Chances are you have a Gmail account. Regardless of how you feel about Google, there’s no denying there is a reason the company is so popular. We could go on and on about what makes Gmail so awesome, such as the storage, efficient spam filter, and their user friendly layout. But the one problem with Gmail is that Google frequently makes adjustments.
While these additional features will be awesome in the long-run, it can be frustrating at first. Take the complete overhaul of the Gmail interface. Instead of the traditional one-column email view, there’s now multiple inboxes. It may be a bit confusing at first, but stick with it. To help you get the most out of your Gmail account, here are nine tips and tools to provide you with the ultimate email experience.
Labels are basically folders on steroids. Not only do labels keep your messages organized, you can also apply more than one label per message. For example, a message that is labeled under “Invoices” could also be labeled as “Business”. To help make your labels stand out you can even color-coordinate them.
Use Google Drive for Large Files
Drive essentially limited the need for us to buy a flash drive. But, how can we use that for Gmail? You might already know you can share documents between Google users in Drive, but you can also make use of Drive by attaching large files. How large of a file? How about one that’s up to 10GB? That’s 400 times larger than what can be sent as a traditional attachment.
If you haven’t explored Labs then you’re missing out on some nifty features and add-ons. For example, there’s a feature called Canned Responses. This will help you avoid redundant replies by creating templates, and then inserting it into messages with a couple of clicks. Canned Responses is just one of many tools you can find in Labs.
Add Events to Your Calendar
Gmail isn’t just a great way to send/receive emails, it can also be used to keep you organized. Through Gmail you can easily add events to your calendar, so that you don’t forget important events. Dates and times are already underlined in your email, just hover over to preview your schedule and change the date, time or title of the event. From there, click “Add to Calendar”.
Get The Rapportive Ad-on
Rapportive is a free ad-on that shows you everything that your contacts are doing on social media. While in Gmail, you can view and reply over Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
You can save a ton of time by simply enabling your keyboard shortcuts. Since Google has about 50 shortcuts that will help you quickly search, manage, and navigate through your inbox, it may take some time to learn them all. But once you master them, your hands you’ll never have to leave the keyboard again.
Customized Email Addresses
Did you know that you can have multiple addresses sent to your Gmail account by simply adding a period in your user name? For example: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org will both go to the same address, no matter where the period is place. A neat feature if you wish to have multiple accounts on a site like Twitter. You can even insert a plus sign and put anything you want after your user name for something specific like email@example.com.
Hopefully by now you’ve learned that you can mark important messages with gold stars. But, did you know you can have additional stars and markers for various messages? A great feature to sort through emails. And, it can also be used as part of a search query or filter.
One of the best things about Gmail is being able to filter important messages to the top of your inbox. Gmail attempts to automatically sort your inbox into Important and Unread, Starred, and Everything Else messages based on who you email and chat with and how you reply to emails.
Whether you want to admit it or not, Gmail is probably the best email provider out there. Don’t get frustrated by unfamiliar changes and new tools. Learn to embrace these awesome tools and you will love Gmail more than ever!