Is there some setting or workaround for Gmail to highlight an entire line if the email is both unread and from certain people without changing the sort order?
My company is switching from Microsoft Office to Google. This includes establishing Chrome as the company standard. I'm very used to Outlook and haven't used Gmail in years. I have searched the Chrome Store, SuperUser, WebApps, and the web in general without finding an answer to this.
I rely heavily on conditional formatting in Microsoft Outlook. Any unread emails from my management are shown in a larger-than-normal, bold, red font. Unread emails from purchasing are in a blue font and our receiving inspection group is green. They key points I really like about this approach are:
- Important emails call attention to themselves by changing the entire line they appear on instead of just a small icon
- Emails remain in order by date received
- The color-coding / resizing is automatically applied when it is received
- The color-coding / resizing is automatically removed after I read the message
My Own Efforts:
Here's what I have tried in Gmail to recreate this and why each falls short: (My company will no longer use a desktop client so the solution must work in Chrome.)
- Use filters to apply label "MANAGEMENT" and make it big and red.
- It's fairly easy to see but not across the entire line. I could live with this, though.
- It sticks around even after I've read the email which is explicitly not what I want.
- UPDATE 2017-09-08: This is the solution I have been using thus far. Since Gmail turns the line grey when the message is read, I have somewhat managed to train myself to notice the label + white background. However, they're still much easier to overlook than when the entire line is in bold red text.
- Use filters to mark them as Important or some star
- Marking as important gives the same importance for all groups, which won't work.
- Marking then with stars et al. are not distinctive enough for them to "pop" like I want
- Use Priority Inbox to show unread messages from management first
- It throws the emails out of order. If the email chain goes coworker-coworker-boss-coworker, I want to read all those emails to put the boss's in context and also make sure I don't look stupid by repeating things that others said.
Related points that may matter:
- I don't use Conversation View. For what I want to do, that may make it worse, right? If the boss sends an email and someone else replies to it, it would show up as them in my inbox instead of boss, right?
- I have Tampermonkey and am comfortable using a script to solve the problem.
- As stated above, I've been using filters to apply a preset label "Management" which is bright red. It's been partially effective.
- Based on a commented suggestion, I tried writing a script to periodically scan my messages and format them. It was unsuccessful because:
- There doesn't seem to be any way - through a script or otherwise - to change the formatting of an entry in your Gmail inbox.
- I tried using the script to create a label called "MANAGEMENT UNREAD" plus the subject line of the message. The idea was to create a long, red label that would take up more space on the line and act like a formatted text. However:
- There doesn't seem to be a way to change the color of a label via Google Script so I can't make it bright red or any other color besides its default.
- Very long label names are truncated so they can't take up too much space on the line.
- My next plan is as follows:
- Create a "Mgt" label and color it gray. This will be short and unobtrusive.
- Create a "♒♒ MANAGEMENT UNREAD ♒♒"† label and color it red. This will be long and more eye-catching. To avoid cluttering this text, I'll refer to it as "MU" label.
- The filter will label all new messages from management as both "Mgt." and "MU".
- Write a Google Script with a one minute Installable Trigger that will perform the following:
- Find all read messages with the label "MU" and remove that label.
- Find all unread messages with the label "Mgt" and apply the "MU" label. (In case I go back and mark a message as unread to keep it flagged.)
- This method is currently in place and running. If it proves to be sufficient, I'll migrate this section to an answer (with the code) and accept it just to "close" the question.
†It's the dawning of the age of aquarius. U+2652 chosen purely based on appearance.