I want to do something simple. It seems simple to me, but apparently it's hard. I do not want to learn all of Ruby, Python, Java, Rails, Javascript and Perl just to do this. I've tried to search with my favorite search engine, but the terms I've come up with are used in too many contexts for me to get usable search results.

Here goes…

I want to rearrange the components on my Google Apps email pages. Namely the email list and the email view. For the uninitiated, Google Apps is the "corporate version of GMail" and it works great. Except for a couple of specific features, I don't miss Exchange/outlook one bit. And even those I can work around to my satisfaction.

But the thing that kills me is the layout of the email pane. It's so inefficient and rigid. I spend hours a day back and forth between calendar, email, IM, task management, etc. I want to build a dashboard so I can put what I want, where I want. There's this nice plugin architecture in Labs that lets me do things like "move contacts to the right side". Oh, how deviant and radical.

How about we expand on that idea? How about we let me put anything I want, anywhere I want? Like iGoogle does for my personal account. Let me build a dashboard just the way I want it. With Google widgets and third party widgets, like RememberTheMilk. Why are the Google Apps layouts so narrowly defined? I'm guessing most of the problem lies at the feet of my corporate IT department, but assigning blame doesn't help me get what I want.

Here comes the reality.

I am using FireFox 3.6.x and will continue to do so until the bugs are ironed out of 4.0.x. I will not use Safari and I will use Chrome only under duress. Nothing that relies on GreaseMonkey or any man-in-the-middle technology is out because they require constant tweaking. Anything that requires installing something from the app market is also out (I'm still trying to get them to activate Google Reader which has been free for Google Apps since last November).

I'm offering a bounty of cold, tasty beverages for good ideas.