Advanced Ways to Improve Gmail

Gmail has all kinds of hidden secrets including the ability to send emails later, send emails without anything in the body, make better Gmail searches, undo sent messages, quote selected text in a reply, drag-and-drop files in pictures, resize images and use Gmail off-line.

The email service also offers more advanced features for those who know that that are there and how to access them.

Signing Out Of Gmail Remotely
Have you ever left a computer in a public location, such as a library or cyber cafe, and worried that you havent signed out from Gmail. If you left it open, anyone could read your email, and potentially access sensitive information. If they were really up to no good, they could reset passwords on some of your accounts and even make purchases.

There is a Gmail solution to this problem. At the bottom of your listing message, on the right, you will be informed where else you are logged in. If you see that you are logged in in several locations dont worry straightaway, because sometimes the feature has old sessions included.

When you click on the details a new window will open providing you with the locations that you are logged in. You will also have the opportunity to sign out of any sessions that are currently active, other than the computer you are on. If anyone else is on your Gmail account, they will immediately be locked out and see the sign on page.

Having Gmail as Your Default Email Client
When we are browsing on the web, we often want to click a link to send an email. You will have seen the mailto: function. Unfortunately this will only open up the default email client on our system. Firefox and Chrome have sorted out a way around this.

Setting up in Firefox- Click the menu item at the top of Firefox and then click options > options, and go to applications within the dialogue box that pops up. Navigate to the mailto option and select Gmail using the drop-down menu.
Setting up in Chrome- Go to the address bar and type chrome://settings/handlers. A dialogue box will appear. Again there will be a mailto option on which you can select Gmail as the default.

If you want to achieve the same aim on the Microsoft browser then you can do so by installing a Google Toolbar into IE.

Customising Email Addresses
Its possible to customise your email address so you can see exactly how people are using your contact details. Google ignores ‘. in any email address. Therefore, phil.turner@gmail.com will be exactly the same as philturner@Gmail.com. Both of these emails are exactly the same as p.h.i.l.t.u.r.n.e.r@gmail.com. You get the point.

If you submit your email to a site which you suspect may be selling addresses, you can customise your email with ‘. to track the responses you get.
In addition Gmail will ignore anything after a ‘+ in your email address. Therefore you could sign up with the email address
phil.turner+infobarrel@gmail.com. You can then track where any responses come from by simply reading the address used to send to your Gmail.

Also dont forget @Googlemail.com and @Googlemail.co.uk still work. If youre having problems with sites accepting Gmail.com these may be a good workaround.

Keyword Shortcuts
You can turn this feature on in the settings through the Cog icon. Search for the general tab and you will find keyboard shortcuts.

Some of the most common and useful shortcuts are:

Clicking ‘C opens a new email to be composed.
Clicking ‘R replies to the sender of the email highlighted.
Clicking ‘F will forward a message.
Clicking ‘A will reply to all recipients of a message.
The Priority Filters

The majority of Gmail users deactivated the priority feature as soon as it was implemented. It essentially splits emails into different mailboxes depending on the description of the email.

The feature is in reality quite handy. If you have deactivated it, it might be handy to know that you can reactivate to re-categorise your emails.

To reactivate click ‘More, below the filters in the bottom left hand corner of the screen. Then click categories. You can then choose from the list what you would like. This can make a search for a specific message much easier than trawling through a single cluttered email box.

Make Sure You Suggest Features
Google actively invites suggestions from the Gmail community. Its possible to vote on a list that has been developed so that you can help prioritise the Gmail features that are rolled out in the webmail platform. The list is pretty good, although you cant add your own suggestions. You cant see how voting is going either, so theres no way of knowing what is popular amongst the Gmail community.

If you have a burning desire for a certain feature to be included in Gmail then make sure you vote. The voting page is support.google.com/mail/suggestions/16932.

Gmail is a truly powerful webmail service. Whether you are on Everything Everywhere mobile broadband on your smartphone, or whether you are one AOL broadband on your laptop, you can synchronise between devices and have a seamless email experience. Its well worth getting to know some of the tips and tricks to get a little bit more out of Gmail. They will help you to be faster, more accurate, safer and more efficient in your use of the platform.

Lots of people are switching to Gmail, as shown by the fact that it is taken over as the number one webmail client in the world; the mantle previously held by Hotmail and Yahoo. If you arent using Gmail yet then maybe you should give it a go!

Phil Turner has just changed to AOL broadband as his ISP after searching through comparison sites like uSwitch for good deals.

 

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