Gmail is used by millions of people around the world, but not all of them know the service inside out. Far from it, even. And if this is your case, then you are probably unaware that the platform includes a laboratory bringing together dozens of experimental functions.
Not all of them are useful, of course, but there are some real nuggets in this list. Yes, and here are precisely the five functions that will change your life, and therefore the five functions to activate urgently.
The term may be a bit strong, I admit, but I can assure you that they can be very useful on a daily basis.
This is undoubtedly one of the most useful functions on the list and it is quite logical because it will allow you to cancel the sending of a message in progress.
After activating it, when you send a new email, you will see a message appear at the top of the page, on a yellow background. It contains a link which will give you the possibility to suspend the operation. You just have to click on it to go back and cancel the sending of the email.
It doesn't sound like much but it will save your life sometimes, especially if you tend to drink in front of your computer.
Custom keyboard shortcuts
Gmail is able to recognize many different keyboard shortcuts. Thanks to this system, the user can send emails, read their messages or even switch from one folder to another without having to put their hand on the mouse.
It's very practical, obviously, but these shortcuts are not always easy to memorize.
Fortunately, in the laboratories of the service, you will find a function which will allow you to define personalized shortcuts. After activating it, all you have to do is go to Gmail settings to define the key combinations of your choice. The options are found in the “Keyboard shortcuts” tab.
There, it is clearly a matter of preference.
By default, Gmail displays at the bottom in the left column an area made up of several tabs, including one for accessing Hangouts and therefore Google's instant messaging tool.
If you work with this tool a lot, then you might want to show it off. This is perfectly possible by activating the experimental “Chat on the right” function. When this is done, a new column will appear on the service, on the right, with the list of your contacts and all associated conversations.
Be careful though because it takes up a lot of space. It will be better to avoid activating this function on small screens.
Unread message icon
Sometimes it's annoying that you always have to go back to the Gmail tab to check for new messages. Fortunately for us, there is a way to save a lot of time.
After activating the unread message icon, you will directly see the number of mails waiting in your inbox appear on the service tab. No need to go to your inbox to find out if your friends or colleagues have sent you a message. Handy, of course, but be aware that not all browsers support it and it is only available on Chrome, Chromium, Firefox and Opera.
Also, be aware that this icon is also visible if the tab is pinned.
They should be used sparingly, if only out of respect for your contacts, but they can save you precious time.
This function will indeed allow you to configure ready-made replies, automatic messages, which you can then quickly insert into your messages.
How it works ? If you want to create a new reply, you will need to open a message and type your reply in the field. Then, you will have to click on the small arrow located to the right of the recycle bin to open the menu containing the appropriate options. There you can record a new message or insert a new one.
Be careful though because if you attach an automatic signature to your emails, then it will also be part of the standardized response. It also means that your automatic messages will contain the same signature twice. It would therefore be better to remember to delete it before recording your message.
Bonus: How to activate these experimental functions?
To activate these functions, you must open Gmail, click on the button at the top right – the one that looks like a cogwheel – and select the “Settings” option.
The service will redirect you to a new page made up of several tabs. The experimental functions are in the “Labs”.
Just remember to save the changes by clicking on the button at the very bottom of the page for the service to save your preferences.