Oct 12, 2012

Let's Talk About Tech, Baby: Gmail

There's a weird reaction that a huge chunk of people have when I tell them a librarian (in-training). A lot of people are quick to apologize: "I'm sorry! I use Google!"  Another group will apologize for not reading, but that's a different story. 

Well guess what? We use Google too (although online challenges suggest that I actually prefer Bing).  Sometimes to look up fast answers (gasp!).  But as you probably know, Google is way more than just a search engine.  E-mail, blog, e-readers, documents drive, social media (HA), etc. etc. etc.  There's a lot of tech stuff you can do with Google.

Apparently, customizing your Gmail is something that many people are unfamiliar with.  So here are some tips:

LABELS! Label everything! Never need to search through e-mails for something again! Well that's not true, but this will make it easier.  Far easier. Hit settings.  Go to the "Labels" tab. Create a label. You can change the color of said label to differentiate labels at a glance (if reading the label name is too much for you).  You can even nest labels! That is, you can create one giant "School" label, but then have labels for individual classes that are kept under School.  Is your OCD brain going into overload? It should be.

Wondering why some people have a fancy looking Gmail inbox? Head back to Settings and find the "Themes" tab.  Go nuts.

Next, check out Google Labs! Under settings, you'll find a tab called Labs. Click on it and get excited about the marvelous things you can do to make your life easier and your screen prettier. For instance, do you keep Google Chat open on your e-mail like I do? Do you find it annoying that the list of online friends blocks your list of Folders and Labels that you've now created?  ME TOO! Under Labs, you can switch the GChat to the right side of the window and free up your Folders and Labels.  Not too shabby.

Do you like having a preview pane for your e-mails?Well with Labs, you can make your Gmail a mirror of Outlook if your little heart desires.

Lastly, you know when you send an e-mail and then you immediately regret it?  This question applies to both sober and drunk e-mailers.  THERE IS AN UNDO SEND SETTING.  It only works if you hit it immediately after sending, but you must take what you get.  If anything, it can help erase "reply all" mistakes with ease.

Happy Gmail-ing!

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