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Gmail was introduced in 2004 as a free email service and it was made commercially available to all the users in 2009. Gmail happens to be the most popular webmail service in the market today with a user base of around 1.8 Billion people worldwide. 

It has become near to impossible for students, businessmen and women, freelancers, and others to imagine working without Gmail. It has truly become an essential element in our lives. 

Are we exaggerating? No. Because we do mean it, it is quite impossible to be working without great workspace features like Calendar, Docs, Sheets, Gmail, Chat, etc, and more. 

For starters, let us begin with What is Gmail?

What is Gmail?

The Google that we know and love today is a complete search engine, but it was not always this way.

Gmail is a free web-based email service provided by Google and integrated with all their services such as Calendar, Docs (Google Docs), etc. The Gmail service was briefly known as "Invitations," then became "Google Mail." It was a beta service from 2004-2006, then went live to the public in 2007.

Gmail is the world’s most popular email service, used by millions of people every day.

Over a decade, Google engineers worked tirelessly to develop Gmail, the Web’s most popular email service. And with good reason! Gmail is a simple and elegant solution to what can be a cumbersome task.Perhaps its most endearing quirk is its affection for imparting an effortless experience.

Tired of running two email accounts? Google knows we can't live without multiple email accounts that we often forget to pay attention to. Your life will be so much easier with the Gmail account, believe us!

Simply put, Gmail is the best email service in the world. It’s free, it’s simple, and it can do just about anything.

Why use Gmail?

Gmail makes bidding farewell to Inbox hell possible because of its many upsides. The most obvious feature is storage, followed by layout and integration. And since Gmail works with other Google services, it can reach a whole new level of personalization. Advanced search, labels, and filters give extra icing on the cake.

Let’s have a look in detail, how each one of these benefits works well for you.

Storage

To stay on top, Google has increased its storage capacity over time. The original 2 to 4 MBs have now increased to 15 GB in Gmail for free (with more if needed), which is more than enough space to save all the most important emails that you'll use for future reference.

Remember that your 15 GB of free storage will be shared among Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Photos. If you want more space, or if you are part of a company, the better option is G Suite.


Gmail makes sure to offer various pricing plans for storage according to the needs of the user. Varying from 100 GB (gigabytes) to 20 TB (terabytes) with 2 TB's plan being the most popular one.

Layout

Gmail happens to be the first webmail service to introduce an interface pattern of an inbox, bringing to you a cleaner visual, more approachable, and organized view to its users.

Gmail offers an improved method of filtering through emails in your inbox, grouping all messages related to the same topic in a vertical thread. This makes it easy to review previous discussions.

This means that Gmail provides a list of conversations organized by subject. Each response to an email opens the entire thread, making it easier to review past discussions.

Suppose you are writing an email about a new design for a website. This email will be part of an ongoing conversation, so Gmail arranges your messages by subject line, displaying all related messages in an easy-to-follow thread.

Gmail offers you three layouts for your inbox

  • Default
  • Compact
  • Comfortable

Security and Anti Spam

Gmail’s anti-malware and anti-virus scanners are constantly updated, so your account is as protected as possible. For example, all file attachments are stored on Google’s servers, so if a virus or malware was attached to an email a warning would be displayed, then it would quarantine this message.

Tired of spam cluttering your Gmail inbox? Look no further! The Gmail team has developed a series of filters that keep potential spam messages out of your main inbox.

Organization Features

Being a professional using Gmail relentlessly can make your inbox look a little untidy. And we are not sure if you would want to work with a messy-looking inbox, right?

All the reasons why Gmail offers you resources to help you organize it. Some of which are:

Labels

This is something similar to ‘Email Folders’
The only difference is that you can apply different labels to one single email.

This will help you keep your emails in a segregated manner for a better visual understanding. 

Filters

You can easily create and apply filters to manage and organize all the incoming emails for you. 

These filters apply labels like forwarded emails and/or delete emails automatically, depending on your preference and significance for the emails. 

Stars

Gmail offers you an option to star mark an email. So, when you star mark an email, it goes to the top of your inbox. 

This way you mark these emails as a priority to answer or check for any future references. 

