Gmail Labs is Awesome Part I

It’s been brought to my attention that not everyone knows that Gmail Labs exists, thanks to the surprised look when I showed some of the ladies in my office (love you guys!)…so I thought it might make a cute post to wrap together a few useful features of Gmail Labs.

Where is this “Flask”? If you’re wondering where this is, it’s located up by your settings option. You have to first go into settings, and click labs in there, in order for this nifty little flask to show up.

I’m going to make this a two-parter and show you a few features that I find really useful. Since all of my search & social work is done online and in the cloud, I’m always in my email, all day long, corresponding with clients and coworkers in the office. As a result, I am OCD about having my inbox exactly how I want it… not to mention I get bored and like all the new things that come out too. Here’s a taste, if you haven’t peeked in the magical labs section yet.

Nested Labels: THIS LAB FEATURE IS A LIFESAVER! I know everyday I have some new kind of lifesaver. But really- this is it. By the way, this was the default image in the labs section… I don’t have kids nor do I make a section only for shopping. Just saying. You can put a / on any sub folders you would want, and voila! So this person would have Home as one label, Home/Kids to make the first child folder, then Home/Shopping to make the second child. If you click “show” and set your filters to archive, your new mail will show up in the bolded label.

Create a Document: This is a pretty simple (but useful) feature which allows you to turn any email that you get into a google document. This way, you can file it away or organize it if you’re invoicing. There isn’t really too much to say about this one… it tends to be self explanatory.

Default Text Styling: I like changing everything, right down to the font. It’s no suprise to me, or anyone else, that this is one of my favorite features :) You can set your default text to whatever font and color you want. Just make sure it’s readable. Nothing sucks more than getting a business reply in bright pink cursive. Keep that in mind.

Import Filters: My personal email account has over 20 filters… I kid you not. I did tell you I was OCD about organization right? This makes it easy, if I ever get a new email address, to import my filters over to that one so I don’t have to set them all up again. This may be lifesaver # 3, depending on what kind of email crisis I am having.

Insert Images: This comes in handy if you ever need to include an image within your email and you don’t feel like adding it as an attachment. It’s nice if you’re sending over a post with an author byline (since I do a great amount of guest posting) because it makes it look like one big cohesive email, instead of: “Hi. My picture is here,  but please see the attachment.” Believe me… no one likes attachments. Not even me.

Mark Unread From Here: Last, but not least, of my Gmail awesomeness part I is this feature. I LOVE THIS because often times, our office has these really, really long emails full of funny replies and witty comments to read, and when I’m in the middle of working on something, I’ll mark it “unread from here” and get back to it. I’ve lost my place many-a-time without this nifty little feature.

So, there you have it. Part I. I hope you find these tips interesting… and if you know about all these features then thanks for sticking it out through a pretty grueling basic post. Stay tuned for part II. I know you’re jumping out of your chairs waiting for it….