10 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do With Gmail And Google Calendar

Five years after launch, Google finally took Gmail out of Beta last summer. But make no mistake, Google continues to constantly update the product with new experimental features.

 

For example, last year,  Google software engineer Ari Leichtberg built a feature called “Got The Wrong Bob.” “Got The Wrong Bob” scans the recipients of a user’s email and, if it looks like the auto-complete accidentally put the wrong “Bob” in the “to” field, it alerts the sender to the mistake.

Another handy feature Google added last year is something called “Google Goggles.” If activated, it requires a Gmail user to complete simple maths problems before sending late night emails. The idea is to prevent users from sending email they “may regret the next morning.”

Google’s business goal with these is to both drive consumer and enterprise adoption of its productivity apps. The more consumers use Google products, the more they use Google search, fueling the company’s primary cash engine. Google’s enterprise apps business is still small, but profitable.

The problem is, these new features aren’t standard to Gmail.

They might be some day, but for now you can only add them by going to something called Gmail Labs, which Google calls “a testing ground for experimental features that aren’t quite ready for primetime. They may change, break or disappear at any time.”

Learn more about secret Gmail and Google Calendar features and how to install them →

Photo: payalnic

[slideshow]
[slide
permalink=”gmail-youtube-previews-in-mail-1″
title=”Gmail: YouTube previews in mail”
content=”Whenever someone includes a link to a YouTube video in an email, a thumbnail preview of the video appears at the bottom of the message.

You can see what the preview image is and what the video is called. Clicking on it expands the video, and lets you watch it right there in your Gmail.

The bad news: once everyone has this, Rick Rolling will be a thing of the past.

There are similar preview experiments for Picasa, Flickr, and Yelp.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b673e390000000000ccb61c/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”gmail-forgotten-attachment-detector-2″
title=”Gmail: Forgotten Attachment Detector”
content=”If you’ve ever sent an email asking someone to check out the attached photo, song, or paper, only to realise later that you hadn’t actually attached anything, this is the app for you.

Forgotten Attachment Detector scans your emails for phrases that it thinks promise an attachment, and prompts you if nothing is actually attached.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b673e550000000000968196/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”gmail-mail-goggles-3″
title=”Gmail: Mail Goggles”
content=”Google’s description:

‘Google strives to make the world’s information useful. Mail you send late night on the weekends may be useful but you may regret it the next morning. Solve some simple maths problems and you’re good to go. Otherwise, get a good night’s sleep and try again in the morning.'”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b673e630000000000e2cc81/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”gmail-title-tweaks-4″
title=”Gmail: Title Tweaks”
content=”Sometimes the tiniest adjustments can make your life a whole lot easier.

To make life easier for people who keep multiple tabs open in their browsers, Gmail includes the number of new messages you have in you inbox in the page title; you can see if you have new mail just by glancing at the tab, without having to click over to it.

But for those of us who keep a lot of tabs open at once, this doesn’t work. The title is displayed like this:

Gmail – Inbox (20) – [email protected]

As the width of each tab shrinks, the only important piece of information is quickly cut off. Title Tweaks simply rearranges the title thus:

Inbox (20) – [email protected] – Gmail

Our only question: Why isn’t it this way by default?”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b673e7400000000008190f4/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”gmail-dont-forget-bob-5″
title=”Gmail: Don’t forget Bob”
content=”A great tool for people who regularly send email to the same or similar groups of people.

If you type two or more email addresses into the recipients field, Gmail will automatically suggest other people whom you might want to include, based on the groups you most frequently email. You can add whichever of these suggested emails you want with a single click.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b673e850000000000a5f79d/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”gmail-got-the-wrong-bob-6″
title=”Gmail: Got the wrong Bob?”
content=”If that’s not enough Bob for you, this is a good follow-up:

‘Doh, have you ever addressed an email too quickly, and included Bob (your boss) instead of Bob (your friend) by accident? If you’re emailing more than two people at once, Gmail will check if you meant to include Bob Smith rather than Bob Jones based on the groups of people you email most often.'”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b67440b00000000005ed757/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”calendar-attach-google-docs-7″
title=”Calendar: Attach Google Docs”
content=”Just what it sounds like, this experiment allows you to attach Google Docs word processing documents, spreadsheets, or presentations to your events.

This lets you see events for which you need to have something prepared, and click straight through to working on them. You can also share documents attached to shared events.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b673ec50000000000dce201/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”calendar-dim-future-repeating-events-8″
title=”Calendar: Dim future repeating events”
content=”For the forgetful, it’s nice to be reminded even about tasks that come up every day or week at the same time.

On the other hand, these events are often just distracting clutter when you’re looking at what you have coming up in your calendar. This experiment dims repeating events so that the one-offs stand out.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b673ee10000000000a70eee/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”calendar-year-view-9″
title=”Calendar: Year view”
content=”Not the most exciting experiment in the world, but useful.

By default, you can look at your schedule by week or by month. This adds a full year view. Handy.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b673ef40000000000733d15/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”gmail-and-calendar-add-any-gadget-by-url-10″
title=”Gmail and Calendar: Add any gadget by URL”
content=”If these experiments don’t provide enough customisation for you, this one will help you mine another source: gadgets.

Gadgets provide a wide range of features and run in the side bar. This experiment provides a field where you can instantly add any gadget by URL.”
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b673cb50000000000800425/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”interested-to-install-a-gmail-labs-feature-first-go-to-settings-at-the-top-right-of-your-gmail-inbox-page-11″
title=”Interested? To install a Gmail Labs feature, first go to “Settings” at the top right of your Gmail inbox page”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b699dd10000000000d1a357/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”then-click-labs-12″
title=”Then click “labs””
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b699ddb00000000005ebed5/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[slide
permalink=”and-boom-youre-there-the-process-is-the-same-for-google-calendar-13″
title=”And boom, you’re there. The process is the same for Google Calendar.”
content=””
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/4b699ec80000000000c99bbc/image.jpg”
caption=””
credit=””
credit_href=””
]
[/slideshow]

NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.