When it comes to features Gmail easily beats the competition. It doesn’t just do email better than all of its web based competitors like Yahoo. It also does it better than email applications like Outlook and Mail for Mac. Gmail tricks are features which people may not know about.
Gmail has astounding capabilities both on the front end and the back end. It gives you a great UI and fantastic organizing tools on the front end. It provides excellent security and anti-spam features on the back-end.
One great thing about Gmail is that Google keeps updating it by adding new features to it. Gmail is Google’s crown jewel – one of its most successful services ever, and they give it the due time and effort.
That said, there are many Gmail tricks that most people have no idea about. If you want to get the most out of Gmail you need to learn these tricks. The Gmail tricks show the basic philosophy of Google and this is the philosophy which has made them so successful.
Google makes incredibly simple to use products. Ayone can use Google Search and Gmail Tricks easily. At the same time it also makes sure that power users have access to complicated tools. Basically, if you just want to use the service at a bare minimum and don’t want to tinker with anything, Google products work well for you. However, if you are the type of person who likes to personalize stuff and who likes to tinker with products until they are exactly what you want, you’d be pleased to know that Google’s products will still work well for you.
You have to navigate to a few settings pages to enable some of these more advanced features. They are very much worth the trouble of doing so. So if you want to get the most out of your Gmail account, keep on reading these 7 Gmail Tricks.
Gmail Tricks #1) Smart Reply
This is something that you may have noticed if you use the mobile app of Gmail. Gmail’s app has a new feature called smart reply. Gmail will now give you automatic replies to the emails that you get, based on prediction. Basically, Google uses machine learning technology to analyze your replies to emails you have received in your Gmail account. From this, Google tries to understand the type of responses you usually send, and when it gets an email, it accordingly generates a reply you can send without typing anything!
The best part is that the smart reply isn’t a stored reply from a template. It is specifically generated for you. This means that if you usually reply to email very professionally, with the right format and using the professionally used salutations, the smart reply generated will also be written like that. On the other hand, if you reply to emails in a casual manner – something which is becoming the vogue in today’s office culture – and simply reply with a ‘thanks’, then the smart reply generated for you will be similar to the casual style.
This is much better than any similar feature we have seen in any email service. Most services allow you to store templates you can then send to anyone. No service is automatically generating email replies . Make sure you have this enabled in the settings of your Gmail app on your phone. You will be surprised at how well written the smart replies are. You will also save a lot of time when you don’t have to write replies to routine emails.
The Future of Communication?
It also makes you think about what communication will look like in the future. There is so much routine communication which will probably be completely taken over by such automated applications. Imagine someone sending an email because their email program thought they should send it. They just press send on the automatically generated email. Then the recipient uses the smart reply feature to reply to that email. You cannot make communication more effective than that.
As machine learning keeps getting better we keep inching towards artificial intelligence. We can be sure that things like this will become common. It also means that many jobs will be eliminated – like the job of a secretary. In the next few years we will have software that will be able to check your email, answer your calls, and jot down messages. Then everyone will have their own personal assistant. We already have the initial version of this technology in our phones such as Siri and Google Assistant. Just give them a few iterations until they are fully formed personalities living in our phones and computers.
Gmail Tricks #2) Reminders
Google added reminders to the Gmail app at the start of the year, and the way they are implemented makes them very useful. Don’t think these reminders work like the simple reminders you get when you open Gmail on your desktop – this Gmail trick only works on the app. The best part of this is that you will be able to create tasks based on the emails you get. So if you get an email telling you to come to a meeting tomorrow at 3pm, Gmail will automatically give you the option to set a reminder for the meeting that will happen tomorrow. It is a small feature, but it really makes it easy to keep your work life organized when you don’t even have to set up the reminders manually.
Gmail Tricks #3) Gmail Undo
We’ve all had that moment when we sent an email we didn’t mean to, and watched helplessly as it was sent out. Now, once an email reaches someone’s inbox, there’s nothing you can do about it. You may be able to do something about it if you were using your office’s intranet email service, but if you send an email from your Gmail account, or any other web based email service, there’s nothing you can do to bring it back. The Google Undo feature does exactly this – when you send an email, it gives you a few seconds to undo the action.
