I would say the thing that drives me nuts the most about Gmail, is the fact that every time you delete a message, you’re kicked back out to the message list. Google, taking a page from Microsoft, has decided to do your thinking for you and take this option off the table because you really shouldn’t delete emails. But if I know I will never want that message again, I delete it. And am stuck back out at the message list. This, more than anything has stopped me from adopting Gmail.
It turns out there is a ‘Delete’ and go to next conversation Greasemonkey script that will do just what I’m looking for, but recent Gmail upgrades broke that script. So out of luck again. [Update, June 22, 2009: this script has been fixed. Check it out.]
Over at JimsTips.com, Jim suggests using Gmail Keyboard shortcuts (Gmail Help article) deleting with the # key, which does kick you back to the message list and then using the ‘k’ key to move to the next message and the ‘o’ or <enter> key to open the message. The thing I dislike about that is that it is three page loads when it should be two (in other words, why do I have to see that damn message list?).
So my similarly kludgey, but somewhat more elegant solution (or maybe not) is to:
- Turn on keyboard shortcuts (in Settings -> General).
- Create a label named ‘Delete’ (or ‘aaDelete’ if you want to be sure it is at the top of your label list).
- When reading a message, type ‘l’ (that’s a lower-case L) to bring up the label list.
- Hit the downarrow key once to select my top aaDelete label at the top of my list
- Hit the ‘k’ key to move to the next message.
- When I’m all done, I can view the messages deleted aaDelete and select and delete them all.
Yeah, stupid, crappy, cumbersome way to do it. I know. Tell Google.
Now if only they would come up with a proper way to view all unlabeled messages, but my solution to that is reasonably workable, if a bit cumbersome.