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How do I group separate emails into the one conversation if they weren't already?

For instance, I email X, the manager at a client, asking something. Then Z, her secretary, replies with the answer. Is there a way to group these emails into a single conversation?

I don't want to use labels, I really want to group the messages.

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I love to have this feature too since some users have the habit of sending new emails instead of replying previous ones –  Nam G. VU Jul 31 '12 at 5:16
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migrated from superuser.com Apr 15 '11 at 21:51

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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Forward one of the e-mails to yourself using the subject line from one of the other e-mails.

Unfortunately, that seems to be the only way, and the e-mails you forward won't be clearly indicated as having been sent by the real sender (nice header with their name in colour), but it will work to get everything in one place.

Given these two e-mails, like in your scenario:

E-mail 1:

  • to Person 1 (manager, in your scenario)
  • from You
  • subject "Subject 1"
  • body "Body 1" (question, in your scenario)

E-mail 2:

  • to You
  • from Person 2 (secretary, in your scenario)
  • subject "Subject 2"
  • body "Body 2" (answer, in your scenario)

...to get everything into one conversation, you send this e-mail:

E-mail 3 (a forward of Person 2's message, with the subject manually changed):

  • to You
  • from You
  • subject "Fw: Subject 1" [need to override "Fw: Subject 2" with "Fw: Subject 1"]
  • body "Body 2" (answer, in your scenario)

(I am saying "forward" instead of "reply" here in order to bring any attachments into the conversation too!)

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Clever! Thanks :) –  rapcal Jul 16 '13 at 4:43
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At this moment Gmail does not have such a feature yet but seems like the team is aware of the issue:

http://mail.google.com/support/bin/static.py?page=known_issues.cs&ki_topic=14973&issue=97930

(under Composing and Reading Mail > Messages are improperly threaded)

Maybe you want to let the team know that you are interested in having this issue taken care of by clicking the 'Report' button (I already did).

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I love to have this feature too since some users have the habit of sending new emails instead of replying previous ones –  Nam G. VU Jul 31 '12 at 5:16
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