Things You Didn’t Know Gmail Could Do

  1. Gmail is even more useful than you thought
  2. Enable Experimental Features with Gmail Labs
  3. Have an infinite number of alternative email addresses
  4. Add Gmail Themes
  5. Get free IMAP and POP mail
  6. Automatic links for URLs and email addresses
  7. Use Google Apps to send Gmail from your own domain
  8. Send and receive video calls from your email
  9. Check Gmail server status
  10. Using Gmail Offline
  11. Schedule your email

Gmail is even more useful than you thought

Gmail is very useful. It’s free without feeling cheap. It doesn’t add ads to the signature line of your email messages and gives you a lot of storage space. Gmail also has many hidden features and hacks.

Here are a few things you may not have known Gmail can do.

Enable Experimental Features with Gmail Labs

Gmail Labs is a Gmail feature that lets you experiment with features that aren’t necessarily ready for a wide release. If popular, they could eventually be incorporated into the main Gmail interface.

Examples of tools include Mail Goggles, a feature that tried to give you a sobriety test before sending email over the weekend.

Have an infinite number of alternative email addresses

By adding a period or + and changing the capitalization, you can set up one Gmail account for many different addresses. This is useful for pre-filtering messages. For example, I use different variations of my email address for every WordPress site I manage.

You can also use the Gmail alias from your settings to set up different addresses through Gmail itself. This is a great way to organize and store your email in one place.

Add Gmail Themes

Instead of using the same Gmail wallpaper, you can use Gmail themes. Some themes even change throughout the day, similar to iGoogle themes. Some make your email hard to read, but most are just plain fun.

Get free IMAP and POP mail

Don’t like the Gmail interface? No problem.

Gmail supports both POP and IMAP, the industry standard for desktop email clients. This means you can use Outlook, Thunderbird or Mac Mail with your Gmail account.

Automatic links for URLs and email addresses

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could click on a link you received in your email? This is what Gmail allows. It will automatically convert URLs and email addresses.

You don’t need to do or enable anything. Whenever you receive an email address or URL, Gmail detects the template as something that should be a link and links it.

This function is also used to work with addresses and phone numbers. It appears that later updates to Gmail have removed this functionality, but it may return at any time in the future.

Use Google Apps to send Gmail from your own domain

I’ve seen many people hand out Gmail addresses as their professional contacts, but you can still be wary of it looking unprofessional. There is a simple solution. If you have your own domain, you can use Google Apps for work to convert your domain address to your personal Gmail account. (Google used to offer a free version of this service, but now you have to pay.)

You can also check other email accounts from the Gmail window instead of browsing another email app.

Send and receive video calls from your email

Gmail is integrated with Google Hangouts and allows you to send instant messages to your contacts. You can also participate in voice and video calls.

If you’ve been using Gmail for a while, this feature used to be called Google Talk.

Check Gmail server status

Gmail is reliable enough to be featured in the news. This doesn’t mean they don’t happen. If you’ve ever wondered if Gmail isn’t working, you can check out the Google Apps status dashboard. You’ll see if Gmail works, and if it doesn’t, you’ll need to look up information about when they expect it to be back online.

Using Gmail Offline

Gmail can be used offline in any web browser. You must enable offline availability in your Gmail settings. Then, if you send a message offline, your message will be sent when you reconnect and you can view the messages you’ve already received.

This can be useful when traveling in areas with point-to-point telephone access.

Schedule your email

It may not sound revolutionary, but it’s a super flexible feature. Gmail can schedule email to be sent at almost any time in the future. Just use the arrow to the right of send in his compose window and select Shipping schedule † From there you can choose the date and time to send.

This allows you to ensure that your email always arrives at an appropriate time to reach the recipient.

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