Intern Insights: Part 5

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Flickr / comedy_nose

This week Emily the intern shows us how to master Gmail.

Be a Gmail Genius
Remember when Gmail shook up the world of webmail with its near unlimited storage space, collapsed conversation threads and revolutionary email “labels” instead of trying to sort mail into inflexible email folders? In case you are behind on the times, since its launch in 2004, Gmail has developed even more features to keep you productive.

Keyboard Shortcuts
I am an advocate of avoiding use of a mouse. These shortcuts are guaranteed to make answering and organizing emails more efficient.

NOTE: To turn these case-sensitive shortcuts on or off, click Settings, and then pick an option next to Keyboard shortcuts once you’re logged into your account.

g then i Refreshes or returns you back to your inbox
c Composes new email
r Reply
a Reply all
f Forward
l Adds a label to the selected mail conversation
Shift then i Mark as “read”
Shift then u Mark as “unread”

For a full list of shortcuts, click HERE.

Multiple Inboxes
Have multiple addresses feeding into your Gmail? Want to see all your categorized mail in a “dashboard” type view? This function (accessible through Settings in Labs) splits your regular inbox into multiple customizable panes. Each pane can display mail of a particular category, such as starred or a specific label. It can gather all the to do lists you email to yourself, eBay item alert emails or any search category you can imagine. I split my inbox to show all “starred” emails at the top, like a running to do list, so I know which emails to take action on right away.

Gmail Offline
Yes, you read that right. Webmail OFFLINE. The requirement of needing an internet connection to access your email is no longer a crippling factor for Gmail. You can work on replies to email that will be sent off the next time you become connected to the internet again. For times when you need to buckle down and clear off a backlog of email, Gmail Offline will let you turn off your wireless and work in peace, without arrival of new email taking your focus away from the task at hand.

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2 Responses to “Intern Insights: Part 5”

  1. Rae Says:

    Hi Emily,
    You’re a genius! I’ve been using gmail for YEARS and didn’t know any of that stuff. I have a question if you don’t mind – I have several gmail accounts – ya know, a personal one, a couple for websites, another for paypal. Is there any way to have all accounts open at once? I have to log out and sign in to another and if it’s a busy day I get really fed up doing that. I wasn’t sure if this is what you were talking about in your ‘multiple inboxes’ part because I’m not in the least bit technologically minded – can you clarify please?
    THanks so much for a really helpful post.

  2. Emily Says:

    Hi Rae,

    Glad this was useful!

    Do you pool all your mail from your different accounts into one main/”central” gmail account? You would need to do this in order to see all your mail in one inbox.

    PART 1 – Enable ability to send mail under your alternate addresses from your “central” gmail.
    You will be able to send email from the “central” account with the proper “reply to” address – such as making sure your emails from Paypal are always sent under the Paypal gmail account:
    1. Go into your “central” account
    2. Go to Settings (top right hand corner of page), then “Accounts”
    3. Click “Add another email address you own”
    4. Enter your “alternate” gmail. A verification will now be sent to your “alternate” account.
    6. Sign into your “alternate” account and click on the link in the email to verify.
    7. Sign back into the “central” account. Go back into “Accounts” in Settings. Select “Reply from the same address the message was sent to”.
    8. Repeat for each of your other accounts.

    PART 2 – Import mail from your alternate accounts into your “central” gmail:
    1. Go into your “central” account
    2. Go to Settings, then “Accounts”
    3. Click “Add a mail account account you own”
    4. Type in your “alternate” gmail’s username and password.
    5. Select “Leave a copy of retrieved messages on the server”. This will make sure all the messages are still kept in the original “alternate” account if you choose to view mail there.
    5. Select “Label incoming messages” (eg alternate@gmail.com or Paypal)
    6. Select “Archive incoming messages”
    7. Repeat for each of your accounts, up to a max of 5.

    PART 3 – Setting up multiple inboxes in the “central” account:
    1. In your “central” account, go to Settings, then “Labs”
    2. Scroll down and enable “Multiple inboxes”. Save changes.
    3. By default 2 new inboxes will appear at the top of your regular inbox showing your starred email or drafts
    4. Go to Settings, then “Multiple inboxes” and customize. The emails that are displayed in the seperate inboxes are sorted by search terms/category. To display mail from your “alternate” accounts, use the labels you chose to identify the messages in part 2:
    label:alternate@gmail.com
    label:alternate2@gmail.com
    label:Paypal
    5. Save changes

    Hope this helps! This was long so let me know if parts are unclear.

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