Gmail is an essential part of many people’s lives for both personal and business purposes. It is the most powerful email client available, and contains many innovative features. However, most of these aren’t immediately obvious and many individuals use the basic Gmail inbox without exploring the additional features that could make their inbox more organized and make day to day tasks easier to complete. With that in mind, here are six tips to power up your Gmail account and get the most from it every day.
#1 Explore Gmail Labs
Gmail Labs contains lots of interesting features that are at an experimental stage. There are apps and add-ons that can enhance your Gmail account in many ways. Google uses Gmail Labs to test new features and get a feel for how popular they could be. Some never leave the experimental stage but the more popular ones end up as permanent features of Gmail. You can even find industry-specific add-ons that can save you time and effort in your daily tasks. To access Gmail Labs:
- Click on the gear icon and Settings
- Click on Labs and scroll through the list – you can also sort by category
- When you find a Lab you want to try, click on Enable and Save Changes
These features are experimental and occasionally break, causing log-in problems. If you experience trouble logging in after installing a certain Lab, there is a link on Google’s Help page that allows you to log in to your account with all Labs disabled temporarily. You can then go to Settings and disable the troublesome feature permanently.
#2 View different accounts together with the Multiple Inbox feature
If you have multiple Gmail accounts you’ll find this handy feature very convenient. Instead of opening multiple tabs and logging in and out of various accounts, the Multiple Inbox feature combines emails from your work, personal and other accounts into a single view. The emails are displayed in a single inbox and you have the ability to reply from any of your email addresses. To set up this feature:
- Log in to the email account you use least – you’ll be forwarding emails from this into your main account
- Locate the gear icon in the upper right corner of the screen and click on Settings
- You’ll see a tab marked Forwarding and POP/IMAP- click on Forwarding Settings
- Click on Add a Forwarding Address and this will display a pop-up
- Enter your primary email address and click Next
- Confirm the forwarding address in the pop-up window
- You’ll see a message saying that Google is confirming the email address
- Click OK
- You’ll receive a confirmation email in your primary account containing a link
- Click on this and you will receive a success email notifying you the process is complete.
All the emails from your secondary account are now displayed in your primary account. You can repeat this process as many times as needed, meaning that you now only have to log in to a single account with one password for all your emails.
#3 Enable Undo Send Feature
The Undo Send feature was originally a Gmail Lab experiment but has now been made permanent. This feature allows you to recall any email that you’ve sent in error. To enable Undo Send:
- Click on the gear icon and Settings
- Locate the Undo Send section and check the box
- Set the cancellation period
- Up to 30 seconds
- Click Save Changes
To recall an email after you’ve sent it, simply click on Undo when the options box is displayed.
#4 Schedule replies with Boomerang
If you conduct business in different time zones or want to delay sending an email until an appropriate time, you’ll find Boomerang is an invaluable add-on. Boomerang also temporarily hides messages that aren’t ready to respond to, using the handy “snooze” feature – the emails will reappear at a time set by you. Visit the Boomerang website and follow the installation instructions. To use Boomerang, simply write an email as you normally would and then click on the icon to schedule a sending time. You can either use the calendar that is displayed, or type in the text box.
#5 Discover which companies sell your details
It’s annoying and inconvenient when you sign up for an online service, only to receive an influx of spam emails. It’s also a security risk as you could potentially start receiving phishing emails or suspicious links. The good news is you can now find out which companies and websites are selling your information, using a handy trick from Gmail. This is done by inserting + and the name of the website between the first part of your email address and the”@”. All the emails are displayed in your normal account – if you start receiving spam to the alternate address, you’ll know who sold your details. This is an easy and reliable way to reduce spam and you can set up as many alternate addresses as needed, using the same method.
#6 Use Unroll.me for a clutter-free inbox
Unroll.me allows you to manage all your email subscriptions with just a few click. This convenient extension makes it easy to unsubscribe from unwanted newsletters and other junk that’s cluttering up your inbox. It automatically scans your inbox, displaying all your current subscriptions which you can then delete or manage as appropriate. You’ll see your subscriptions grouped together by topic and displayed as threads. To download this extension, visit the Unroll.me website.
Add-ons and additional features such as Boomerang and Multiple Inbox, make using Gmail more enjoyable and less time-consuming, while business users will find a whole host of industry-specific extras in Gmail Labs to make completing day-to-day tasks quicker and easier. You can also be confident that your privacy is protected and your email is as organized and clutter-free as possible. Once you’ve spent a little time enabling these features and familiarizing yourself with them you’ll instantly notice a more personalized and organized inbox.