Tips for Gmail users

Gmail has a number of useful features that many users are unfamiliar with. Not only can you access these features through your own Gmail account, but they are also available to you if you own your own domain, via Google Apps.

Some of my favourite features are:

  1. Use filters to sort mail into prearranged labels (categories). These can act as a collection of common searches & allow a email to be in more than one label at a time.
  2. Tell Gmail to use https always. Https encrypts traffic to and from Gmail servers. This mode uses SSL encryption & could protect you from potential Wi-fi snoops and data hijacking.
  3. Search messages sent during a certain time interval. The after: & before: operators can be used to search for emails sent within a stipulated time period.
  4. Activate Google Labs. These are additional features that allow you to customize your user experience. Some of my favourites include “Canned Responses”, which allows standard responses to autofill your email. “Default Text Styling” allows the customization of the text used in your emails. “Nested Labels” allows you to manage your emails by sorting them into a hierarchy of labels. “Google Calendar Gadget” adds a box in the left column which displays your upcoming appointments.
  5. A browser extension that I find particularly useful is Gmail Manager. It places a small button on your browser that can monitor you mail account, & clicking the button opens Gmail in a tab.