Tabs

Your emails can also be divided into sections namely: Primary, Social, and Promotions. This way you can prioritize your emails according to your requirements. 

You can use tabs to separate your emails by categories. 

Gmail Search Box

If you need to find an email message and get to it as quickly as possible, the Gmail search box is your new friend. The search box has Google Search built right in, so you can use a tiny keyboard to tap out a few phrases and get instant results.

Alongside searching for snail mail, you can use the same search box to find your way through the sea of emails in your inbox.

Gmail search is simple and efficient. Just enter what you’re looking for in the search bar, and you’ll be able to find anything. Click the arrow on the right side of the search box for additional criteria so you can target your searches based on “From,” “To,” “Subject,” message content, email size, and others.

Advantages of Gmail

Security

If you are a regular Gmail user and have ever forgotten your password to Gmail, you must be well aware of the security experience you had with Gmail.

It is safe to say your Gmail takes security very seriously. Only the owner can get back the password because of all the security steps and questions Gmail asks for.

These steps and questions are laid out during the time while you are creating a Gmail account, ensuring that only you have access to this account.

Steps like 2 Factor Authentication and Codes are generated to choose from on the owner's device if someone else in the team is logging in to the account.

Personalization

Gmail is very handy. It allows you to customize every aspect of your Gmail account. From changing the colors of the whole display to changing how the messages are displayed everything is customizable according to your will. 

It also lets you change the theme, font size, font type, of the whole Gmail account. 

Multiple Account

Gmail allows you to receive email updates from up to five different accounts, making it easy to access messages from whichever account you’re signed in to. 

For instance, if you have both your Hotmail and Yahoo accounts linked to your Gmail account, you’ll see new mail updates from both accounts in one place. 

Multiple Apps with one account

Thanks to your Google account, you can experience a lot of great services without ever having to use a different username and password. Your username and password are also used forYoutube, Google Play, Blogger, Pinterest, Google Docs, and Google Drive.

This single username can help minimize the number of usernames you need to remember but it can also act as a memory aid – if you forget your account details, just head over to google.com/accounts.

How to create a Gmail Account?

If you have successfully reached here, you may have learned a lot about Gmail and it’s advantages so far. It’s time you learn about how to create a Gmail Account. 

Steps to create a Gmail Account:

  • Go to Gmail Homepage.
  • In the middle of the page or at the right top corner you will see a blue box that says ‘Create an Account, you must click one of those.In 
  • On the next page, you will see a form that will ask for your personal information like full name, a valid username (in case the one you typed isn’t available, you’ll get a few suggestions and then you can choose from one of those), a password of your choice and confirmation. 
  • Click ‘Next’ to confirm the data. 
  • Now, you need to enter your cell phone number. After doing so, you will receive a verification code via SMS or call which you will have to enter to confirm your cell phone number. 
  • After confirming the phone number, you will be asked to enter additional information to secure your account like your birthdate, gender, and a recovery email. 
  • Then on the next screen, you can agree to add your cell phone number for using it across Google Services for receiving calls, videos, messages, and more. (You can also skip this step if you are not willing to share your number like that.)
  • The last step is to go through the Gmail Privacy and terms, and agree to it.
  • After you are done agreeing with the terms, a Gmail account in your name will be created. 

How to set your Gmail Account?

After creating a Gmail Account, you need to set it up to be able to send and receive emails. 

You can follow the following steps to do so.

  • You must click on the next Welcome Pop-up.
  • Then you need to choose the layout from three options: Default, Comfortable, and Compact.
  • Next, you need to customize your theme if you wish to personalize your Gmail layout. 
  • Up next, you can learn how to use Gmail by clicking the ‘Help’ pop-up and get answers to all your doubts.
  • For an easier user experience, you can download the Gmail app on your mobile to keep emails at the ease of your fingertips. 
  • Since it is a new account, you can import contacts and emails from different accounts to this account or from this account to another. 
  • You should add your photo to the profile to be recognized by your recipients. 

After completing all these steps, your account is 100% set up and you are good to go to use this Gmail account for the purposes you created it for. 

Key Gmail Features

It would be a regret to have Gmail and be unaware of its complete potential to save your time and increase your team’s productivity. Which is why we have got you covered with the Key Gmail Features that will help you every single time.

