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Thursday, July 17, 2008

10 GMail Features you MUST know!

What's so special about today? My Gmail account just turned 4! Yipee!! From an invitation-only to a 7GB (And still counting!) inbox, Gmail has come a long way. So here are 10 Gmail features which I bet you'll love to check out!

PS: I've already expanded some of the Must-know features. If you've been using Gmail for a long time, then make sure you "Expand" the ones in the end!! ;)

+ 1. Archive, don't Delete!

All about the nice habit of archiving you mails!

+ 2. Arrows ka chakkar!

For those who get irritated by those annoying Forwards, here's a solution!

3. Labels, labels & more labels!

When you'll have such a huge inbox, how about taking out some time and organizing it? Let's say I want to keep all mails related to "TalkOfCampus" in a particular folder (From now on, Label==Folder). On the left-side, just add another Label (say "ToC"). Now check all mails related to it and from the drop-down menu, choose Apply Label.. "ToC". Done! Oh & once you have loads of them, color code them by choosing the Label Style from the drop down!

Manually selecting mails for each Label isn't the best way right? Read more about Filters & find a better way out!

+ 4. *Isssstar* It!

About adding Stars to special mails, and using SuperStars from Gmail Labs to spice them up!

5. Speed up your Search!

So you've been archiving your mails for a long time. And now finding a mail has become a pain, right? Here's some of my common Search Queries:
  • Orkut Scrapbook Notifications :- from:orkut subject:(scrap OR message)
  • All unread, starred mails in Inbox :- is:unread is:starred in:inbox
  • The website someone told me a week back while chatting :- is:chat after:2008/7/9 before:2008/7/17 http
  • Recent mails in the label "ToC", not related to Alpha release :- label:ToC -Alpha
  • Scan of Ticket sent by Dad :- from:Dad has:attachment

Here's something if you are hungry for more! Otherwise, you can always use "Show Search Options" :P :P

+ 6. Using Multiple Accounts - I

Having multiple accounts, and accessing all using one!

7. Filters

Has those Orkut notifications always bothered you? Would you prefer checking those "Daily Jokes" only when you are free, instead of it filling your inbox? Then use Filters! Filters allow you to set up particular actions for a specific type of mails. For ex, I want to keep all my TalkOfCampus related mails in its "ToC" label, and star it automatically so that I'll first read them when I open my inbox. To do this, I go to "Create a Filter" (Next to the Search box on the top). I enter the criteria (Subject: TalkOfCampus) and in the next screen, I choose: Star it, Apply Label: "ToC" and apply. Simple & easy!!

Update: Nishant wanted to know how to prevent Orkut Notifications from appearing in his Inbox. Check the comments to know how to do so!!

You could also use filters to differentiate mails of your multiple accounts. For ex, if I use rash.news@gmail.com for subscibing to newsletters, then I can have a filter to mark all mails sent to rash.news@gmail.com to Skip Inbox, and Label as "NewsLetter". No more cluttering my inbox anymore!

PS: When you have a mail open, Open the Drop down menu on top Right > "Filter messages like this" to easily add a filter for similar mails!

+ 8. Using Multiple Accounts - II

Sending mail from different email ids without Signing in & out again!

9. Making Multiple Gmail Ids from one Gmail id!

A lesser known feature of Gmail, you can add "tags" or "keywords" to your email id by writing them after adding a + at the end of your id. The mails will still be sent to your original id, but with a different "To:" Address.

For example, for all my old DPS RKP batchmates, I could give them the id as: rash+DPS@gmail.com. I'll actually be using rash@gmail.com to access these mails, but can easily make filters to organize the mails from my old friends sent on this id!

Similarly I can have rash+Urgent@gmail.com which I could give to only a few close friends (And make a filter to Star all mails To: rash+Urgent@gmail.com).

Also, Gmail doesn't recognize the number/position of "." used in a gmail id. So all mail sent to ra.sh@gmail.com, r.ash@gmail.com r.a.s.h@gmail.com are sent to the same id: rash@gmail.com!

+ 10. Keyboard Shortcuts

Throw that mouse away. And if you are also a Laptop user, you HAVE to use this! Plus a new Gmail Labs feature to Customize it too!

What others said:

  • Rijul: Don't forget to use inbuilt Gmail Chat (It has Conference/Group Chat & Cute emoticons!)
  • RG: Check out the Vacation Settings too.
  • Vandith: Other Labs features are also worth a look!
  • Gowtham: Gmail >> Yahoo, thnx to faster loading time & better interface.
  • Nitish: Gtalk Labs now out!

Incase you liked this post, do check out these links:


So those were the 10 Gmail Features you MUST know! How has your experience with Gmail been? Do you use any of the above features? Do let me know!

24 comments:

Ajusal said...

How bout makin ur blog....."google tips n tricks"...courtesy rash :P ......nywyas nice post.....sme cool stuf abt gmail..
Cheers!

Nishant said...

Naice post.!
What do I enter into the Filter thingy, if I want all my orkut notifications to go into a particular label.?

RaSh said...

@Aju: Actually, I don't have much to write, so been writing these Tech Reviews. Do tell me if you checked the features!

