[In case you didn’t already notice, I wrote a pretty detailed review of Gmail earlier, in which I also noted that I’m unfortunately unable to procure accounts for folks. Sorry! For those who already have accounts, I hope the tips below are useful and/or fun 🙂 – Adam]
So, you’re one of the Gmail testers and you want more bang for the buck, eh? Try these tips on for size:
SENDING & SHORTCUTS
– Send mail to fellow Gmail’er by just entering their username in the TO, CC, or BCC spot. No need to include @gmail.com 🙂
– Using the handy-dandy spell-checker and want to quickly Resume Checking without using the mouse? Just hit ‘R’, an undocumented shortcut key in this context.
– “or” is not the same as “OR.” Only the capitalized version (sans quotes, by the way) will work with searches. So if you want to find mail from your friend Jen, you can use this in search: FROM: (jen OR jenny OR jennifer). Note, by the way, that the actual search terms are not case-sensitive. “jen” works just as good as “Jen.”
– But, using the same Jen example, it’s important to realize that the search engine of Gmail (and Google, for the most part) does not search partial words. So “jen” will not find “Jennifer.”
PERFORMING ACTIONS ON A GROUP OF E-MAILS
– Let’s say you have 150 e-mails, listed over two pages (100 max per page), and you want to archive all of them. I initially made the mistake of clicking ALL, then hitting ARCHIVE and thinking that this would do the trick. Nope. Commands — whether TRASH or ARCHIVE or LABEL — only affect those items that are both selected and on the page you’re currently viewing.
– And speaking of groupings… don’t forget that when you archive or label e-mail, you’re affecting the entire Conversation of e-mails by default. If you want to trash just one of the e-mails in a Conversation, you can do this by expanding that particular e-mail, clicking on MORE OPTIONS, and then clicking on TRASH THIS MESSAGE.
ALL THIS *PLUS* A LITTLE BIT MORE
Some have suggested that this could also be a useful spam deterrent (e.g., using maryhadda+2004q2 and then discarding e-mail sent to this address the following quarter), but I think this suffers from two key flaws:
1) Spammers are probably smart enough to start stripping off the plussing :(.
2) After a while, you’d have to create a LOT of filters, and — at least for the moment — we only get an allotment of 20 filters total. It’d be a shame to use those all up in a (likely futile) attempt to thwart spamjerks.
*** Edited 4/30/04:
Some folks had expressed concern that plussing was seemingly not working for them. However, I’ve worked with them to track down the cause: Due to the way Gmail handles discussion list mails — not showing one’s own contributions in the Inbox to avoid duplicate views — people who were testing the plussing feature by mailing themselves via Gmail wrongly assumed the mail was ‘lost’. As it turns out, the mail was indeed received, but — since it appeared to be part of a ‘discussion list’ — was not shown in the Inbox, which is what caused the confusion.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Plussing works; just don’t try sending tests to yourself FROM your Gmail account TO your same Gmail account :D.
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Well, that’s pretty much everything off the top of my head for now! How about you? Got some cool Gmail tips or tricks? Speak up below, or feel free to contact me 🙂
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*** Added 4/21/04
Uh oh! I have competition! 😀 It’s been pointed out to me that there’s already a blog dedicated to Gmail tips and tricks, called Gmail Gems. Definitely worth checking out.
*** Added 10/11/05
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