Let Google write your Emails

Are you stuck on what to say next in your email? Don’t worry. Let Gmail help you with that. How?

Google's Smart Compose feature makes it easier to craft an email by completing your sentences as you type. If you write, "Let's get dinner next week," and then your next sentence starts with "Let" Gmail will likely suggest the words "I know" to complete the sentence.



To enable smart compose on a computer, click the gear icon and choose Settings from the menu. Then, under the General tab, check or uncheck "Smart Compose."

Schedule your emails

This feature Gmail allows you to schedule a message to be delivered at another time.

You can schedule email messages to be sent at a later date, such as tomorrow morning or afternoon. This can be very useful when you have last-minute messages to send.

When using the desktop version of Gmail, click the arrow next to the "Send" button. When using a mobile app, press the three dots that appear in the top corner of the app when composing an email.

Snooze emails for later viewing

If you are someone who receives a comparatively high volume of emails throughout the day and night, it is easier for important messages and emails to get buried. Fortunately, Gmail offers you a friendly snooze feature that can bring emails back to your attention according to your preferred time.

In Gmail's desktop version, select a message and right-click. Then choose "Snooze" from the dropdown menu and determine the time at which you want to be reminded of the email.

Remember that Google will suggest you time frames, but you can always choose and set your own custom time.

You can also hover over an email with your cursor and click the clock icon.

If you are looking at your Gmail on a mobile phone, you can snooze an email by tapping it and then pressing the three dots at the top of the screen.

Find emails from a specific sender in two clicks

To find all emails from a specific sender you can follow the steps below:

  • Right-click on an email. 
  • Choose the option that says "Find all emails from" at the bottom of the pop-up menu.

And there you go, you have all you wanted at 2 clicks. 

Un-send an email

How to un-send an email? Guess that is possible in Gmail as well other than just Instagram.

When you send an email, you’ll get a small pop-up that lets you know your message was sent. There’s also an “Undo” button next to the pop-up in case you decide to un-send an email.

Google provides you with five, 10, 20, or 30 seconds to un-send a message once you've sent it. You can choose how long the send cancellation period is by going within the settings menu.

How to organize your Gmail inbox?

Folders

Gmail automatically sorts your emails into folders, such as “Inbox” and “Trash,” by default. You can add or remove folders to these categories. 

By customizing your Gmail account to include folders that use subject lines or sender names as a prompt for sorting, you can easily find relevant emails.

Rules

You can set up organizational rules in Gmail to filter emails by sender, recipient, and other criteria.

For example, you can sort emails into labeled folders based on the importance level of the message. Rules that you create will automatically apply to all future incoming emails.

Calendar

Wouldn’t it be easier for you if you automatically got reminders? It is indeed possible with Gmail. How? Well, all you have to do is integrate a Gmail Calendar for automatically scheduling meetings and appointments based on information in your emails. 

With this feature, it is also easier to respond to meeting requests.

Nudge

This feature helps you remind if any important messages are waiting for your response. Then the important emails are moved to the top of your inbox for your attention. Then it prompts you to respond to the email or take a follow-up on it. 

Remove tabs you never use

To have a cleaner and more organized view of your inbox, you can remove all the tabs except the ‘Primary’ tab to free up space. 

For example, how often do you use the tab ‘Promotions’, you don’t, right? Then you can just remove it. How?

Follow the steps below to do so.

  • Look for the gear icon of ‘Settings’ and click on it. 
  • Go to the ‘Inbox’ options in Settings.
  • Now, look for ‘Categories’ and click on it.
  • Select the tabs you want to remove or include. 
  • Scroll to the bottom page and click on ‘Save the changes’.

Archive Emails

To save your emails, move them to the “Archive” folder. Also, archived messages remain searchable in the “All Mail” folder for up to 30 days. If you do not wish to keep an email, move it to the “Trash” folder. It will be permanently removed from your inbox after 30 days.

But how to do so? Follow the steps below 

  • Select one or more emails from your inbox. 
  • You can click on the square boxes of emails to highlight.
  • Click on ‘Archive’ or ‘Delete’ tabs present on the taskbar — visible on the top of the inbox. (The icons of Archive and Delete are represented by a file-like icon and a trash can.)

