Pretty much everyone has a Google account. Whether you use it for commenting on YouTube or for updating your Blogger blog, you’re all ready to go! If you don’t already use it, Gmail is probably the best free email platform around – but are you using it to its best abilities? We’re going to look at some tricks you might not have tried out yet
Usually the bane of our lives on our phones, but if you’re writing an email on your laptop, this is actually one of the most useful features we’ve found so far! You may need to turn on “Experimental Access” which is found in the Gmail general settings page (the feature was already enabled on our new account, but if you have an older account things may be different) then on the same general settings page, make sure that the option for Smart Compose is set to “Writing suggestions on”
Why is this so great though? Smart Compose uses AI to judge how you would write an email and tries to help you along. If you agree with what it’s written, just hit the tab key to insert that text into the email, otherwise just keep on typing. It’s possibly a little too intelligent – the post linked above mentions that if you’re writing an email on a Friday, it could potentially suggest “Have a great weekend!” as a closing phrase.
A similar feature that we’ve posted about previously in Gmail is Canned
If you get lots of emails that you might want to see but don’t need to see all the time, the filters feature is so useful. You can set filters depending on who sent it, or if there is specific text in the email, or even if it’s over a certain size. From there you can choose what to do with that email – the most obvious things to do are to mark the email as read or if it’s something you truly don’t need to see but don’t want to unsubscribe, skipping the inbox is so useful. If you have canned responses enabled, you can automatically reply to an email with a response, or you can label your emails so they’re easier to find later. (Labels in Gmail work in the same way as folders in other email programs, so you can label all emails from Shopstyle as relating to affiliate links for example.)
The Side Bar
If you’re using the new look Gmail, there are a few icons on the right hand side that are really useful. One is the calendar where you can see all the items on your calendar for today. This is only your Google calendar, so if you’re an iCloud user, you’ll need to subscribe to your iCloud calendars in Google (you can find more details on how to do that from this link – something else that’s also useful to subscribe to is your Facebook events which you can find out more about here)
Another useful icon in the side bar is the Tasks one. It’s useful because it’s not too in the way to jot down a reminder, but also you can drag and drop emails into there to remind you to work on them. Finally, you can also access Keep here, which is just a notes feature.
Reminders and Snoozing
Gmail will now highlight emails that have been sat in your inbox for a while and ask if you want to respond. This prompt doesn’t appear so much when it’s a newsletter, but if it’s a personal email, then it will have something like “Received 3 days ago. Reply?” or “Sent 5 days ago. Follow up?” on the right hand side.
Another useful feature is the snooze button. If there’s an email that you need to do something with, but don’t want to keep seeing until then, or you like to keep your inbox as clear as possible and don’t want emails lurking around in there, you can now use the snooze feature which will archive the email and then bring it back to your inbox at a time and date that you choose. This is really useful for events and appointments where you might need the details of the event as you head out.
What’s your favourite Gmail feature?