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  1. #1
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    TOP STORY

    Little-known beta apps enhance Gmail's usability


    By Lincoln Spector

    While there's much to like about Gmail, there's also much that's missing — such as multiple signatures, hierarchical tags, and the ability to embed pictures as part of your mail.

    You might be surprised to learn that Gmail actually does support those features, and about 50 more, in a beta program called Gmail Labs.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/2010/06/10/01 (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.
    Last edited by revia; 2011-01-19 at 15:01.

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger ibe98765's Avatar
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    One big function that Gmail is missing is the ability to delay sending an email until a particular time. This functionality is available in Outlook.

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    An independent app that is available for Firefox and Chrome that I've used for quite a time and is now expanding to a stronger player is ActiveInbox. Adds lots of processing functionality to gmail, GREAT support always, Find it in the addons for Firefox.

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    In your article you mention that you can't "filter your messages to show only those with a red circle". However, if you put the text "has:red-bang" in the search box you will see only the messages with the red circle. The other "superstars" have names and can be searched on as well; simply hover your mouse over the star in the General page of settings to determine its name.

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    The "little green beaker" is actually a little green flask. Interesting and useful article. Thanks.

  6. #6
    Star Lounger Steve1209's Avatar
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    Hey Lincoln,

    Thanks for the great article. I like the default text styling lab myself. The nested labels was entirely new to me but is that ever a feature I can use. I think what needs to be said is to check back frequently on the labs as new things seem to be added quietly there, I've never been notified of new lab additions.

    Thanks again,
    Steve

  7. #7
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    I enjoyed this article. The ending paragraph where Lincoln refers to the ability to stop the conversation feature is the primary reason that I use Outlook for my e mail. If you search the web for the most significant negative feature re GMail it is the forcing of conversation onto the public and the fear of the user that he/she will inadvertently send out something in a message via conversation thread that the user is not aware of. It is only in remote location situations that I dare use GMail where I cannot use Outlook. Otherwise I only use GMail as my portal to Outlook. Google could care less about adding this feature and in its strange arrogant way, has no interest in allowing for this option given that they know what is best for the average user. Funny how every other e mail app out there (Yahoo, Windows Live, Hot Mail, Outlook Express and Outlook) uses a user friendly message protocol. But Google obviously knows better. Now be quiet and eat your porridge.

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    Great article...and it gives me an opportunity to ask this: One can click on a Tag on the left to see only emails with those tags. But I want to see all emails with no tags. How to do that?

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    I have never liked GMail from the very first time I had to use it for our club at school! I don't know what people see in GMail! Your best bet to avoid this problematic email service is not to use it! Get a Yahoo account instead! I've had my Yahoo account for over 15 years now and yes I've had problems but not at all the kind of problems I've encountered with GMail. Really, it's not worth bothering with Gmail, it's just a poor online email service!

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    Dear Lincoln,
    Thanks for your comments about Gmail labs. However, I have a problem. When I use "merge" contacts, I am unable to "unmerge" them. Is this possible?
    Please respond to my email: drdavid.watkins@gmail.com
    Many thanks,
    David Watkins

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    <AllenMorse Rant deleted>
    Whatever. I have accounts with both Yahoo and Gmail...there are features I like and dislike in both. Why get worked up over something so trivial?

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    I really can't understand Allen Morse's rant either. Not once does he explain what specifically he doesn't like about Gmail, it would be interesting to hear.

    I too have (multiple) Gmail and Yahoo Mail accounts, and there are pros and cons with each.

    Probably the aspects of Gmail I like best are that it integrates well with other Google services (I use Google for web searching, the Google calendar, Google Reader etc), and the ability to automatically forward a copy of e-mails on to other addresses, something Yahoo charged for the last time I checked.

    Thanks to Steve Tobin, I didn't realise that Gmail had introduced a default text style option, I'll be using this in future.

    The feature I'd most like to see added is the ability to delay the time an e-mail is sent, as mentioned by ibeme above.

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    5 Star Lounger ibe98765's Avatar
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    I have multiple gmail accounts also. Another couple of things I don't like about gmail is:

    1. Google uses one cookie for all gmail and greader accounts. SO you can't keep two gmail accounts open at once. And if you sign out of gmail and are in greader, you will get signed out of greader also. Google needs to use separate cookies for each account!

    2. If you post a help request in Google forums, Google automatically uses your gmail/greader userID. Doing this effectively makes your email address available to spammers who just have to take your userID and add "@gmail.com" to it! Google should support aliases for posting to their help forums so that your email/account is not revealed to the world.

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    According to a recent press release (which I think I read about in PC World), Google is considering changing the Conversations feature to allow users to modify the behavior of this feature. Watch for this change soon.
    -- Bob Primak --

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    5 Star Lounger ibe98765's Avatar
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    When I log into a Gmail account and then quickly logout because I don't see any new mail, I will often get the following msg. This seems to occur because Gmail is taking too long to paint all the elements on the page:

    ------------
    You have been signed out of this account.

    This may have happened automatically because another user signed in from the same browser. To continue using this account, you will need to sign in again. This is done to protect your account and to ensure the privacy of your information.
    ------------

    Is there anyway to eliminate this msg?

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