempt to distract the audience…As far as plugins go, there are plenty of interesting and cool plugins out there for Gmail. There was one I had tried for some time, yet uninstalled it. It was called CloudMagic, and think it definitely works pretty well. If you have a moment, be sure to check it out. A great video interview with one of them is here, check it out:

    1. fredwilson

      thanks eric

  37. Prokofy

    Well, if you get in the habit of putting everything into Google docs, then you search that, and there isn’t an interface where it is showing all the “from” and “to” in the same way, just the file name.

    1. fredwilson

      i am not in that habit and probably am not organized to get into it. it would be awesome if google did this for me automatically.

  38. Emily Merkle

    @fredwilson you say you care about search. we should talk

  39. Stanislas Marion

    Try the Found Mac app. It acts like a Finder that you can also link to your Gmail account to search for emails or docs

  40. Daniele Dellafiore

    There’s it’s a little more feature-packed but basically offers a search box on your contents.

  41. Abdallah Al-Hakim

    I always love how Fred openly expresses his wish list for useful apps – This could result in a treasure trove for some entrepreneurs!!

  42. Adam

    This is simple: use the Found app on Mac, excellent gmail search.

    1. fredwilson

      Yeah. But I dont use desktop software

  43. Nick Grossman

    Maybe this has been pointed out but I don’t see it in the contents.I use the Gmail search plugin for chrome:…I type in “gs” + “space” then my search term.I use this every single day, and can’t imagine living without it.It’s part of my “bypassing the inbox” strategy, which also includes setting up a global shortcut to the “compose message” screen:

    1. fredwilson

      Do you have to be logged in for this to work?

      1. Nick Grossman

        Yeah these are both just shortcuts to existing gmail screens so if you’re not logged in it will prompt you. The shortcut for compose works globally across Mac os, via quicksilver, and the shortcut to search requires you to switch to chrome first then search. Switching to this setup has really improved my experience w email, both for searching and composing. –http://nickgrossman.infoon the fly

      2. Nick Grossman

        of course, what I describe only works on your own personal computer, not a random computer in someone else’s office.

  44. Dale Allyn

    Here’s a reminder that certain things may not be appropriate for some cloud services if one needs real privacy and security. Any system can be hacked, and Google Apps is obviously no exception, but since some in the community here have expressed “concern” about being addicted to Google or similar cloud products, this post might be a good reminder to be thoughtful of how one uses such services:

  45. AndyGCook

    I think Greplin could be a solution for this? You can hook it up to all of your accounts, and search specific apps (GMail, Dropbox, Facebook, etc) without exposing your inbox.

  46. Guest

    You’re that worried about showing your inbox? Is this the new equivalent of public nudity or something? I turned the message preview off, so I only see the subject anyway.There’s a toolbar at the top of ANY Google product to switch to a different one (+Nolan, Search, Maps, Calendar, Play, Drive, etc). So all you need to do is log-in to your google homepage or even maps, and just go straight to drive. In Chrome the “address bar” is now an “Omnibox”. Eventually you should be able to search you’re inbox from there.You don’t save your presentations in Google Drive (formerly Docs)? Well that’s your own problem.Why would any materials be in your inbox anyway? There’s a chrome extension “Save to drive” for gmail attachments. Did you “email yourself” the documents? There’s no need for that anymore! Just put it in your drive. We have all these amazing cloud services, start using them.I’d wager that I have better organisation than most of the AVC community. As a chromebook user, I have to. My bookmarks bar has folders and sub-folders to save space. I forward/import my other emails to my main one, labeled, star important messages, etc. Really, everything I do is in the cloud. So I could throw this away, and on any computer, log in to Chrome in order to have everything the same as I left it.Fred,Consider buying a “chrome box” for your conferance room. If it’s not in the cloud, then just put it on a flash drive and plug it in.

  47. Andreas Kwiatkowski

    Hi everybody,although plenty of workarounds have been collected meanwhile, a friend and I had started working on a quick solution to this problem late Thursday.We have just finished and deployed — a simple search front-end with keyboard shortcuts to quickly access specific search results.For all tech-savvy founders round here: It’s built in HTML5 using Java/Scala framework Play and runs on Heroku.Wei-yah!

  48. Jon

    Turn off display mirroring by default. Problem solved

  49. TommyCannon

    Google’s Quick Search for Mac (the son/daughter of Quicksilver) does exactly this, as well as other things, very well. I know you don’t want to use client software, but it’s a very small multi-purpose app.

  50. Andreas Kwiatkowski

    Hi everybody,although plenty of workarounds have been collected meanwhile, a friend and I had started working on a quick solution to this problem on late Thursday.We have just finished and deployed — a simple search front-end with keyboard shortcuts to quickly access specific search results.For all tech-savvy founders around here: It’s built in HTML5 using Java/Scala framework Play and runs on Heroku.Wey-ah!

  51. John Revay

    HUMMFred – I thought you were not one to use formal presentation ( PPT, Google Presentations app).A. I was lucky enough to attend the AVC / MBA Mondays talk you did back in April – no slides – just Fred writing on the white board wallB. Attended – the Rethink series @ the Grind – when you talked about VC – again no slidesC. I have tuned into several recorded Fred talks – again no slide deck, just Fred referring to some notes on his DroidI am guessing if I was a LP ( Shareholder) – I may see a Fred Wilson PresentationDon’t get me wrong – I very much prefer no slides, I think they are over used…..

  52. jessemiller

    I’m a little late to the party here, but I think could solve your problem. You’d have two choices.You could setup one of our ‘automatic filing rules’ to have all your attachments be saved into a Dropbox folder. Assuming you have the Dropbox syncing app, you’d then just be able to use the mac finder to bring up your document.Otherwise we have our web front end which just shows thumbnails of attachments you’ve received and allows you to do an attachment focused search. There is a link from our site that will open Gmail directly to the original message.I’d love to hear if you get a chance to check it out.

  53. tylernol


  54. ShanaC

    I was about to say that – but I wasn’t so happy with it as a service (slow, not explaining its search function well)

  55. Rohit Nadhani

    @ShanaC:disqus Have you tried CloudMagic lately?

  56. ShanaC

    nope. On my long-ish to do list