I haven’t always been a supporter of Gmail. For me, Outlook has always been the email client of choice and any other email client, especially web-based ones have been a poor compromise. The only reason I started using Gmail was because of the 1GB plus account — a big advantage for Gmail back in the day when Hotmail only offered about 1mb worth of space. However, over the course of the years Gmail has gotten better and better. Here are a few features I love about Gmail.
1. Forgotten Attachment Detector
Let’s face it. Every one of us at some point in their lives has sent out an email where you’ve forgotten to insert the attachment. Gmail now detects if you meant to attach a file and will remind you if you forget. The way it does this is check your text to see if it mentions that a file is attached. If there’s a mention of an attachment but no actual attachment with the email, it will warn you before sending the email it.
2. Wrong Recipient Detector
Aptly named as “Got the wrong Bob?“, this new Gmail feature stops you from emailing the wrong person by mistake. Imagine you’re sending an angry email to Bob Smith while it was actually meant to be sent to Bob Stevens. Now, Google can detect if you’re sending it to the wrong person based on groups of people you email most often.
3. Move to Label
If you’re a fan of David Allen and his Inbox Zero theory, you would have hated the fact that your Gmail inbox has always been cluttered with thousands of emails. With the new Move to Label option, you can now create as many labels as you want and no longer have old emails in your main inbox. This is probably Gmail’s biggest improvement till date in terms of enhancing productivity.
4. Infinite Email Addresses
Gmail now allows you to create infinite aliases for your email address by simply adding a plus sign after your username. If like us, you like signing up to new online services but don’t want to get spammed, then simply use this feature. Here’s how it works. Instead of using firstname.lastname@example.org when you sign up to a website or mailing list, use email@example.com. For example if you were signing up for one of our e-newsletters, simply sign up with firstname.lastname@example.org. That way you can use that address to filter all incoming emails to that address to a particular folder or label.
5. Canned Responses
Another great new feature available through Google Labs is the Canned Responses feature. This is particularly useful if you’re working in customer service and have a set of standard responses. With Canned Responses, you can set up templates for replies and use them instead of having to type the same message over and over.