Jan 232014

Permanent Gmail Links

Do you use Gmail? Have you ever needed to save a link to an email? Maybe just to bookmark some important info you will need later. I need links to individual emails that need to be followed-up, for meeting agendas, webinar info, event info, etc. These are all things that you don’t need cluttering your inbox but you do want easy access to them.

Since I have been working towards “inbox zero”, I want to be able to delete or archive an email as soon as I have read it. If it requires follow-up handling later, I need to be able to create a to-do item with a link to the email. If I need info in the email for a future meeting, webinar, or event, I need to be able to add a link to the email in the calendar item.

When I was first reading up on how to do this, all the articles mention just being able to copy the URL from the address bar manually or by using a browser bookmark to automate the process. The solution is not so simple. The problem is, Gmail includes the current folder as part of the email’s URL.

If you copy the URL then archive the email, the original URL will no longer work. If you copy the URL from an email that is in a folder/label and then remove the email from that folder or change the label, the URL for that email will change. And, of course, if you delete an email, the URL changes.

But each email, even deleted emails while they hang around, have a permanent URL. If you look in the ‘all’ folder, you will find all your mail. This, then, is the URL you need to use but how to find it easily?

Until someone points out an easier way, I have found you can easily edit the URL the displayed URL to the ‘permanent’ URL. The procedure I follow is just to edit the URL in the address bar then copy it wherever I need it. You could also edit the URL after you paste it where you need it. Then you can archive, delete, remove labels, etc, and still pull up the email anytime until it is permanently removed from your email collection.

Some examples:

  • Inbox:
  • Label:
    if you change just #label to #all Google will auto-correct your url, removing the label name

What kind of uses can you think of for these links?

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