Red Duck Studios

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Gmail Labs: 10 Features You Can't Live Without

Late last year when Gmail Labs was enabled for hosted domains the great email debate ended for me. The features available with Labs transform Gmail from an already amazing email client into a highly productive and free alternative to Outlook. Here are my 10 favorite Gmail Labs features in no particular order. To enable these features in your gmail look for the labs link in the top right corner.

  1. Offline - Allows you to access your mail when offline. Great for those times when your flying or on the road. Requires Google Gears.
  2. Tasks - Adds an easy to use but highly productive to-do list to Gmail. My favorite part of this is that you can create tasks from an email message. When viewing a message go to "More actions -> Add to Tasks". This will add a task with a "related email" link that will take you back to the message. I use this as I'm reading my mail each morning to flag messages I need to come back and respond to later in the day.
  3. Superstars - Add additional star icons to gmail.
  4. Signature Tweaks - Moves your signature to before the quoted text when you reply to a message.
  5. Canned Responses - Create templates for common emails you sent out.
  6. Default 'Reply to all' - Another favorite of mine. Replaces the default "reply" button with "reply to all". Never forget to reply all again!
  7. Forgotten Attachment Detector - We have all done it. Typed up a long email and hit send without attaching the files. This feature will alert you of this when you hit send as long as you mention something related to attachment's in the body of the message.
  8. Send & Archive - This is a great time saver for those that respond to a lot of mail. Sends your mail and then archives the conversation with 1 click.
  9. Undo Send - Stop a message from sending. This feature will give you a 5 second window to cancel that embarrassing email you regretted as soon as you hit send.
  10. Vacation Time! - Set a start and end time for your vacation responder.