Gmail is my favorite text editor. It autosaves (in the cloud). It's browser-based. All I have to do to share with a friend is press send.

But opening a new window is difficult - especially while browsing elsewhere or using a different app.

And the New Message window, once opened, cannot be collapsed into a narrow column. It's a little clunky.

Also, it tells all (or none) of my friends I'm awake.

Is there a web app (or client) that is compatible with Gmail (maybe even has chat), and functions as a minimal text editor?

  • 2
    You set chat visibility to invisible if you don't want anyone to know you are awake. Feb 26, 2013 at 4:17
  • Have you looked into Thunderbird? getthunderbird.com Feb 26, 2013 at 8:59
  • @Fuhrmanator I was being a little tongue-in-cheek there (maybe you were too?), but have edited the statement you refer to. Feb 26, 2013 at 15:47
  • 1
    Yes, in the sense that you can set it up to auto-save every x minutes (see Preferences -> Composing), and you can set drafts to be saved in an IMAP folder (see Accounts -> Copies and folders). Feb 26, 2013 at 22:26
  • 1
    Why does Google Drive not work? Same idea of text editing, and sharing documents uses contact information associated with your Google (hence Gmail) account. Feb 27, 2013 at 1:19

1 Answer 1


It depends what you mean by "text editor".

If you want an osx gmail client that has solid, wysiwyg editing capabilities (and a really nice user interface, try Sparrow. Google bought them, but it still seems well-supported enough.

If you meant a true plaintext editor, there are a ton, but I find both Byword and iaWriter to be minimal enough to kill distractions, but with decent markdown support.

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