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Five Great Gmail Tips

Posted By On April 14, 2006 @ 1:40 PM In E-Mail Help | No Comments

Several of you probably know that Gmail is one of the most talked about e-mail services around today. Some of you may not, and that’s okay! This article will help you understand Gmail a little bit more by showing you five neat tricks you can do with it!

Here we go!

1.) How do I use labels?

In real life, we always like to label people, don’t we? Then, why spare our e-mail! Let’s say you get an e-mail twice a week from one of the groups you are involved in and you would like nothing more than to have them all listed together, so you could view them whenever you wanted. Well, that’s no problem.

First, we need to create a label. Name it whatever your group’s name is. (For this example, I’m going to use Baseball Club).

Go to Settings, Label.
Or, in the left panel, click on Edit Labels.



Enter the name of the label here and press Create. After the label is created, go to the next link, which says Filters.



Click on Create a new filter. In the fields that open up, enter the e-mail ID (for example, group@bb.com) of the sender in the “From” field. Then, click on Next.



Now, check on the box which says Apply Label and from the drop down menu, select the label which you would like to put on all e-mails coming from this particular address. Finally, click Create Filter.



Now, all messages that come from group@bb.com will automatically be labeled Baseball Club. You can then create labels for all your e-mails coming from a specific e-mail address (other groups you’re in, friends, family, etc.) and then list them by clicking on the corresponding label in the left panel.

2.) While we are talking about labels…

Gmail supports the standard “plus” addressing scheme. The plus addressing scheme lets you add additional words to your account name. The “plus” word acts as a keyword, which helps you in organizing your e-mail messages efficiently.

Let’s assume that you are a creative genius or a quotes collector and you would like to archive your creative ideas/quotes in one place. How do you do it?

Simple. You have your Gmail account (for example, genius@Gmail.com) and you create a new label. You can name it “Ideas” or “Quotes” or whatever you want. Now, every time you have that great idea or find a wonderful quote, just e-mail it to your Gmail account in the following format:

Username+labelname@Gmail.com

For instance, If your username is genius@Gmail.com and the label that you created is named “Ideas,” the format you would use would be: genius+ideas@Gmail.com. All of the e-mails to this address would automatically get labeled “Ideas.”

Similarly, you could use labels to categorize e-mails under different categories. For example, Username+shoppinglist@Gmail.com (for your wife’s grocery list), Username+office@Gmail.com (for your office correspondence) and Username+amazon@Gmail.com (for your amazon.com account). The possibilities are endless, depending on how many e-mails you get each day from the same addresses.

In case you are still a little confused, your username is your Gmail User ID, which you receive when you first sign up for your Gmail account.

3.) Is it true that I can save my files on Gmail?

Let’s say you have vacation pictures you want to share with your friends or you’re working on a project with other people who are located in another state. Or, maybe you just want a backup of your files online. Gmail lets you accomplish all of these things.

Gmail provides us with 2 GB of space and what’s even better is that this space can be used as an Internet hard drive. All you need to do is download the Gmail Drive plugin. This plugin is necessary for the integration of the Gmail space with your Window ‘s Explorer. The Gmail drive acts just like any other hard drive you have on your computer. It lets you save and retrieve files directly from your Explorer. You can drag and drop files, create new folders and copy files just like you can in your other programs.

Once you get that downloaded, just run the setup and you’re done with that.

Now, open your browser and click on the Gmail drive. It will prompt you to enter you Gmail username and password. Enter the information and bingo, you’re set to go!



Every time a new file is copied or created in the Gmail drive, an e-mail is generated and posted to your account. That e-mail contains the particular file as an attachment. The Gmail drive also regularly checks your Gmail account to see if any new files have arrived.

4.) How can I send an e-mail to a group of people?

Of all the things the wonderful people at Gmail thought of including in their service, they forgot the idea of group mails. Since the days of Pentium 2 computers, people have loved the idea of forwarding mails to a group of people, whether it be the coolest wallpaper, a movie clip or your favorite jokes.

Gmail unfortunately does not let you create groups. However, by using a little workaround, you can accomplish this too.

To do this, Create a New Contact. Enter the name of the group in the name field. (For example, “My card club”). Now, enter all of the e-mail addresses in the To field in the following format:

Make sure that there is no space between the e-mail addresses and that the “>,< is present bewteen all the addresses.

5.) What are some of the most used keyboard shortcuts?

Any action that you can take in Gmail using the mouse can be done with the keyboard too. It just makes doing things a lot more faster.

First of all, we need to enable the keyboard shortcuts. To do that, go to Settings.
Under the General tab, you will see the option to enable/disable keyboard shortcuts.



A few of the most commonly used keyboard shortcuts are:

C = Compose
R = Reply
A = Reply All
F = Forward
P = Previous
N = Next
O = Enter, Open/Expand/Collapse a conversation
X = Select conversations
S = Start the conversation
Y = Archives the e-mail.
U = Returns to Inbox
! = Reports conversation as spam
/ = Goes to the search box

Well, now that you are armed with some of the best Gmail tricks, unleashing your new found prowess on your friends and family will be a lot easier!

~ Yogesh Bakshi


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