More than a billion people use Gmail. That’s about 1 in 7 people on Earth actively using this free email platform in 74 different languages.
Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported that some third-party developers were collecting data on Gmail users. If you’re concerned about this practice, I’ve got your back. Click here to stop it and disconnect third-party apps from your gmail account.
Reading: How to use gmail 2018
That’s not all bad news for gmail users.
Google recently added a new feature to its gmail redesign. the feature is called “confidential mode” and the department of homeland security says it could pose a significant security threat to users. click here to learn how this feature can be used against you.
many default gmail settings may not appeal to you; you may want to turn specific options on or off if you know they exist. gmail is full of shortcuts, but they can’t speed up your work if you don’t know what they are.
here are 10 settings that will improve your gmail experience. like anything, the best way to learn gmail is to practice and experiment, but these options will help you get started.
1. let gmail write your emails for you
a newer feature, smart composition will try to save time by predicting what you are going to type before you start typing. it’s similar to autocomplete in text messages, but for your inbox.
to use it, you will need to activate the “new gmail”:
1. go to settings (the gear in the upper right corner)
2. find the options that say “try new gmail”.
3. once enabled, go back to settings and click the “enable experimental access” checkbox.
4. once verified, scroll down and save changes. the page will refresh and smart compose will start automatically.
5. you can check the settings to make sure, but from here you should be able to see google predictive text when you start writing emails.
2. try canned responses to save even time
another benefit of smart copywriting is the ability to create “canned responses”. these are particularly beneficial if you receive many messages from many different people covering the same question or topic. Instead of retyping, forwarding, or copying and pasting, you can precompose a canned response and send it over and over again.
just check the advanced section in your new gmail settings and turn it on. here’s how:
1. open settings.
2. at the top of the page, look for several tabs, including “advanced”.
3. look for the line for “canned responses (templates)”
4. To create a standard reply, click as if you were creating a new message, and then look for the message settings icon (three vertical buttons at the bottom right).
3. center composition box
every time you start a new email, gmail puts that window in the bottom right corner. it is an improvement on the traditional format, which consists of dedicating an entire page to the new message. however, what if you don’t want it there? Also, what if you want the box to be bigger?
that’s not a problem. just click on the small diagonal arrow in the upper right corner of the window. a larger window will instantly appear in the center of your screen.
4. put on some keyboard shortcuts
Most of us are familiar with the standard keyboard shortcuts for things like copy, paste, and delete. gmail has its keyboard shortcuts, which cater to email users. if you’re feeling ambitious, you can even create your own keyboard shortcuts.
Here’s how to find them:
1. go to settings
2. in the general tab, scroll down until you see “keyboard shortcuts”
3. check the circle
in classic gmail you will need to look for the “labs” tab, while in new gmail you will look for the “advanced” tab. Regardless, select the one you need and look down the page until you find “custom keyboard shortcuts”. enable them and then save the changes. the page will refresh, and when you’re done, go back to your settings and look for the new “keyboard shortcuts” tab on the far right of the top banner.
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click that and a window will open with numerous options. choose a shortcut (or create a new one), then save your changes when you’re done. from then on, you can implement the shortcut whenever you need it.
5. retrieve a sent email
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There are hundreds of reasons why you may have sent an email before you were ready. maybe you entered the wrong address. maybe you wrote an angry email in a hurry. Maybe you forgot that Amber’s birthday party was a surprise. Fortunately, you can prevent it from being delivered, as long as you act quickly.
When you first start your gmail account, you have five seconds to stop a message from the moment you press “send”. however, you can increase that number by going into your settings and looking for the “undo send” line.
there you will see a drop down box giving you options of 5, 10, 20 and 30 seconds for your cancellation period. just choose which one you want, scroll down and hit save. if you’re indecisive by nature, you could spend half a minute debating whether the message you sent was a good idea.
by the way, have you ever wanted to take back a text message? you may! Click here for the secret to cancel sending a text message.
6. put your inbox however you want
Not everyone wants to read email in chronological order. There are so many ways to organize your inbox: maybe you want to read starred messages first, or unread messages, or “priority” messages. this standard feature is in the various email services, but gmail makes ordering exceptionally easy.
just hover your mouse over the inbox tab on the left side of the screen. when a downward triangle appears, click on it. You’ll see that there are five different types of inboxes, with brief descriptions of what each offers.
7. choose your conversation style
You can have the correct order for your inbox, but you can also manipulate how these messages are grouped. gmail was a pioneer in collecting “conversations” so that users could quickly archive them through a single email thread and expand or collapse individual messages.
To decide how finely these conversations are grouped, click the settings cog near the top right corner and choose “density display”.
that will open a new box with some options. click on each one and watch the light image on them change. Before you turn on the original density, you can see an example of what each one will look like.
choose the one you like best and click “accept” to change your inbox. if you decide you don’t like it, naturally you can switch back or try the other one.
8. limit the number of pages you have to review
Some people are great at deleting emails once they’ve been read. many of us are not. for the second group, it can be frustrating to flip through page after page of messages.
to change the number of visible posts, settings, and on the general tab, look for the “max page size” line. there you’ll find some dropdown boxes that allow us to change the number of conversations and contacts you’ll see per page, the highest being 100 for the former and 250 for the latter.
9. remove junk from inbox
“Labels” are designed to quickly file messages in a cluttered inbox. In the tags section of your settings, you can find ways to hide any tags or categories that you don’t normally get from the tag list.
You will probably notice the categories when you see them on the left side of your inbox. you can quickly reduce the number you see by hiding the categories you don’t need.
10. block nuisance senders
gmail has a sophisticated spam filter, which should protect your inbox from most spam. however, there are many reasons to block a legitimate sender, especially if the sender has become nasty or abusive.
At the top of every message you receive, you’ll find the three vertical dots near the top right. open this and click “block ____”. click this option to forward all messages sent by this sender.
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