3 Cool Things You Can Do with Gmail

A lot of small businesses use Google’s Gmail for their business accounts. Gmail is free, it sounds professional enough (more so than Yahoo or Hotmail, anyway), and it comes with plenty of useful features like filters, forwarding and POP/IMAP, chat, the ability to link several accounts, and integration with Google Docs.

But there’s more to Gmail than most people realize. Here are a few great features you might not know about.

Send a text message

Using the Chat function, you can send SMS text messages to your Gmail contacts. To enable this, go into Settings and click on Labs, and then search for SMS in Chat. Click on Enable and save your settings.

Then, to send a text:

  • Enter the name of your contact in the “Search, chat, or SMS” box on the left side of your inbox (you must have the Chat feature on to see this).
  • In the options box that appears, select “Send Text (SMS)”.
  • Enter the phone number you want to text in the dialogue box and click Save.
  • In the Chat window that appears, type your message and hit Enter. The message will be sent as a text.

Automatically file your attachments

It’s a pretty common practice for many people to just leave messages with attachments in their inboxes, so they can find them again. Unfortunately, it’s not a good practice—because you have to search for them every time you need them.

The attachments.me add-on for Gmail can help you get organized and save your attachments to a better storage platform. You can set up the service to automatically copy your incoming attachments to the cloud service of your choice, whether you use Google Drive, Box, SkyDrive, or Dropbox. And if you don’t use cloud storage, attachments.me lets you see all the attachments in your Gmail inbox in thumbnail form, and sort or search them quickly.

Organizing incoming mail with labels

If you’re not already using Gmail’s labels to filter your email, you’re missing out on the biggest selling point for this platform. It’s an easy way to categorize messages, show you what’s important at a glance, and find the information you need fast.

To filter with labels:

  • Click on “More” in navigation pane to the left of your inbox
  • Scroll to the bottom and click “Create new label,” and enter a name for your label
  • Find and open an email that represents what you want to filter, such as messages from a specific client, or a daily status report
  • From the “Reply” dropdown box, select “Filter messages like this”
  • Click on “Create filter with this search” and choose the label you created

Now, when similar messages arrive they’ll be automatically labeled—and you can just click on the label in the left navigation pane to see only those messages.

Are you getting the most out of your Gmail account?


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