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I entered Gmail hell yesterday morning. Whenever I sent an email from within a browser, I got a 707 error back and Gmail would go into an endless “Retry” loop. It was early Monday morning and I wasn’t ready to deal with this, so I grabbed my iPad and did a bunch of email on it. I didn’t connect that the client was working fine, but the browser version wasn’t until I got the office.
The answer was a simple one once I figured it out. I disabled all the Google Labs and it magically started working again. I then re-enabled Labs until I found the one that was causing the 707 error – the “Background Send” Labs. Apparently something broke over the weekend with Background Send and the newest browser version of Gmail.
If you are getting a 707 error, just turn off Background Send. That should fix it.
Consider this a public service announcement as of 11/8/11. When I searched Gmail 707 Error in Google, I didn’t find anything that referred to this. I found a few “clear your browser cache” suggestions, which didn’t help. I also found plenty of “I’ve got this problem” with no answers.
We did contact Google tech support via email and got a response back later in the day to turn off Google Labs to see if that fixed the problem. I also got a similar response from my special magic wormhole tech support line to Google engineering.
This was on the heals of a weekend of Gmail / iOS hell. My email clients on my iPad and my iPhone unexpectedly stopped working on Friday – constantly asking me to login to my Exchange account (I’m using the Exchange connector to access Gmail.) I didn’t figure out what the issue was until Sunday afternoon when I realized that the Gmail iOS app was interfering with the iOS mail app. I’d downloaded the Gmail app on both devices when it came out. It was crappy, but when Google pulled it from the app store, I thought it was novel enough to leave on my iOS devices for a while. Error! Once deleted it, email went back to normal.
Google, I love you, but please amp up the QA!
It’s tightly integrated with both consumer and enterprise Gmail. It’s fast, light weight, and takes advantage of the huge amount of data discovery that Gist does via the cloud (rather than in-browser).
It’s been really fun to watch my friends at Gist really come into their own in the past six month. With the release of Gist in Gmail on both Firefox and Chrome, along with the Gist Gadget for Google Apps, they’ve got Gmail now totally wired.
If you haven’t tried Gist, give it a shot. And if you are a Chrome and Gmail user, make sure you grab the Chrome extension.
About a month ago I wrote a post titled Trying Gmail For A Week. I haven’t thought about Outlook, Entourage, or Mac Mail for a month and I don’t think I’m ever going back. It took about a week to rewire my brain for how conversations worked and what the keyboard shortcuts were, but not that I’m there it’s just awesome.
A few weeks ago Fred Wilson wrote a post titled Inbox Zero. In it he mentioned two Gmail services he found indispensable – Priority Inbox (from Google) and Unsubscribe.com (from James Siminoff who created Phonetag, another great service.) I agree with Fred on both of these, but have discovered a few extra things that are killer. I’ll list them below and for balance talk about a few shortcomings.
Priority Inbox: I’ve seen numerous tweets and blogs about how Priority Inbox doesn’t really do much. These are wrong / misinformed reactions. The trick to Priority Inbox, like many other things, is to actually use it for a few weeks. Part of using it is training it by quickly marking things up to “important” (by clicking +) or down to “everything else” (by clicking -). A small configuration change can make Starred emails (for quick follow up) a different category. I found that it only took about three days of this before I saw benefit and now (a month later) Priority Inbox gets it right 99 out of 100 times. I get over 500 emails a day – there is a long list of them that fall in “Everything Else”. I used to have to check / clear email obsessively throughout the day to stay at Inbox Zero. With Priority Inbox I’m finding solid email stretches a couple of times during the day are more than enough for me to stay on top of everything.
Unsubscribe.com: Like many people, I’m stuck in the endless “unsubscribe from email lists” infinite loop. I get vigilant for a few days and do the annoying unsubscribe drill one by one and knock a few off the list, but within a few weeks I’ve got even more. I’ve never seemed to be able to eliminate all the stuff I don’t want, especially around an election when it all escalates like crazy. With Unsubscribe.com, I simply click the Unsubscribe button in Gmail and the service gets rid of it. Don’t bother with the trial – trust me and just pay $19 for the service for a year if endless mailing list email that you don’t want is a problem for you.