This is one of those features which you don’t think you will need, but strongly regret not activating it if you don’t. We have sometimes sent replies to someone when we were going to forward their email to someone else with our comments, sent job applications while forgetting to add a CV to the email, and much more. All these awkward and embarrassing situations are avoided thanks to the undo feature.
The Secret Behind This Trick
Now, you may be wondering something – how does this Gmail trick work? Once Gmail has sent an email to another inbox, it cannot bring it back. Think about it – if you send an email to someone on Yahoo, there is no way Google can tell Yahoo’s servers to return an email. That’s the best thing about this Gmail trick – it really is just a trick. The undo option simply delays every email that you send for a few seconds. So when you press ‘Send’ in Gmail it sits in your outbox for under a minute and you get the option to undo immediately. You will notice that the undo option disappears in a few seconds. It disappears when Gmail sends the email to the other user. This may seem like a small thing, but believe us, it can end up saving you a lot of embarrassment someday.
Gmail Tricks #4) Use right click
Here’s something that you may have never tried on Gmail when using it on the desktop – you can right click for more mail options. We all know about right clicking in software applications installed on our computers, but we don’t use right click online. That is because pressing right click usually opens the options of the browser – such as save image, print, and so on. Well, that’s not what happens in Gmail and several other Google services. Instead, you get a context sensitive menu just like you would get in an application on your computer. It’s just one more way that Google mail manages to compete with premium email software applications.
Gmail Tricks #5) Gmail Offline
The biggest advantage of Outlook and other mail software installed in your system is that they allow you to access your inbox even when you are offline. An internet outage will not stop you from reading emails downloaded to your computer, but it will stop you from accessing your mail server that run through a web service, like your Google mail account. Not many people know that there exists a workaround to this as well called Gmail offline. Gmail offline has been developed by Google to deal with this problem, and it allows you to read your emails in your Gmail inbox even when you are offline. You simply have to download and install Gmail offline – it is available right from the settings page in your Gmail account. Once you have it downloaded you can also change settings for it from here.
Gmail Offline is a Google Chrome extension. It will install the Gmail app into your browser which will download your email messages and store them so you can view them offline.
Gmail Tricks #6) Custom Shortcuts
This is the number one Gmail trick for people who send a lot of emails. The fastest way to do anything in most software applications is to use the shortcut keys. A single shortcut can do something which will take multiple clicks and will break the flow of you working. You can enable the custom keyboard shortcuts from the Google Labs section in the Gmail settings page to enable this option. This also helps if you are used to another email service and you want to replicate its shortcuts in Google mail.
Gmail Tricks #7) Customize your Gmail
Bored of the plain old Gmail look? Well, you can always change it! Gmail comes with a host of interesting features that change how your inbox looks. You can go for one of the nature inspired themes for something that is light on the eyes, or you can go for a dark theme if you want. You don’t have to limit yourself to the available themes though – you can upload a custom background to Gmail as well! This is one of our favorite Gmail tricks, because it really isn’t even a trick but most people aren’t aware that they can do this.
Click on themes and on the dialog box that opens an option called ‘My Photos’ can be seen. Click this option to add your own background image to your Gmail inbox. You can use a picture from your Google account or you can upload a picture. You can also choose to blur the background picture if it is causing readability issues, and there is also the option to make text lighter or darker to make it easier to read. Once you are satisfied with the results simply click the save button and now whenever you open your Gmail inbox you’ll be greeted by your chosen background image.
Becoming a pro level Gmail user
These are just some of the little known Gmail tricks for power users. If you are a regular Gmail user you should do a deep study of all the settings available as you are bound to find something that will be useful for you. There are also many extensions and applications that can add functionality to Gmail. If you are a fan of Google mail then you should also know that they will keep adding new features to it.
One thing which we can expect in the future is an organizational feature that works though machine learning. Right now if you want to organize your Gmail inbox well you have to create filters and folders manually. The automation of such features in the future will result in cleaner looking inboxes for all of us. It will also make old emails easy to find. Organizing things the right way makes them easier to find later.
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