3 Basic Gmail Features You Might Be Unaware of

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It’s hilarious how many truly awesome features we fail to notice even with the tools we use daily. I’ve been using Gmail for ages and have learned about the three features below just recently. Whether you are aware of them or not, I find them pretty awesome and worth covering here.

Indicators: Identify Personal Messages

If you are often copied on some messages, you may want to identify those messages (where you are not the only recipient) from those emails which have been meant and sent only to you. Gmail Indicators feature is what you need!

When enabled, the feature displays an arrow (  ) by messages sent to you and a group of others; and a double arrow ( » ) by messages sent only to you. Arrows won’t appear next to messages sent to a mailing list.

Gmail Personal level indicators

How to set up: Navigate SETTINGS -> GENERAL, scroll down and enable “Personal level indicators”.

(Smart) Mute: Filter Out Long Irrelevant Threads

There’s a tendency for most people to keep exchanging emails hitting “Reply to all” without noticing that there are more people who are copied on that conversation. If you find this really annoying or if you often find yourself copied on irrelevant correspondence, you may love Mute feature which helps to filter out those threads from your inbox.

A better alternative of the default feature is the Gmail Labs project called “Smart Mute”.

Unlike the default “Mute” feature, the Smart Mute makes sure that you are safe from seeing muted conversations again and again: Both Default and Smart Mute features prevent muted conversations from reappearing in your inbox unless your email address is added to the To or Cc field or you are the sole recipient. However the Smart Mute goes one step further: if your email address is already on the To or Cc field and you choose to mute a conversation, it will not reappear in your inbox unless you are the sole recipient.

All the muted conversations can be accessed using Gmail search, just use is:muted filter.

Smart Mute

How to use: On the message thread, click “More actions” button and select the last option called “Mute”

“Filter Messages Like This”: Quickly Create Filters for Any Message

Gmail Filtering and labeling options are powerful tools for task and time management as well as for de-cluttering your inbox. The ability to create quick filters while reading an email is pure GOLD!

With Gmail you can easily create a filter for messages similar to one you’re currently reading.

Filter Messages Like This

How to use: On the message thread, click “More actions” button and select “Filter Messages like This”

Note: You can create an unlimited number of filters, but only 20 filters can forward to other addresses. You can maximize your filtered forwarding by combining filters that send to the same address.

Ann Smarty

Ann Smarty

Brand amd Community Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas
Ann Smarty is the blogger and community manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas. Ann's expertise in blogging and tools serve as a base for her writing,... Read Full Bio
Ann Smarty
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  • Nick Stamoulis

    The filtering/labeling option is a great way to keep emails organized, especially if you are getting a ton of mail everyday. You know what the email is about/who it is coming from because Gmail scanned and labeled it for you. The Gmail tools are great, whether you use Gmail for personal or business emails.

  • Randy Addison

    I never have used the third feature mentioned on the post! Thanks for sharing this one. This is really useful.

  • Anonymous

    Ann, this is a ridiculously nonchalant article and picture.

  • Cool New Gadgets

    No. 1 is really helpful in identifying personal messages. Thanks for the tips on how to activate this feature.

  • alam

    Nice to know about ‘mute’, I’ll try it with alumni mailing list. Thanks

  • alam

    Nice to know about ‘mute’, I’ll try it with alumni mailing list. Thanks

  • Praveen

    HeyAnn Smarty

    Thanks for the info.
    I was really unaware of this features..

  • dowelltaggart

    Great blog post. Gmail has lots of great tools. I sat down for a weekend and checked out the awesome tools. The first one you mentioned is great. I use it to help me decided what emails to read first.

  • Richa

    Thanks for this article, Filter and mute options as I am getting more than 100 mails on daily basis. thanks Ann

  • Siddium

    Thanks for sharing, so much we are unaware of even though certain websites we use on a dialy basis

  • priya

    Wow! So wonderful, I like it, thanks for sharing this with us. Congratulations! You have the wonderful writing & presenting skills. I am hoping in future same work from you.
    Thanks once again.

  • eddikl

    I finally know something new about gmail, thanks.

  • TechGyo

    Thsi is something very new to me. Although I keep Gmail open throughout the day, I have not yet made such discoveries. Nice post Ann. Happy blogging 🙂

  • andru greal

    It is like an ever-engaging and fun playground where users can experiment with prototypes provided by Google.

  • Anonymous

    Very nice article. I didnt knew that gmail got this…

  • Rojae Braga

    Indeed, these are Gmail features that I am unaware of. Thanks for letting people know about this Ann! This will really be helpful for me as I am often copied by most people on long conversation threads. In addition, I would also like to recommend using Outlook to manage one’s emails, as it also got the ability to filter messages by creating “Rules” and other cool features.

  • Toplyt @ College Textbooks

    So there it is… Now, we have Gmail motion, what do you think about this new e-mail feature?

  • Abhijit Chaore

    Indeed..I am using Gmail for past several years but never went to discover these amazing features. Thanks for exploring them and sharing with us.

  • Biztek International

    Thanks ANN. You share very useful information

  • Webnwebs

    ANN you done great job. Very useful topic you share with us. Thanks