GMail Tricks You Probably Haven’t Tried
Google's GMail is the world’s best email system, in my opinion. With over a billion active users, it's also the most popular. GMail has many features that make life in your inbox more pleasant and productive, but today I'll show you some tricks it can do that most people have not discovered. Read on for the scoop…
More GMail Tips and Tricks
I've used GMail since 2004, and would never consider going back to a world where I'm tied to an email program on one desktop computer. The main benefit of any webmail service is of course the ability to access your email anywhere, on any device. GMail's spam and malware filters are lightyears ahead of the competition. Its filing, search, and retrieval functions work intuitively and accurately. It’s online 99.9999% of the time, in my experience.
I've written before about GMail basics, message filtering, addons, and how to add new features with GMail Labs. You can find those articles by visiting AskBobRankin.com and searching for "gmail" using the search box at the top of the page. Here are some additional GMail tricks most people don't know about.
Customize your email address without changing it. Often times, you need to supply your email address when creating an online account, making a purchase, etc. By adding a plus sign and a tag to the end of your GMail address, you can keep track of who has shared your email with others. For example, when making a purchase at Kohls, you could enter email@example.com on the order form. Messages sent to that address will still appear in the firstname.lastname@example.org inbox. Similarly, when signing up for online newsletters, you could enter email@example.com, and use a GMail filter to sweep all incoming newsletters to a special label (folder).
You can also add dots to your username, like this: firstname.lastname@example.org or even email@example.com. Gmail ignores the dots and treats all those addresses the same as firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you want to get really fancy, use dots and the plus sign: email@example.com. (See Tame Your Inbox With Filters to learn how to create filters in GMail.)
Consolidate all of your email accounts under the GMail Webmail system. Yes, even Yahoo Mail, Hotmail or Outlook.com mail, AOL mail, and your company’s email such as firstname.lastname@example.org. All of your email from all of your accounts get the benefits of GMail’s filters, filing system, etc. Yet your company mail is still sent and received via your company’s email server, and copies can remain on that server as well as on GMail. When you want to send an email or reply to one, you can pick from a dropdown list which email account you wish to use.
To add email accounts to your GMail account, click on the gear icon in the upper-right corner of any GMail page. Select “Settings” and then “Accounts and Import.” In the section labeled, “Send mail as…” click on “Add another email address you own.” Follow the prompts, respond to the verification email that Google sends to the added address, and repeat as necessary.
“Import mail and contacts” is the section just above “Send mail as…” It allows you to fetch all of your contacts and old mail stored on Yahoo, Hotmail, Outlook.com, AOL, and other Webmail servers. Once they are all in your GMail account, you can forget about the old servers unless you need to send or receive mail through them. Note that the importation process can take several days if you have lots of old mail on another email service.
Gmailify your mobile inbox. Users of the Gmail app for Android can “Gmailify” their @yahoo.com, @hotmail.com, and/or @outlook.com accounts to take advantage of Gmail (spam filtering, search, and organization features) without changing your existing email address. The Official Google Blog explains how to link foreign accounts to a Gmail account and “Gmailify” them. https://gmail.googleblog.com/2016/02/gmailify-best-of-gmail-without-gmail.html
Delegate authority over your Gmail account to an assistant, supervisor, or even a group of coworkers. You can give another person access to your Gmail account without revealing your Gmail password. That delegate may then send Gmail in your name, read your mail, and delete messages for you. But a delegate can never change your password or other settings. You can have an infinite number of delegates managing your Gmail account, or be a delegate on an infinite number of Gmail accounts. You can add or remove a delegate at any time. https://support.google.com/mail/answer/138350?hl=en
I touched on the existence of GMail Labs in the beginning of this article. But there are some cool optional features there that you can enable with a couple of clicks. If you are logged into your GMail account, click the gear icon, select “Settings” and then “Labs.” One of my favorites is "Quote selected text." That allows you to highlight a block of text in a message, and it will be quoted in the outgoing reply message. Without this feature, you have to manually trim all the unwanted text in your reply message. You can quickly enable any of the Labs options to try them out, or disable them if desired.
I've been using Gmail for 12 years, and have 25 gigabytes of messages stored there. I've moved from one computer to another, and switched Internet service providers several times over those years. But my email has stayed constant, and GMail just keeps getting better. Do you use any of these GMail features? Do you have some GMail tips to share?
Your thoughts on this topic are welcome. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 24 May 2016
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- GMail Tricks You Probably Haven’t Tried (Posted: 24 May 2016)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved