Using Gmail to Save Your Research Ideas

Chad Jones, July 2005

I like to keep a "notebook" of research ideas that I come up with so that when those all-too-frequent dryspells in research occur, I can go back and look at my list of ideas for inspiration. Long ago I kept these in a notebook, then I switched to a computer file, then to a web page. Recently, though, I discovered a nice way to use gmail for this, and I really like it.

Here's what I do:

Then you can just open up a "compose" window and send email to "My Research" in order to enter a new research idea. If you wish to come back and add more to this idea in the future, you can "Reply" to the original message, and the conversation archive will keep track of you entries. You also now have the nice, quick search features, so you can find all messages with the words "economic growth" very quickly, etc.