June 6th, 2008
Google has given you all kinds of things to enhance your Gmail experience in the newly added Gmail Labs. Some are quite useful while others are fun to play with but not very practical.
To enable any of the features of Gmail Labs, login to your Gmail account. Go to the upper-right corner and select Settings. From the Settings menu, select Labs.
You will see a list of features you can enable. The list includes: Quick Links, Superstars, Pictures in chat, Fixed width font, Custom keyboard shortcuts, Mouse gestures, Signature tweaks, Random signature, Custom date formats, Muzzle, Old Snakey, Email Addict, and Hide Unread Counts.
My picks for the best features are as follows:
- Quick Links â€“ Adds a box to the left column of your Gmail interface for easy access to any Gmail URL. Simply go to the desired page and then click Add Quick Link in the Quick Link box. You will be prompted to input a name for the Quick Link. My example uses Gmailâ€™s shorthand for finding the unread mail in your inbox. Input l:^u l:^i into the Search box at the top of your Gmail. Click the Search Mail button. All unread mail in your inbox will be listed. Now go to the Quick Links box and select Add Quick Link. A prompt will appear asking for a name for your Quick Link.
Input a name (I used Unread Mail) and click the OK button. Your newly created Quick Link will now appear in your Quick Link box.
- Superstars â€“ This is a great addition to the Gmail interface as it adds additional star icons so you can better identify key emails.
After you have enabled Superstars, go to the General tab under Settings. Go to the Superstars section. Drag any of the available icons you wish to use to the In Use row and any you donâ€™t want, drag to the Not in use row.
Click the star next to the desired email until the proper icon appears.
- Custom keyboard shortcuts â€“ This allows you to change the default keyboard mapping for your Gmail to better meet your needs. After you enable this feature, a Keyboard Shortcuts tab will be added to the Settings menu. From here, you can easily modify your keyboard shortcuts.