TECHNOLOGY

7 Super Helpful Gmail Features to Make Your Electronic Life Easier

More than 1.2 billion people now use Gmail, but lots of folks don’t use the tool to its fullest.

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BY Christina DesMarais - 07 Jul 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Considering that more than 1.2 billion people on the planet use Gmail, there's a good chance you're one of them. If so, Google's G Suite team has shared with me a list of tips which is probably worth perusing. Here are several features the search engine and advertising giant says many users don't know about.

1. Smart Reply

This feature is available on iOS and Android and saves you time by suggesting three quick responses to emails you receive. Once you've selected one, you can send it immediately or edit your response starting with the Smart Reply text. Smart Reply utilizes machine learning to give you better responses the more you use it. So, if you're more of a "thanks!" than a "thanks." person, it'll suggest the response that is more authentic to your habits. This feature appears automatically to all Gmail users, and users can turn off the feature in the Settings menu.

2. Mute a Group Email

If you're part of an email conversation that's no longer relevant to you, you can simply "mute" the email. Muting keeps future responses to that thread out of your inbox so you can focus on important messages. If you decide you want to reference that email again, you can type in the search box "is: muted" and all muted conversations will appear. You can also unmute conversations by opening the email, clicking "More" in the upper right corner and selecting "Unmute."

3. Sign out of all Sessions

While you should always sign out of your Gmail account when accessing it on a public computer, if you ever forget, Gmail has got you covered. You can click "sign out all other sessions" to sign out anywhere else you are loggd into your account. To use this functionality, login to your Gmail account, scroll to the bottom where it says, "Last Account Activity," then click the "Details" button. Then click the "sign out all other web sessions" button to remotely logout of Gmail from computers in other locations.

4. Labs in Gmail

These are experimental, pre-release features that users can enable to add key business functionality to their Inboxes. To enable Labs in Gmail, click the gear icon at the top right of your primary Gmail inbox and click on "Settings." Then, click on the "Labs" tab and enable whichever suits your fancy. For example, you can search for "multiple inboxes" and then enable it and save changes, allowing you to create labels for each email type you want to bucket into a separate inbox. These can be based on the topic, urgency in responding or based on who sends the email.

5. Integrated Search

This feature is enabled in Gmail automatically, so when you are searching for specific content everything related to it shows up right within your inbox, whether it's in Gmail, Google Calendar, Groups or Drive (docs, sheets, slides). Search is more intelligent than ever, showcasing results in the top portion that are the same type as the application you're using, and below, you'll see related documents, contacts, calendar events or emails that are relevant to what you're searching for.

6. Undo Send

You can recall an email you sent. It will delay the email being sent by 5, 10, 20 or 30 seconds, giving you time to "undo" sending the email within the grace period you set-up. This feature is in your Settings (the gear icon) on the General page.

7. Add a Meeting Directly to Calendar from Email

Do this by simply clicking on dates and times underlined in gray in Gmail and click on it where it says "add to calendar." Even if Google doesn't recognize a date or time, just click "More" at the top of the email, then "Create event," a new window is opened in Google Calendar with the original email and event description and everyone on the original email is automatically added to the event. Then, just specify the date and time.