Announcement: Extended Maintenance This Coming Weekend
This coming weekend, we will be performing a datastore upgrade that will
put the system in a read-only state for an unknown time period.
This extended maintenance will begin this Friday, June 21, at 7PM Eastern US time,
and should be completed by Sunday, June 23, 7AM Eastern US time.
Throughout the weekend, the system will still be online, but there will be at least one time interval where the datastore will be in a read-only state. During that time interval, you can still view your notes in the sidebar, but you will not be able to create new notes or edit/save existing ones. (If you try, an error message will be returned from the server.)
We apologize for this inconvenience, but this upgrade will significantly reduce the frequency of system maintenance periods in the future.
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.