Why YOU Need To Use Gmail
It boggles my mind when I learn that people are still using AOL, Yahoo and Hotmail for their email accounts. Mom, I'm talking to you. If you haven't noticed, Google is slowly taking over the world. This guide will focus on Gmail and why it's so great. If you're not using it, pay close attention to how Gmail will significantly change your life.
Customization is a huge perk these days. We’re all different and completely narcissistic. Our email accounts should represent us, not the designer. Gmail recently added themes for its users to choose from. The amount of themes is still pretty small, but new ones are slowly being added. You can choose from a simple theme with a different color background or you can get crazier and go with a Ninja or Graffiti theme. There’s something for everyone.
Remember when themes first came out how excited everyone was?? I think I’ve gotten bored of mine.. need to check out some new ones!
They totally should! Or we should be able to make our own. Can we?? Or can the more computer-illiterate people at least. I have so many fun ideas!
This makes it possible to chat via video with your Gmail contacts instead of using the chat text box. The quality is pretty good and it even offers a full-screen mode. Unfortunately this feature is still Windows-only right now and requires a browser plug-in.
Gmail is smart. No, really. It used to be that any email address you sent 4-5 emails to was automatically placed into your contacts list. Since then Gmail has wised up and now places those emails into a Suggested Contacts list. This lets me see who I’m emailing often and isn’t already in a separate list. I can later decide where I’d like to place them.
I also like the organization of the lists. I can separate contacts into groups, such as family, friends, bloggers, etc. Later when I’m writing emails, instead of entering each individual family member’s email, I can just click on the Family group in my contact list and eliminate some unnecessary work.
I don’t know where I’d be without labels. Gmail provides you with a handful of colors to assign to your emails. You can set up a filter so an email containing a certain email address or word will have a specific label assigned to it. That way when new bill notifications come in, they won’t get lost in the mess of messages. The bright red (for example) label helps it to stand out, thus helping me not get stuck with a late-fee!
The geniuses at Gmail come up with new ideas every day. Gmail Labs is where they unleash their ideas and try to get user feedback about the new ideas before officially unveiling them as a standard Gmail feature. Because they’re not ready to be publicly released, they can change, break or disappear at any time. You can enable a feature, try it out and if you don’t like it, disable it.
Finally! To find out more about Gmail’s multiple inbox feature, click here
You can even create multiple signatures, one for personal emails and another for business-related emails. You can switch between the two by selecting the stamp icon in the lower right corner of your browser’s window.
Why backup? Because at some point you are going to want to find an email you sent or an attachment that was sent to you. You’ll search through your old mail, archived mail and trash. Then you’ll remember that during your fit of cleaning fury you trashed it. Now what? Luckily Gmail offers a backup service that allows you to keep copies of your messages and attachments. Trust me, this WILL come in handy. Now if I could only practice what I preach!
Think of all the places where you sign into your Gmail account: the library, a friend’s house, your SO’s house. Even if you close that X, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re signed out. So when you friend goes to open Gmail, guess who’s account opens up? Yours! A GREAT feature Gmail offers is the Remote Sign-Out. At the very bottom of any Gmail inbox you’ll see a text line showing where else the account is open, along with a list of sign-in times and IP addresses. Also? A button that signs you out of everything but the browser you’re in right then. Wee it’s magical!
Consolidate Email Accounts
Some of us have separate email accounts for our job, school, blog, whatever. I know that it can be annoying logging in and out of one account just to check another. With Gmail, you can consolidate your accounts so that all emails are routed to just one account.
Instead of logging out and into another account when wanting to send an email, when you click on compose, a drop-down menu will appear so you can select which account you’d like to send it from.
Hmm I should look into this. I have verizon, gmail and hotmail. And random work addresses. But they all get routed to my mac mail client anyway…
I need to try out the Mac mail client too. I need to have all my accounts routed to one because most of them are gmail and it’s impossible to have that many open at once.
You won’t really know if Gmail is for you unless you try it. Give yourself a two-week trial run. Explore all the different features. Sync a calendar and your Google Reader. Take a look around Gmail Labs and see if there are any cool ideas you’d like to see working on your account. If you’re not convinced that Gmail is the best email service for you after two weeks, well, you must be a terrorist, because only terrorists don’t like Gmail. Hell, even Santa uses Gmail!
Free Gmail Stickers
Send stickers to your Gmail contacts. All you have to do is send a self-addressed and stamped envelop to the address below and they will send you the standard Gmail m-velope, complete with glitter, and a sheet of keyboard shortcut stickers intended as a tool to help people learn Gmail’s shortcuts.
Send your envelope to:
Send me some Gmail stickers already
P.O. Box 391420
Mountain View, CA 94039-1420
Unfortunately this guide was made in Jan. and the cut-off date to request stickers was Feb. If another opportunity pops up, I’ll be sure to update this!
Firefox add-on: Gmail Manager
If you use the Gmail Notifier add-on with Firefox, you’re going to love their latest Gmail add-on: Gmail Manager. For those of you who sync multiple accounts to one inbox, this add-on is going to make your life much simpler. The Gmail Manager allows you to monitor all synced accounts right from the GN toolbar. You can receive new mail notifications along with viewing account details including unread messages, saved drafts, spam messages, labels with new mail, space used, and new mail snippets.