Get through your mail faster with keyboard shortcuts – Using keyboard shortcuts will help you shave milliseconds off every action, which can add up to a lot of saved minutes each week. Enable keyboard shortcuts in Settings and use “j” and “k” to navigate up and down within your inbox, “o” to open messages, “r” to reply, “c” to compose, “s” to add or remove a star, “e” to archive, and more. Hit “?” at any time to see the reference guide with a full list of keyboard shortcuts.
Use search operators to find the exact message you’re looking for – The real power of Gmail search lies in search operators, or words that help modify your queries. For example, if you want a specific email Lisa sent containing a pdf, type “from:lisa has:attachment,” or to find all the messages in your inbox sent directly to you that you haven’t read yet, type: “to:me is:unread in:inbox.” Turn on Search Autocomplete in Labs to make using search operators even easier.
Filter your email with personalized email addresses – You actually get more address variations than just “firstname.lastname@example.org,” all of which get delivered to you. You can put a plus (“+”) sign and any combination of words or numbers after your name, like changing email@example.com to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Then you can easily add a filter to label and/or archive messages sent to
See which messages were sent right to you – “Personal level indicators” put arrows next to messages in your inbox so you can tell if an email was addressed to you directly. A single arrow (›) is for emails sent to both you and others and double arrows (») indicate emails sent just to you. Switch the “Personal level indicators” option to “Show indicators” under Settings to see them.
Add “(EOM)” to the subject of one-liner messages – If you ever want to send a quick note where the subject is the entire message (like “Want to grab lunch at 12:30?”), but are annoyed when Gmail prompts you to add body text, just type “EOM” or “(EOM)” at the end of the subject line (short for End Of Message), and Gmail will politely send the message without the extra prompt.
Make Gmail go where the internet doesn’t – With offline Gmail, you can access your mail and use Gmail just like you’re used to, even when you’re not connected to the internet. Any messages you send while offline will be placed in your outbox and automatically sent the next time Gmail detects a connection. Get started by turning on offline Gmail from the Labs tab under Settings.
Quickly add multiple attachments to an email – If you want to send a few files from the same folder, simply hold down the Ctrl key (Cmd on Macs) and click on each file you want to attach to your message, or hold down the Shift key to select a continuous group of files. You’ll see progress bars on each attachment as
Set up canned responses instead of typing the same reply over and over again – If you find yourself typing the same reply multiple times, try turning on Canned Responses in Labs. Compose your reply once, save it, and easily use the same message later. If you want to be fully automated, you can even set up filters that automatically reply to specific messages with different canned responses.
Use quick links to get anywhere in Gmail with one click – Quick Links allow you to create shortcuts to any bookmarkable URL in Gmail. Enable Quick Links in Gmail Labs and choose “Add Quick Link” to save a link to any page that you’re on. For example, you could add a link to an email with your frequent flier information that you reference a lot, or add a link to a search you do every day, like “is:unread.”
Send and archive in one step – Turn on “Send & Archive” from the Labs tab under Settings, and you’ll see a new button that sends your reply and then archives the thread with one click.
Click less and watch more using YouTube, Flickr, Picasa, and Yelp previews – Gmail can automatically detect commonly emailed links — YouTube videos, Picasa and Flickr links, and Yelp reviews — and show previews of these right inside Gmail. Turn on the four preview labs from the Labs tab under Settings, and rather than having to click on a Picasa or Flickr album link to see the photos it contains, you can see photos right in the message itself. Similarly, messages with YouTube links will show the video below the message, and Yelp links will show ratings, phone numbers, and other listing information.