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Simple Gmail Hacks That I Use Daily

Email is the thing we all love to hate. However, if we can't use Slack, then Gmail is by far the next best thing. Having been a user for Gmail since its early early beta days when you need an invite, I've grown fond of it. The spam filters, the style, the responsiveness, and the access from anywhere is what I love. There are some hidden "features" that many don't know about. I'm going to highlight some that I use daily.

 

In true Google form, everything always seems to be in a stage of "experimentation" like it will eventually die. Remember Google Wave?  The Google Graveyard

 

We are going to look at 3 projects within the Gmail Labs and also some other Account Feature hacks. Where is Gmail Labs? 

 

Within Gmail, click on the top right drop-down with the gear icon and go to settings

 

 

Then go to the link that says "Labs". See that wasn't So hard.

 

Now you are given a list of available labs to enable. Please keep in mind that some of these have actually already been implmented into Gmail, while others have been made obsolete. I'm going to feature the 3 that I use daily.

 

The first is Undo Send. There was a great quote by @BiIIMurray "I do my best proofreading after I hit send" (tweet) which holds true for me. I can't tell you how many times I've had to hit that Undo link because I made a spelling mistake, or forgot to change a sentence, or sent off a scathing email. What I would give for Outlook to have this feature! You have about 4-5 seconds to click that Undo button before you really don't have a chance to get it back. Pretty awesome feature, IMO

 

The second is Unread Message Icon. This is a good and a bad thing. I like it because I can browse into my 1938 other tabs I have open and don't have to worry about waiting for an alert that I got a new email, or randomly just checking it. One the bad side, this feeds into my psuedo-ADD tendencies that whenever it doesn't say "0", I have to see what it is. Did I get another recruiter email? Is my Grandma forwarding me another chain letter? Did I win the viagra lottery? I have to check it!

 

Lastly for the Labs, Authentication Icon For Verified Senders. No joke, I have to turn this on my parents' accounts. Email phishing is about as easy as it comes because you can mask the name of the sender with something that looks totally legit. I get at least 1-2 phone calls a year from a friend or family member because they fell into this trap. One of the things I would like to see is a way to make your own whitelist. Spammers have gotten pretty good about finding a relative's name and sending email from a completely different email address but with their name as the Sender Label. 

 

Of course, we would like to have just 1 email account to rule them all, but that can't always happen. I own a few different domains and use email addresses from those domain to keep it looking legit. However, I'm not going to waste my time going to my shared hosting account and opening up Horde or even having them live locally on my Mail app. Gmail Accounts to the rescue!

 

Don't leave the settings page, just go over to Accounts and Import

 

From here we can add any POP3 account including other Gmail addresses you own. No more checking multiple mailboxes, or signing in and out of gmail.

 

Now when an email is received from one of those accounts it's automatically given a label to easily decipher it in your inbox.

 

Any other gmail hacks you want to share?

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