Talk face-to-face with video chat – It’s not the same to read “lol” as to hear your friend laugh at your joke. Have a face-to-face conversation (or audio-only if you don’t have a webcam) using Gmail voice and video chat. Download the plugin at gmail.com/videochat.
Use Tasks as a handy to-do list – Turn on Tasks in Labs and you’ll see a “Tasks” link under the “Contacts” link on the left of your screen. Clicking “Tasks” will open the task list, where you can add new items directly, or you can convert emails into tasks by clicking the More Actions menu and selecting “Add to Tasks.” You can also access your task list from your mobile phone at www.gmail.com/tasks.
Use filters to control the flow of incoming mail – Set up filters to automatically label, archive, delete, star, or forward certain types of incoming messages. You can create a filter based on any message — just choose “Filter messages like this” from the “More actions” drop-down menu to get started.
Highlight important emails using filters and colored labels – Set up filters so that emails from certain senders (or on certain topics) automatically appear with colored labels. That way, you can scan new mail just by looking at
Never forget an attachment again – Turn on the Forgotten Attachment Detector in Labs, and you’ll get an alert if you mentioned attaching a file but forgot to do so.
Tell your friends what you’re up to with a status message – Write your own status message in the Chat box let people know what you’re up to. Your status message can be anything you want – something funny, a link to a photo or web page, or a note to say you’re away from the computer.
Send email from your phone – Use Gmail for mobile to read and send emails on the go, or use Gmail’s free IMAP to sync with your phone’s own email client. Just type www.gmail.com into your phone’s browser to get started.
Preview attachments without downloading them – You can easily preview an attached document instead of downloading and opening it in a separate program. Just click the “View” or “View as html” link to open a preview in a new window.
Avoid email gaffes with Undo Send – Oops, hit “Send” too soon? Turn it on in Labs and give yourself a grace period of a few seconds to cancel sending, then edit your message before sending again.
Tell everyone when you’ll be back with vacation responder – Going away from your mail for a while? Use Gmail’s vacation responder under Settings to set up a custom response that will be automatically sent to anyone who emails you while you’re away.
Nothing says “I’m excited” like a bouncing happy face emoticon – If you’re tired of not being able to find the right words to express yourself, emoticons can help. Gmail has tons of images (smiley faces, food icons, broken hearts, and more) that you can use in your messages and chats. To add an emoticon, just click the smiley face “Insert Emoticon” button on the toolbar and select the image you want. For even more options, enable Extra Emoji in Labs (“emoji” is Japanese for emoticons).