Saturday, June 03, 2006

Reply by chat

ove how when I reply to a message in Gmail, the message I compose gets grouped into the same conversation. Seriously -- of all the ways Gmail works, this tops the list for me. Having to look in separate places to find sent vs. received messages just feels so antiquated. Gmail keeps my conversations in context, and whether I'm looking back one day or several months later, I get a full view of exactly what we discussed.

But sometimes I want to reply to an email message, but I notice the sender is online and available for chat. Wouldn't it be nice if chat replies get grouped with the conversation just like email? Now they do: At the bottom of any message sent by someone on your buddy list, right next to where you'd click to "Reply" or "Forward," there's a link to "Reply by chat" if the sender is online. This will open a chat window, and the chat history will be saved to the same conversation. Nice.