Google Voice: I’ve had a Google Voice for a long time but I never fully switched over to it. The Google Voice integration with Gmail has tipped me over. I’ve been dreaming about getting rid of my desktop phone for a while – I now find myself almost exclusively doing every call from my computer except when I’m not online (where I have to use my cell phone.) More importantly, video chat and text chat is completely integrated within Gmail so from one screen I have email, my phone (inbound and outbound calling) Skype-equivalent video chat, and text chat. While I still use Skype extensively (I’m bradfeld) I find I’m using it much less as I end up using email@example.com instead.
Gist: I’m an investor in Gist and use it for my unified contact manager. Google Contacts is ok, but has a long way to go. But Gist integration with Gmail at a data level is superb. I’m still using Gmail’s consumer service so the integration is primarily at a data level, but I’m now playing around with a full switch over to Google Apps and the Gist + Google Apps integration (via the Google Apps Marketplace) just rocks. In addition, there’s a new browser-based Gist add-on coming out shortly (hint hint) that will provide direct integration into the consumer version of Gmail.
GooTasks: Since I am an Inbox Zero guy, I don’t keep anything (including paper), but I do have a short task lists of things like blog posts I’m going to write. I went through an Evernote phase recently but it’s overkill for me. Google Tasks is perfect, but I didn’t have an obvious way to sync with my iPhone. Now I do.
There are a handful of annoying things. The biggest one is that I have multiple accounts on Google (firstname.lastname@example.org as well as email@example.com) and they aren’t tightly integrated across all services. The other is the weak / inconsistent iPhone integration which keeps pushing me toward using an Android phone full time (I’m now carrying both an Android phone and an iPhone.) My dad’s recent story on the Samsung Fascinate has me seriously considering a full time switch over to Android.
My “while I’m working” migration from a full Windows / Outlook / Exchange / Office world to an almost completely non-Microsoft world has been fascinating. I’m in Seattle next week including a 24 hour stretch at Microsoft for some stuff – maybe it’ll come up and be an interesting discussion that my friends at Microsoft can learn from. In the mean time, I think the next big switch will be an organization one completely over to a Google Apps infrastructure.
My week-long experiment with Gmail continues with my first big bump happening last night at around 9pm. After sending a lot of emails (apparently 500) I received an error message “You have reached a limit for sending mail“. I tried again. This perplexed me. So I clicked on the link.
I read through it and couldn’t figure out what I’d done wrong. I tweeted about it and immediately heard back that Gmail had throttled me for up to the next 24 hours because I’d been sending too many emails. I poked around a little to try to figure out if there was a way around this and finally concluded that the solution was to go to sleep and try again in the morning.
When I woke up, email was magically sending again. I guess I got turned back on in less than 24 hours. We’ll see what happens today.
Of course, one solution is to use SendGrid. I’ve just gone and signed up for an account in case I get rate limited again.
In the mean time, Gmail feels slow this morning. I’m getting used to my new friend, the yellow “Working” link at the top middle of the window.
Ever since I switched to the Mac, I’ve had N (where N is a suitably large number) tell me that I should switch to Gmail from Exchange. I finally decided to try it for a week and see if it works for me. Given my Mac experience – where I had to commit and really use it, I’ve decided to do the same on Gmail.
For now, I’m just going to use Gmail (instead of Google Apps) because I don’t want to go through the hell of switching the feld.com domain since I’ve got a bunch of other people (e.g. my family members) on it in a variety of configurations. That’ll limit me a little as I won’t be able to use the Apps Marketplace, but the benefit is I’ll be able to mess around with a variety of other Gmail stuff.
If you’ve got Gmail addons, hints, tips, and trick, leave them for me here. At the end of next week, I’ll either be switching to Gmail or heading back to Mac Mail against my Exchange server.