5 Tips and Tricks You Might Not Know About Gmail

If you spend any time on the web, chances are that you’ve got a Gmail account.  Whether you use it for business or personal use, you’ve probably figured out the basics by now: you can send an e-mail, maybe add an attachment if you stretch yourself.  If this is you, you’re wasting the amazing potential of Gmail.  It’s a great package that few make the most of.  Here are some stealth tips that will have your Gmail account running smoother, and you pretending like you’re a member of Anonymous with your secret Deepnet techniques.

Gmail Inbox Screenshot
That may be a slight exaggeration, but if you’re not in the know already, you should definitely check these out.

1) Use Boomerang to schedule your messages

Not just an aboriginal bendy weapon, Boomerang is a plugin for Firefox and Google Chrome.  Fancy writing a message now, and then sending it at a time of your choosing? Good, because that’s exactly what Boomerang does.  It essentially gives you a ‘send later’ option on your written messages, allowing you to select a time and date for when you want it fired off.   Particularly useful for the forgetful and those with foreign clients/friends who don’t appreciate their phones beeping at whatever awful hour you’ve just e-mailed them at. Friday lunchtime in your timezone could be Saturday 4.00am in theirs.

Get it totally free from the Boomerang website.

2) Use Streak to Manage your inbox more effectively

Not just a nude at a sporting event, Streak is CRM app to help you manage your business e-mails.  Streak’s functions and potential applications are too numerous to list here, but it’s essentially a filing system for your e-mails that is far superior to the basic labels system in Gmail.  You can group e-mails from individual clients into boxes for easy referencing.  You can also selectively share your inbox company wide, so if someone e-mails one of your contacts, you can see what they’ve said.  This easy sharing system means that everyone involved in a project can see exactly what’s going on, and what stage of the process everyone is at.  It comes with 8 default ‘pipelines’, which are essentially templates for business processes like sales and hiring (you can create your own if they don’t fit your needs). These give you an easy foundation to manage your business relationships internally and externally, and all from your Gmail.

The current beta can be downloaded for free off the Streak website, with premium services on the way.

3) How to create multiple e-mail address with one account

It can be pretty annoying when you try to sign up to site with multiple accounts and you have to set up a new e-mail address because you’re only allowed to register one account per e-mail.  Gmail has a clever way around this.  Say your e-mail address is [email protected]. Just put another stop in there wherever you so choose, for example [email protected].  You’ll circumvent the website’s pedantic need for separate e-mail accounts, and what’s more, any e-mails or newsletters from the site will still come through to original account.   Another sneaky use of this is the fact that you can also supplement your e-mail with a word in this format, [email protected]. This way you can put the name of all the sites you’ve signed up to into your Gmail address, and when you get spam, you’ll know who flogged your details on.

4) How to access Gmail when it’s down

Gmail is pretty sturdy, and it’s not often that it experiences any sustained downtime.  But even the best have an off day, and there are times when it can crucial to access your account.  Just because the Gmail interface is down, doesn’t mean that that there’s nothing ticking away in the background.  You can access the HTML and mobile versions of Gmail through your PC, and whilst they lack a lot of the features, you can still get by on the basics.  It’s best to be prepared though, and by installing Gmail Offline you can read and respond to e-mails without any connection at all.

5) Navigate Faster with keyboard shortcuts

Want to dance around Gmail with your fingers flying around the keyboard like a piano virtuoso?  Go into settings and change Keyboard Shortcuts to on.  Now you can navigate quickly around the interface with basic keyboard commands instead of scrabbling around a laptop touchpad like you’re doing a T-Rex impression.  Check out this list for a guide to all of the shortcuts.

(And just for fun) How to make sure you don’t send drunken e-mails

Anyone who enjoys a pint or glass of wine will probably have sent a text that they’ve later come to regret.  Whilst Gmail can’t help you with your phone habits, it can stop you sending a drunken e-mail. Mail Goggles presents you with a series of timed arithmetic questions before it will allow you to send an e-mail and activates on Friday and Saturday nights, although mid-week drinkers can put their own timers on.

There’s plenty of other cool ways to manipulate Gmail to do your bidding, so if you find these tips useful, hit the Gmail Blog for updates on new features.  There’s also a ton of tricks that the Gmail team might not necessarily have intended, but you may find useful, and if you use Gmail a lot it’s worth the time searching the web to see what the hackers and tricksters have found.

By Evgenia Bobyleva. Evgenia is a search marketer at Datadial.net –West London Web Marketing Agency.

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