Saturday, June 26, 2010

Must have Gmail Labs features and tricks

Thoughtworks email move to Gmail was probably the best thing a TWer could have asked for.

Now having Gmail as your mail client, it is also important to harness its complete potential. If a lot of your work involves emailing people, here is a list of GMail Labs features you would want enabled and a few tricks you must know.

(Thanks to the Official Gmail Blog for sharing this !)

1. Don't Forget Bob
(Enable from Labs)

If you often mail a set of people GMail tries to recognize a pattern and suggests including others to ensure you have not missed anyone in the "regular" list.

2. Undo Send
(Enable from Labs)

A very useful feature if you end up clicking send to soon to realize that you missed adding something important to the email, this gives you the "Undo" option !. Of course the popup above remains for not more than 30-40 seconds :-)

3. Move Icon column to the left
(Enable from Labs)

By default GMail shows all your icons on the right of the subject line which is sometimes quite inconvenient when you are looking for "that one mail from Bob which had an attachment" by scrolling down. You can move the icon column to the left by enabling this feature in the Gmail Labs.

4. Drag and Drop attachments

Most GMail users often don't know this is possible. This best works in Chrome. (Has a file locking issue in FireFox).

5. Missed an attachment

GMail looks for phrases such as "Please find attached" etc... in your email and alerts you about a missing attachment to save you from embarrassment .

6. Finding a long lost attachment

You can use the "has:attachment" tag in the search to search for a specific filename or type of file which had come as an attachment.

7. Going back to inbox while typing an email

Quite often, when you are typing an email you wish to go back the Inbox to lookup something more. Most users using the web interface end up opening the inbox in another new tab. A lesser known feature of Gmail is to click the icon on the right in the above pic which elegantly does the same.

8. Canned Responses
(Enable from Labs)

If you often send the same kind of email with a few variables you can use the "Canned Responses" feature to create such templates and minimize typing such mundane emails each time.