Thursday, March 29, 2007

Gmail Groups, Outlook Categories, and Tags

Gmail has "Groups". Outlook has "Categories". But both definitions really describe "tags". Tags became popular with Flickr and Picasa for describing photo data. Here is an example:

You have a picture of a boat on a Lake in Seattle. Your tag descriptions might look like "Boat", "Lake", and "Seattle".

Someone out there may find this picture and add the tags, "Summer", "Water", "Outdoors", and "Yacht".

Tags have increased the popularity on favorite sharing sites like and video sites like YouTube. Now most every blog entry has tags to organize the data, making it easier to find what you are looking for, and to be able to filter easily on a lable.

Our contacts are no different. Think of your contacts like any other data that needs organizing. If it is a contact that should be on your phone, make sure it has the category "My Phone", if it is a favorite, or family, or work, or college or a combination of multiple categories, get them ready now for tags now.

Plaxo4Gmail will be looking at "Categories" in its next version and converting them to Gmail's "Groups".