Choosing an email service isn’t necessarily a choice that occupies a lot of time for most individuals. Most people have a ‘given’ email address, either through work or school. And since Gmail offers mail service for organizations, many of you may already be using a Gmail account. But if you’re not (and I swear I don’t work for Google or get paid by them, I just think they offer really useful services), I’m here to tell you about a few tools that make Gmail better than your average email service. We’ve already told you about a number of the fabulous shortcuts you can use in Gmail to make your life a little easier and your emailing more efficient, so we won’t bore you with those, but feel free to take a quick look at those older posts – between the two of them they are pretty comprehensive!
I consider ‘undo’ to be pretty much the granddaddy of all of the awesomeness that Gmail offers. Since I’m the girl that often hits send too quickly, or has someone tell me vital information relevant to the email I just sent four seconds ago, this has been a lifesaver a number of times. And by lifesaver, I mean “a great tool that keeps me from looking like a complete idiot”. While you can’t go back and undo something you sent too long ago, this feature can give you a hand in the immediate moments following a ‘whoops’ moment.
In continuing to admit to you how dumb I can be on occasion, Gmail has dummy-proofed attachments, too. Have you ever written someone an email with the intent of attaching a file to it, and then stupidly sending the email without attaching the file you were sending the email for in the first place? No? Only me? Well, if you happen to find yourself in this position someday, Gmail helps you out. If you’ve written something like “I’m attaching xyz here” and then you don’t attach anything, when you click ‘send’, Gmail will prompt you to attach something. Genius.
For those of us with multiple personalities – and by that I mean multiple email addresses – Gmail lets you switch easily between email addresses to make your life easy. This is useful if you have multiple aliases, or if you have a work-sponsored and a personal Gmail address. I like to keep the themes different on my different Gmail accounts – it helps me ensure that I’m sending a message or looking through the archives in the correct account.
Nope, you’re not in Hollywood – the stars are all over your mail to allow you to easily sort, find, and view messages. The standard star is yellow – which I normally use to indicate that there is an asap action related to that particular message. But you can also use other colored stars, too – just click more than once to change the color of the star you want to assign to the message. When you’re ready to search for messages with a particular star color, head over to your search bar and type in has: green-star (or red-star, or purple-star, and so on and so forth).
Now, I know that not everyone feels this way, but I love Gmail’s (new-ish) compose window that pops up in the corner of your screen when you compose a new message. It lets you sift through your other emails while keeping the compose mini-window open, which means less saving, searching, going back, etc.