As promised, we are back with our third and final part of tips to become a power user of Gmail. If you have not read our previous articles yet, we request you to take a look at them. In the first part, we had discussed the basics of Gmail, while second part dealt with the Gmail’s interface. Today we will move towards some advanced options so that you can use the Gmail just the way you want it.
While using computers, we use combination of a keyboard and mouse for performing all the tasks. It is definitely intuitive, but many a times too much time is wasted by moving our hands to and fro between both keyboard and mouse. As obvious, we need the keyboard to type out the email, so what if we could use it only for doing basic tasks? Gmail allows for variety of keyboard shortcuts, which can work with different key combinations. For example- Pressing ‘C’ would bring a compose window, while pressing ‘Shift+#’ would delete the email, and much more.
Here’s a look at all the shortcuts supported by Gmail. However, keep in mind that some of the shortcuts are supported by Gmail by default and others have to be enabled by going to settings.
You can bring up this menu by simply pressing ‘?’. It is not necessary to remember all of them, but use few of them which can do the basic actions.
You can also customize keyboard shortcuts, for that you need to read our next point.
Test out the Labs
Under Gmail settings, a nice feature set in neatly hidden under the name ‘labs’. Though the name doesn’t gives any idea about what users will find in it, it certainly adds some useful capabilities to the Gmail.
Most of the options are easy to understand and can be applied depending upon one’s needs. Some of the options which we definitely recommend:
- Multiple Inboxes to allow usage of multiple Gmail IDs from same browser.
- Right Side Chat to have Gmail Chat (now called hangouts) at the right side.
- Google Docs preview to preview word/ excel/ powerpoint files through Google Drive
- Mark as Read to mark one or multiple emails as read.
- Custom Keyboard shortcuts allows user to set their own key combinations for any action.
- Undo Send to undo the email you just sent to wrong person by mistake! (However, you have to very quick as it can be used only within 10 seconds)
- Canned Response is so useful option that we have covered it as next point.
Many of our replies for different emails are repetitive. So, it is not productive to type almost the same text for email again and again. Would not it be better if we can have some kind of a template which we can use whenever we want and if needed, make some changes in it, as well? That’s where Canned Response functionality comes into use. You can simply save any text as a canned response and use it wherever you need.
To save a message as Canned Response, click the menu at the bottom right and then select canned response option. Here you can save the message.
To use it, you simply need to select the canned response in the mail and it will automatically be added.
Interestingly, you can automatically send a canned response to specific mail. If you remember in the first part, where we discussed Advanced Search capabilities of Gmail, you can also set an automatic reply with the help of canned response.
Adding Emails as Tasks
If you are using Gmail primarily for work purposes, then it is pretty sure that most of the emails would be about some task. So, in the end, if you need to perform a task for the respective email, it would be better to add it as a task. In Gmail, you can simply select ‘Add email as Task’ option and it will save the task in the Task window. You can refer if whenever you want and thus you know the tasks you are having at your hand.