Tag Archives: Great Design

Great Design

New To Me: In Gmail, Folders Are Labels And Labels Are Folders

This definitively solves a general problem I had been wanting to find a solution to for quite some time.  The solution is extremely simple, and kudos to whoever put it together.  (I don’t know if Gmail was the first to solve this and I almost assume they weren’t.  They’re just the first ones I’ve happened to see using it.)

The problem is what to do when you want a folder system to organize your information hierarchically, and you also want a tagging/labeling system so that each piece of information can also have multiple descriptors assigned to it, but you don’t want to keep the two systems in sync manually.  The solution is to treat folders as labels and vice versa.  The big implication is that if you apply multiple labels to a piece of information, that piece of information then exists in multiple folders.   If you delete it from one of those folders, the corresponding label is also removed.

Gmail folders are labels