Gmail is one service that has exploded over the last few years, particularly because it is free, simple to use and the flexible features it has for power users. Little do Gmail’s users know that the service has some features that could ultimately improve your experience significantly. Let’s have a look at a few of those!
Note: Just a word before we begin: For those of you “power users,” some of the tricks here might be second nature to you. Just skip over them and see if you find something that interests you. There are a few of these that almost everyone knows, but we still like to get the word out about them to reach those who don’t know about them.
1. Dots Are A Phobia For Email Providers
Many email providers let you register email addresses with dots in the name, but for Gmail, do you know that the position of the dot doesn’t matter at all? This means that “my.email” is the same as “m.yemail”. If you have a username of “myemail”, you can even login with “my.email” or “m.y.e.m.a.i.l”. Google will ignore the dot completely.
How is this advantageous? Because of this, you can now register for services with “y.o.ur.ema.il” or “your.email,” for example. Place dots anywhere you want. The website will account for those dots, but your email provider won’t. This works amazingly when you want to sort out emails based on what dots you’ve placed in the name.
2. The Plus Sign
Most email providers do not allow you to use “+” sign in the username, but for Gmail, you can append a “+” sign and a random string to your existing email address and still receive the emails in your Inbox. For example, if you register for Facebook with “email@example.com,” Facebook will send to that address, but Gmail will ignore the string behind the “+” sign and interpret the email address as “firstname.lastname@example.org” and still send the email to your inbox. With the use of filter, you can now assign particular action (such as adding label, move to spam etc.) to this email when it arrives in your Inbox.
3. Gmail Lets You (Unofficially) Host Files
One of the best thing about Gmail is that it allows you to attach files of size up to 25MB. What this means is that if you want to privately stash some files for later use on another device or location, you can attach them to a draft and just leave them there. When you go back to edit that draft, you can download the files on another device. This is as secure as it gets!
4. View a Record of Your IP Addresses
This is only available for those of you who are the sole users of a Gmail account. Simply look at the lower right-hand side of your Gmail interface. You’ll see this:
When you click “Details,” you get this:
If you have a static IP, this is pretty much useless to you. But if at least one of your devices has a dynamic IP, this could help you determine what IP you were using at a certain hour.
From the security point of view, you can check if your account has been compromised by seeing if there is any unauthorized login from remote IP address.
5. Restore Your Contact List
It may seem like a no-brainer, but many people don’t really take the time to back up their contacts. Even business owners forget to do this very frequently. The moment you accidentally delete half your contacts, you end up in a panic. With Gmail, there’s no reason to rip your hairs out. Just click the “More” button () and click “Restore Contacts.” The rest is self-explanatory. You should get your contacts back to a state in which it was before you messed up the list as long as you know the date and time at which you messed up. Gmail regularly backs up all of your contacts.
6. Mail-merging with Gmail
Gmail doesn’t come with the mail merging feature by default, but using Google Drive and some Google script, you can easily setup a mail merging service in Gmail. Damien has written a detailed tutorial on setting up the mail merge feature. Check it out here.
7. Free Up Some Space By Sorting
Most email service providers let you sort emails by date, contact address, and subject name, but none of them allows you to sort by the email size. Gmail doesn’t allow that by default too, but with a Google script, you can now sort your emails in your Google Drive according to the email size. This is very handful if you are running out of storage spaces and wish to delete those emails with big file attachment.
Follow this guide to setup the script and sorting.
If you are looking for more ways to improve your Gmail experience, here are several useful extensions you can use on your browser.
Let’s Hear From You!
Let’s hear what you have to say. I certainly hope you got something out of this. If you did, the comments section is below!