Gmail is arguably the best web-based email system going. It’s free, feature-packed, and fully supported by Google.
Some of the cooler features are a little hidden, so we’ve put together this guide to help you get the most from your inbox.
You’ll learn how to create labels and filters, track who’s distributing your email address, and even be more communicative in your chats.
Enable keyboard shortcuts by clicking on 'Settings' and selecting 'Keyboard shortcuts on.' With a little bit of practice, you'll never need to take your hands off the keyboard. We have the shortcuts pictured, or you can print out Google's cheat sheet here.
Every individual message in Gmail has its own unique URL. If you find yourself continually referring to the same email and don't want to print it out, you can bookmark it to find it again in a flash.
When chatting with your contacts in Gmail, you can apply text styles as follows:
Stop manually organising your email and let Google handle it for you. Click on the Create a filter link (next to the Search the Web button at the top of any Gmail page). Put your criteria in the appropriate fields. Click Test Search to see which messages would appear in your filter. You can update your criteria and run another test search, or click Next Step. Then you'll tell Gmail what to do with each message as it's filtered - forward it to another email address, delete immediately, or something else entirely.
Lifehacker has compiled a list of 10 must-have Gmail filters that you can check out here.
Labels are yet another way to keep your email organised. Tag all your Amazon receipts with a 'Shopping' label, or keep track of work correspondence with a 'Professional' label.
To create them, just click the Labels drop-down menu (or if you have keyboard shortcuts enabled, type L). Type the name of your new label and click 'Ok.' You can now apply the label to any conversation you want to make it easier to find it the future.
While you do only have one email address, you can theoretically generate as many as you want with the help of a plus sign. It looks like this: [email protected] This is handy for when you want to track where your email is coming from and who is distributing your address.
For example, you subscribe to a newsletter with [email protected] You'll receive the newsletter, but you'll also know that any emails you receive with that keyword in there came from subscribing to that newsletter.
Gmail will deliver messages to your inbox no matter where a period is placed within your user name. For example: [email protected] and [email protected] will both go to the same address. This is very useful if you want to create multiple accounts on a site like Twitter, but still have all your updates sent to the same inbox.
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