Announcement: Service *Probably* Closing November 2017

July 6, 2017

Update July 2017: Although we earlier announced that the Gmail Note service will be closing this November, things might be changing. This is not an official announcement, but we have been working on a software rewrite that would let the service remain open after Firefox 57 is released in November. Since Mozilla started including a sidebar panel with Firefox 54 in June, our biggest objection to doing another rewrite has been removed (other than the work required).

So far, the rewrite has been going OK, and we’ll post an announcement if decide to release it to production. In the meantime, we've made it easier to access your current notes, by pointing a browser to this viewer page

Side Note: This will be the fourth time we’ve written the Firefox extension from scratch, going back to the original Greasemonkey script back in 2009. In each case, the rewrite has been mandated by breaking changes to Firefox. So let’s hope this is the last change for awhile.

What is Gmail Notes?

Gmail Notes is a web application for attaching private notes to your Gmail. With Gmail Notes, you can create a note for each conversation in your Gmail account. You can make a note to, for example, summarize the key points in a long conversation thread. Or to outline some thoughts for a follow up email or phone call. For a list of more ways to use Gmail Notes, see our Typical Uses page.

To use Gmail Notes, you start by installing a Firefox extension which places the application in the Firefox sidebar. You can see Gmail Notes in this screenshot. And you can get more info at our Getting Started page.

You can then connect to the Gmail Notes service using your standard Google account name and password. When viewing a Gmail conversation, you can view/edit an existing annotation in the sidebar, or you can create a new one. One note can be saved for each conversation in your Gmail account. The app provides a rich text editor so that you can highlight text, create lists, include links, etc. For more user interface details, including some screenshots, look at our Everyday Use page.

Gmail Notes is not an integrated feature of Gmail, but a separate web application running on the Google Application Engine Framework. So your notes are stored separately from your Gmail data, although they are still in the Google infrastructure. And as a separate system, there are certain things that Gmail Notes cannot do. It cannot, for example, highlight which messages in your inbox have notes attached to them; you can easily do that using labels or Gmail superstars, but you will have to do it manually. There are other limitations listed on our What It Doesn't Do page.

Gmail Notes is a free service open to any Gmail user.