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9 essential tips for every Gmail user

Get more from Google's webmail service

There's no doubt Gmail is one of the best webmail services currently available. But it could do better. Here are a few tips to help you organise, optimise, and take control of your Gmail account so you'll spend less time sorting through your email messages.

Experiment with Gmail Labs

Gmail Labs options are a great way to try various experimental Gmail features. First choose Settings, Labs and then click enable on the ones you'd like to activate.

I especially like Quick Links, which adds a box containing a list of bookmarked links in Gmail to your sidebar. It's a great feature if you routinely run complicated searches, as it allows you to bookmark searches, individual messages, and labels.

Two other options I recommend are Undo Send, which gives you a few seconds of lag time between when you hit 'send' and when Gmail actually does the sending (giving you a grace period for correcting belatedly discovered mistakes), and Mark Unread From Here, which enables you to mark a conversation unread from a certain point on (great for long message threads).

Use Gmail as online storage

When Gmail debuted, it was known for the generous amount of storage space (1GB) it allotted to users. Now users get almost 7.5GB to work with, and most of them aren't using all of it (I currently have 11,347 messages stored in my account, and yet I've filled only about 29 percent of my storage space). So, what are you supposed to do with all that space?

Easy: Use it for online data storage. Email files to yourself, and you'll always have your important files within reach (as long as you have an internet connection). Individual files may be up to 25MB each - a fairly decent size.

Gspace, a handy Firefox add-on, makes online storage even easier. Once you've installed Gspace, select Tools, Gspace to transfer files from your hard drive to your Gmail account (they'll show up in Gmail as email messages). Though you can't transfer larger files (the maximum file size for Gspace is 19MB), files of acceptable size transfer much faster.

NEXT PAGE: Gmail Manager 0.6

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