Friday, April 17, 2009

Gmail Labs Offers Diverse New Features

I've been experimenting this week with several of the new features offered in Gmail Labs, and found many of them useful and fairly easy to use. Here's a quick overview, courtesy of Mashable. My personal take is that the Insert Image feature is welcome and long overdue, except, why not make it part of the signature template, instead of having to call in a new image on each e-mail? This would enable you to upload your logo or head shot in the "Settings" mode and have it be a permanent part of your signature tag. Google should work on developing this. Also, I'm pleased they added a pop up task bar on their calendar function. I noticed in using the calendar that there was no way to efficient list to do tasks, or mark them completed, and I also saw that there were substantial complaints online about this. I found having the task bar handy was efficient, and easy then keeping a handwritten list. Good luck trying these out!

1. Offline: This allows you to view your messages anywhere, even if you don’t have wifi.

2. Tasks: Tasks takes your to-do list and makes it part of Gmail. Tasks makes it easy to add items to your to-do list, even allowing you to take emails and turn them into tasks.

3. Superstars: This feature helps you organize your folders with different star icons. Be sure to determine what each icon means to you.

4. Mouse Gestures: Mouse Gestures allows you to scroll through your emails without clicking on multiple links or touching your keyboard. Swipe your mouse right with the right click held down to read your next email or go back to the inbox by swiping down.

5. Email Addict: On Gmail too much? Activate this and a link will appear at the top of the page, allowing you to take a 15 minute break. Great for when you have a lapse of self-control.

6. Navbar drag and drop: Navbar drag and drop makes it easy to organize your Gmail screen by dragging and dropping the items in the menus in the order that you want.

7. Multiple Inboxes: If you’re a Gmail power user, like most of us at Mashable, you have a lot of different mail sources and lots of labels. See more information at once by activating Multiple Inboxes. Note: this creates new inboxes for labels, not inboxes for secondary Gmail accounts.

8. Inserting Images: The newest Gmail Labs feature is a useful one that makes sending images a lot easier.

9. Create a Document: Turn any email into a Google doc with this useful little Gmail Labs feature.

10. Google Calendar gadget: If you’re a regular user of Google Calendar, activate it to link your Gmail to your Google Calendar.

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