As for alternatives:
There are several app-aware sticky-note type applications that can attach notes to particular windows.
I had tried out Anand's StickANote (which I think is great). but uninstalled it when it didn't seem to be any different to other app-aware sticky-note things.
Gmail Notes seems to be unique in that it enables you to attach a note to a particular email
in Gmail - which you can't seem to do with any other tool that I have come across so far. And that's all
That's why in the review Why I think you should use this product
, I wrote:
...it fills a handy niche that cannot otherwise be filled. (See Where Gmail Notes Are Used, above.)
Being a abit paranoid, I don't entirely like Gmail Notes being in the cloud, but, if I'm using Gmail, then I'm connected to the cloud whilst reading my email, and so having the notes always connected only via the cloud is not an issue (i.e., it happens by default). I wouldn't usually need one without the other, if you see what I mean.
Ideally, I would like Gmail Notes to be encrypted and to have some facility for storing a local copy of the notes as well.
having local copies of email (or Gmail Notes) is not an issue for me. I decided a while back that having my email in the cloud - in a non-private, censored, less secure, and unencrypted web-based medium (e.g., Gmail) - was a tolerable risk, and so, though I have a local email package (currently trialling Outlook for this and some other uses) and can always POP my Gmail account, I only do actually POP it once in a blue moon.
The main difficulty I have had with Gmail has been accessing it from within clients' networks, where they might have a policy to block access to things like (say) Gmail, Hotmail, auction sites, or "social networking" sites. This can be a real pain if you need to be able to check for and access private emails from other customers - so, the first time I ran into this problem some years ago, I worked around it using the brilliant Google groups
, which I still use and which never seems to be blocked by such policies.
Again, being a bit paranoid, the Google groups approach also provides a great online archive
for those incoming emails (and their attachments) that I might have deleted too hastily! And you can send replies to those emails too, from within Google groups, which leaves you unaffected by any local network access policy blocks.