Gmail Notes fails to impress

Chrome extension Gmail Notes has too many bugs to be a worthwhile tool.

Gmail Notes fails to save your e-mail notes.

(Credit: Screenshot by Polina Polishchuk/CNET)

With all the online order confirmation codes, password resets, and hundreds of other e-mails filled with important information, it would be nice to have a tool that helps with the woes of e-mail management. Gmail Notes, a Google Chrome extension that allows users to add notes to e-mail threads in Gmail, has the potential to be one such tool. However, with its unreliability and numerous bugs, that's all it has: potential.

Downloading this extension adds a pencil icon to your browser's address bar when Gmail is open. To take a note, open any e-mail, click the icon, type your note, and then click save. Next time you open this e-mail, your note should be waiting. This is great if you need to memo something for later or add extra information that pertains to that particular e-mail. The extension saves all of your Gmail notes in a Google Doc folder titled "Google Notes" (very clever); unfortunately, your note will not be in your e-mail in-box after you log out of Gmail and sign back in.

After testing the extension in both the stable version and the developer's build of Google Chrome, I found that every time I wanted to go back to a saved note in my in-box, the note box would say "not found." Sometimes the extension's pencil icon would not even show up in the address bar, making it impossible to take any notes.

Gmail Notes would be a great organizational tool, if it worked. With the bugs and unpredictability, this add-on is a disappointment.

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