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10 Gmail Features to Improve Your Productivity

10 Gmail Features to Improve Your Productivity

Do you consider your Gmail to be an ordinary mail account because it’s free. Here are some features of Gmail that will help you improve your productivity.

1. Unlimited Email Addresses

Many of us never know the fact that whenever we create a Gmail account, we get two email addresses. One is the normal wpbag@gmail.com while the second email address is wpbag@googlemail.com. Messages sent to either of the email ids are delivered to your account. It may sound surprisingly, but the domain names Gmail.com and Googlemail.com correspond to the same email service.

Second striking feature is that whenever Gmail receives messages, it ignores extra periods (or dots) inserted in your Gmail address. For example, if your Gmail address is wpbag@gmail.com, mails sent to spec.ky@gmail.com, sp.ecky@gmail.com and s.p.e.c.k.y@gmail.com will also be delivered to you. No matter how many instances of dots or periods you use, it’s never processed during Gmail.

2. Archiving Gmail Messages

Gmail allows you to archive mails that are less important but may be used later. Archiving means moving mail out of your Inbox and storing it backward for future use. Your messages will be stored in the archive folder of Gmail and it may be accessed anytime. A nice way to keep your Inbox clean.

3. Personal Level Indicators / Arrows

Sometimes you need to find out whether a message was sent to just you or to a mailing list. Gmail has an inbuilt feature which allows users to see if they are the only recipient for the mail or the mail was sent to many. Gmail displays arrows, or “personal level indicators”, next to messages in the Inbox. A single arrow (“›”) means the message was sent to you as well as others, a double arrow (“»”) next to a mail indicates that it was sent just to you. Activate this feature on Settings page.

4. Gmail’s Multiple Inbox Feature

Many of us may not have heard of Gmail’s multiple Inbox feature that allows accessing different email accounts through a single  account. By integrating all different email addresses together in Gmail, you’ll be able to keep track of them without the hassle of  logging into multiple accounts. The multiple Inbox feature can be enabled to access third-party email accounts, besides your Gmail accounts.

How to enable multiple Inbox feature in Gmail?

  • Set up your other email to forward to your desired Gmail account.
  • Set up Gmail to “Send as” your alternative email address.
  • Go to Settings> Accounts.
  • Under “Send mail as”, click “Add another email address”.
  • Enter your name and the alternative email address here.
  • You may also add a “Reply to” address.
  • Click “Next step”, then “Verify”.
  • Gmail will send your a verification link to the alternative address.
  • After activation, your new “Send from” address will be start working.
  • Every time you compose new mail, a drop-down box will appear from which you can choose among the several email ids to be selected as your “Sender” email id.
  • While replying, you can set your account to reply as the same address to which the mail was sent or reply from the address where you are viewing the mail. Go to Settings> Accounts. Choose “Reply from the same address the message was sent to” or the other option, as you like it.

5. Use Gmail Labs

Gmail Labs is a collection of experimental features for Gmail. There are several categories and lots of features under each of them. Go to Settings> Labs to enable them.

Here are a few of them which are favorite among Gmail users.

Undo Send: This feature gives you 5 seconds to “Undo” after you click “Send”.

Themes: With the help of this feature, we can personalize our Inbox and make it colourful.

Signature: Add your signature at the bottom of your mails. You can add images or logos to be used as signature for your outgoing mails.

6. Labels or Filters

Do you spend a lot of time searching mails about certain project or from certain person. Use Labels to organize your mails in Gmail. (You an see the button above your Inbox.) It’s very similar to a folder.

That’s only half of the story. When used along with Filters, can work wonders in organizing your Inbox. Go to Settings> Filter, and create a new filter with appropriate settings. Also, set the filter to apply the desired label. Pretty simple. Huh!

7. Star Mails

Stars are another tool for better organization of your Gmail Inbox. Use them to mark occasional important mails or something that you would like to get back to.

8. Forwarding Mails to Another Account

Gmail lets you automatically forward incoming mails to another address. Go to Settings> Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab. From the drop-down menu, select “Add new email address”. Enter the email address to which you’d like your messages forwarded. Verify the  address. Now, come back to same settings page and set the “Forward a copy of incoming mail to” option to appropriate address. The same page also allows you to remove the forwarding.

9. Search Your Mail

Though a very basic feature, it can save a lot of time when looking for some mail by a person or on certain topic. Nothing to explain.

10. Backup Messages

We can easily backup all our Gmail messages to a different email service. It’s very useful to keep a backup of all the vital mails as you don’t want them to be lost. To backup our mails, go to Settings> Forwarding and POP/IMAP. Select “Forward a copy of incoming mail to” and enter an email address there. Save.

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