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Google Tips and Tricks
By: Joe Eitel
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    Table of Contents:
  • Google Tips and Tricks
  • Making the Most of Gmail
  • Making the Most of Other Google Services

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    Google Tips and Tricks - Making the Most of Gmail

    (Page 2 of 3 )

    There are some folks who would argue that Gmail is the best thing since sliced bread. It may sound like a dramatic statement, but there's really no denying that Google's e-mail service has revolutionized the way we manage e-mails.

    Unlike Hotmail and Yahoo, that bog down service speed with tons of graphics and ads while also failing to offer helpful features, Gmail comes jam-packed with a number of helpful built-in features that don't even require learning. Gmail simply puts them to work. Frankly, there's no way the average user could process dozens of e-mails each day with a provider like Hotmail.

    As awesome as Gmail is, there are actually a number of things users can do to make the service even more effective and helpful. Here are a few tips that require little effort, though they produce major results:

    Attachment Alerter

    We've all done it before: written an e-mail to a co-worker, boss, or even worse -- potential boss -- telling them about the report/resume we're attaching, only to forget to attach the document. Not only is it embarrassing to have to send a follow-up e-mail apologizing for the oversight, but it also makes us look unprofessional and incapable of multi-tasking. Gmail's Attach Alerter will make sure this never happens again.

    The Alerter basically scans e-mails for the word "attach" and similar variations on the word (attached, attachment, etc.) in the main body of the e-mail. If, after clicking send, the Alerter notices that there is no document attached, it will refrain from sending the e-mail and a box will pop asking whether or not you intended to include an attachment.

    Genius, right? All you have to do to enable the Attach Alerter is click on Gmail's "Settings" link, then click on the "Labs" tab. From there, you simply have to select the "Enable" option button associated with the "Forgotten Attachment Detector" and then make sure to click on "Save Changes" at the bottom.

    Forward E-mails Automatically

    Say, for example, you've been using your personal e-mail address for work, but the small company you work for has finally gotten around to assigning you an e-mail address. We all know what a hassle it is to stop using an e-mail address after it's been associated with us for years. You have to export your contacts, contact everyone and let them know of your new address, and even if you create an outgoing message, there's no guaranteeing that important contacts will actually remember to add your new address to their list of approved contacts.

    Thankfully, with Gmail you can avoid all of that by enabling a feature that allows all of your Gmail to be forwarded to another account without any hoopla, outgoing messages, or confusion. To do this, click on the "Settings," then on the "Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab."  Now, simply click on the button "Forward a copy of incoming mail to," and then type your new or alternate address into the text box.

    Gmail -- being as thorough as it is -- also gives users the option of deciding what they want to do with the e-mails in their original account after they've been forwarded. It's up to you whether you decide to keep a copy in Gmail's inbox, archive Gmail's copy, or delete Gmail's copy.

    No More Folders, Use Labels

    Thanks to Gmail, the days of organizing e-mails into countless, meticulous folders is over. No more sorting, searching, and panicking over lost or misplaced files. Alternatively, Gmail enables users to label e-mails, which is kind of like tagging them. Multiple labels can be assigned to a single e-mail, which makes it easier to find when searching.

    To create a label, click on "Settings," enter the name of your tag in "Label" and click "Create." All of the labels you create can be clearly seen in your labels list, which is right below the spam folder. Now, whenever you want to label an e-mail, select the e-mail message or Gchat conversation and drag and drop it into a specific label.

    Use Last Login for Security Purposes

    If you suspect that someone has been looking at your Gmail account without your permission, Gmail has a feature that enables you to see when the last login time was and what actions were taken during that session. This feature is called "Last Account Activity," and it displays the five most recent activities associated with your Gmail account.

    To enable this feature, click on the "Details" link, which can be reached at the bottom of your Gmail page under "Last Account Activity." This feature provides you with helpful information like the type of access that was used during the most recent activity (mobile device, conventional browser, etc.), the IP address of the last login, and the date and time of access.

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