Google’s productivity apps—like Gmail, Google Maps, Calendar, Docs, and so on—can play so well together, once you’ve ticked the right checkboxes. We’ve previously shown you seven ways to integrate your Google apps; now we’re adding another seven clever tricks to the fold that make managing your web-based life much easier.This post originally appeared on Lifehacker.
Why should you bother updating and cleaning out your Google Contacts? Because once you get through the tedium of adding in friends and important contacts' birthdays, you can head into your Calendar settings and check the box to the right of 'Contacts' Birthdays and Events,' so that you'll always know when to send a card, email, or quick mention. It's a lot more reliable than hoping you see the notification in Facebook. (Thanks for the tip, timepiece!)
Maybe work has blocked Gmail, but not Google Docs. Or maybe you want to remember something that you're going to paste into Google Docs quite a bit. Any which way you use it, Google's Web Clipboard--built into Google Docs' menu bar, and also as a Chrome extension. The Web Clipboard also does the job of stripping or retaining HTML formatting, which is handy if your normal Ctrl+C/V shortcuts normally mess with your formatting.
Did you write that web site password in an email to Bob, or did you send it to him inside a document? If you need to find something in your Gmail, Google Apps mail, and/or Google Docs account, you'll want to enable Apps Search in your mail Labs. Now your Gmail searches automatically include Google Docs in-document searching, too.
Don't just tack a star onto interesting Reader feed items you come across--go ahead and send them straight into (full) Gmail for sending to friends. See a concert or event coming up? Fling it into Google Calendar. Those two are easy Reader Send-To tweaks, but most Google apps offer similar functionality through URL tweaking, so go ahead and get nuts. (FYI: To activate the Send-To menu without your mouse, hit Shift+T while perusing Reader items).
Google offers nice apps for managing SMS and voicemail through Google Voice, Talk messages through their widgets, and so on. But you can manage all those little messages and pings through Gmail itself, along with Facebook, Twitter, and other notifications. Whitson walks through using Gmail as your central, universal communications hub, and it's good training for anyone who feels beholden to keeping six tabs open at once, at all times.
Setting up Gmail to send email from other accounts isn't too hard, but Gmail lets your recipients know that the mail was sent 'on behalf of' your original address--and some spam filters might not be too cool with that. You can, however, manage all your mail from one inbox and keep it all kosher by authenticating your outgoing mail with a Google Apps account. It's a bit more setup, but the long-term convenience is worth the initial investment.