Friday, 19 May 2006

Petition to Fix Gmail's "Custom From"

The discussion started over on Lambi Pooch, where Rakesh Agrawal wrote an excellent article on how you can use Gmail as your professional e-mail server and client, and why it doesn't work. I continued by writing an article on two specific problems with Gmail, and explained how another online e-mail client (FastMail) solve these in an excellent fashion.

Finally the discussion ended up on Hawk Wings, where Tim Gaden summed it up and explained why he thinks FastMail is the superior e-mail client for the "e-mail fanatic". The bottom line of the discussion is that Gmail can act as an excellent online replacement for your offline e-mail client (typically Outlook or Thunderbird), but it is still lacking a few "professional" features to complete the puzzle.

One of the most critical features mentioned by all three writers is Gmail's custom from feature, and how it doesn't work the way we need it to work.
The problem is that in a lot of e-mail clients (like Outlook), the e-mail you send will appear to be coming from " on behalf of", instead of just "". This could potentially make people question your seriousness.

Getting it fixed

This has now resulted in a petition to Google over on Petition Spot, to fix this feature, and make it "mask" your Gmail address properly. Like for instance FastMail does. I would encourage everyone who finds this useful to sign the petition.

And if you're interested in how you can set up your Gmail for this purpose, read the original article by Rakesh Agrawal. It features most of the tips and tricks needed to empower your Gmail client and make it your all-in-one solution for e-mail handling. For the advanced user, I also recommend checking out the FastMail email client.

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