@Nishant: Here's the Filter to Skip Orkut Scrapbook Notifications from Inbox:
In the Filter Criteria, Enter:
From: orkut
Subject: Scrapbook (PS: Leave this blank if you also get Community Invites etc.)
Next Step:
Check "Skip Inbox", "Apply Label" > New Label > Enter Orkut.
Also Check Apply Filter to * Conversations below.

PS: You can also do so by Changing your Orkut Notification Settings

Tell me if it works!

vandith said...

chck out labs tab in settings of ur account.... u ll knw more options.. its cooll..

hehee.. nt 4 u rash..i knw that u knw... :P

Utkarsh Sinha said...

You should consider writing books... ;)

RaSh said...

@Utkarsh: lol
And who's gonna buy it? I would rather let everyone read such "masterpiece" for free :D :D

PS: If there's some Publisher reading this, then let me clarify that I was joking above. Please give me a chance! PLEASE!!! :D

RG said...

You have been given a chance, thusly.

You can be a guest blogger on my blog lol. I know it sucks right now but the new template I'm working on is totally geared towards a literary blog-type.

RG said...

Google also offers a whole bunch of tools for webmasters, including "Gmail for your domain" (example). This is basically gmail, with all of gmail's features, except that it is you@yourdomain.com and you can make a limited number of accounts with someone@yourdomain.com as the name.

I'm currently forwarding all my mail to one ID, also gmail will let you send e-mails as someone@university.edu once you verify that it is your address. I think some other configurations are involved but it's nothing too difficult.

There is also a nifty feature called vacation settings. Basically, you can tell gmail to forward any mails you get to somewhere else and/or reply to all the emails with a custom e-mail.

I'm currently using this to tell people who still mail to my old id (RG@worldgamingnews.com) that my address has changed and to forward those mails to my current account.

RaSh said...

@RG: Now that's what I call a comment. Pity others just stop after "Good post". :P

The "Gmail for your domain" sounds pretty nice. But can't try it till I get a domain :D
And vacation responder is just kewl \m/

Rijul said...

hmmm... you could add the inbuilt chat (and the newly added invisible mode)... really comes in handy when u dont have GTALK installed...

RaSh said...

Hehe.. I actually prefer using the inbuilt Chat than GTalk.. Plus it has really cute emoticons (Best one is for \m/)

Humm.. I'll Update the post with this! ;)

Thanks!

Gowtham said...

Yeah, Gmail is simple to use and its the best mailing service i have ever used. And another thing is Gmail loads faster than Yahoo, and they are giving a space to you which will well look like your own, i mean the ads has only a few text links in the sidebar, where as in yahoo there will be lots of images and graphics to load along with you mail. yahoo really sucks for this very reason, and all those spams.

RaSh said...

@Gowtham:
Hey thnx for the comments! Yeah I feel Google is best in providing "Personalized" Services, which are simple, swift & easy to use (For ex. Google Reader, which has one of the best interface I've seen for a Feed Reader).

Keep visiting my blog :)

Anonymous said...

nice..though i knew most of them..it was good refreshing it!

RaSh said...

@Anon:
Sometimes you tend to forget ones you read about long back.. Good to see it helped!
Btw, who are you? :)

Nitish said...

Now there's Google Talk labs edition also :) to try

dam said...

hi
when i sends mails to my friends they can see the mail id's that i had send that mail.

how to avoid this???
pls help me

RaSh said...

@Dam:
When Composing/Forwarding a mail (For ex, Chain letters/Forwards etc) that are meant for multiple users, Use the Add BCC field to write the email ids instead of the "To:" field. Give one email id in the "To:" field (Can be your own id).

This way the recipients will not be able to see any email id except their own.

Tell me if it works ;)

The Keeper of the Keys said...

Very useful post.

I didn't know what those arrows meant.
And I dunno but I don't enjoy starring or using labels, it doesnt work the same way as folders on other services, right?
The filters bit was very useful.
And erm, I'll try figuring out the multiple mails and stuff, though I really don't need it. Point is, once your nice, elegant email id is out in the world wide web, there's no way really to stop it from being spammed (is there?)
And um, I posted this looong comment after reading your reply to one of the comments up somewhere. Er, hope you're satisfied.
*goes off filtering*

RaSh said...

Thnx for the comments! :)
Labels work the same way as folders, and also let you have one email in multiple labels. Do try it out! Very useful (Especially when you don't read those Facebook/Orkut notifications every time!)

There isn't much you could do about your "elegant" email id, but you could make a better one, and auto-forward all mails to it. And prevent it from being spread on the web ;)

PS: I loooove long comments :)

Sameer said...

nicey nicey.badia compilation hai bidu.

one great feature is the calendar.add up something and it can remind you via email or even SMS.3 days,2 days or 10 minutes before it.

srajanmani said...

nice compilation there... has some really nifty features! see my blog too : techexpose.wordpress.com

RaSh said...

@Sameer: Thnx bhai! ;)

@Srajan: Hope to see you more often on my blog :)

Kiwi_Nan said...

Hi there, Does Gmail have a storage space on the net like Yahoo Briefcase? it would be so useful ,Margo

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