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Six ways to get more from Gmail

Make Google email do more

There's much more to Google's free email service than an inbox. Here's how to turn Gmail into a major productivity booster.

Read, label, archive

Most email users dream of an empty inbox - evidence that we've read and deleted (or filed) all incoming messages, and are now free to take the rest of the day off. Because Gmail offers you more than 5GB of storage, the only messages you need to delete are those you never want to see again.

To banish pieces of email from your inbox but keep them handy, add a check mark beside them under Select on the left side of the screen, and then click Archive. This step hides messages from plain view without expunging them (there's more on archiving below).

To make your archived messages easier to find later, use Gmail's labels to categorise them by topic, project, sender or any other criterion that make sense to you. Most email programs let you sort your mail into folders, but Gmail's labels improve on folders in one powerful way.

Instead of requiring that mail go into only one folder at a time, they let you assign Gmail messages to multiple categories simultaneously. For example, a single properly labeled message that pertains to both Project A and Project B will appear in the collection of messages labeled 'Project A' as well as in the 'Project B' group.

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