Set Desktop Notifications

With setting desktop notifications, you will not have to sit in front of Gmail the whole day and wait for emails. Instead, Desktop notifications can alert you when an email arrives in your inbox.

So, whenever you receive an email you will get notifications on the right side of your screen. 

How to enable desktop notifications?

  • Go to ‘Settings’.
  • Then go to ‘General’.
  • Scroll down and go to ‘Desktop Notifications’ and turn it on.
  • You can also select the tone you want to be played when a new email arrives.
  • If you get too many notifications, turn them on only for emails marked “important.”
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Save Changes.”

Gmail Security and Backing Up

Security

The confidential mode might be one of Gmail's best-kept secrets. It allows you to add extra security to your message by setting a confidentiality passcode to your message. This will block the recipients from forwarding, copying, printing, or downloading your message for a set amount of time.

To adjust these settings, click on the Lock Icon. Once you've set them, you'll see a confirmation on your message, as shown below.

Note that confidentiality settings on email are not always foolproof. However, they may effectively discourage unwanted sharing or copying of emails. Always take adequate precautions when sharing sensitive and private information via email.

Backup

You may wish to export your Gmail account for one of several reasons: to switch jobs, stop using a particular email account, or have a copy of all your email just in case. Whatever your reason, backing up and exporting your Google account using Takeout is not a bad idea. 

Many companies automatically back up work accounts on a regular basis; you should check with your company’s HR department to find out the policies regarding company accounts before you try third-party apps.

How to backup Gmail? In order to learn to back up your Gmail in detail, click here.

Gmail Tips & Tricks

Apart from Undoing a sent email and enabling Smart Compose, we will reveal other Gmail tips and tricks that will help you keep your Gmail game on top!

Gmail’s Offline Access

It so happens many times that your internet connection's bandwidth is low or there's a sudden power-cut. Now, what if you are in the middle of writing an email? Or some important task that is going on in your Gmail? Sounds like an issue, right?

Well, not with Gmail. You can easily continue to use Gmail with limited or no connection at all.

To set this feature for your Gmail, Choose the option 'Settings' on the upper right corner of your page that looks like a symbol of gear. Then go to the tab that says 'Offline' and then mark the box 'Enable offline mail.'

You will see new configurations appear and you will be able to choose from the options whether you want to store emails from the last 7, 30, or 90 days.

Templates

If you are someone who sends a lot of emails that have repetitive answers majorly, then Gmail is the one to save your time and productivity. 

Therefore, instead of typing the same things again and again, you can just set up some pre-written emails. 

You can follow the steps below to set these pre-written templates:

  • Go to the ‘Settings’ or click on the gear icon.
  • Go to the ‘Advanced’
  • Search for the tab that says ‘Templates’ and enable the box.
  • Click ‘Save the changes’
  • After saving the changes, go to the tab ‘Compose’ on the upper left corner of the screen.
  • Now, start writing the message you wish to use as a template. 
  • Click on the icon with three dots that is located at the bottom of the compose pop-up.
  • Now choose the option ‘Templates’, then go and click on the ‘Save draft as template’, and then finally choose ‘Save as a new template’.
  • Now you will have to give a name to your new template. 

Now that you are done making a new template, you can use it either for replying to emails or for composing new emails. But before doing so, we request you to remember the following steps.

  • While composing an email, you will see three dots on the right-bottom of the compose window. 
  • Now with your mouse, when you hover over the ‘Templates’ you will get a list of templates and then you can choose from among them. 
  • When you choose one of the templates, it will be pasted in the composition box where you are composing your reply or email. 
  • Note that the changes are customizable so that you can make adjustments according to your relevance before sending it. 

Gmail Add-ons

The best thing about Gmail is that it lets you customize the experience inside Gmail using Add-ons. Every person or team in your organization may have different tastes, preferences, and processes while working inside an inbox. 

To see which Gmail add-ons are available

  • Go to the vertical bar on the right side of the screen.
  • Click on ‘Get Add-ons’ — it may be represented by a ‘+’ symbol.
  • A G-Suite Marketplace pop-up will be visible with a search bar and the add-ons that are featured and work with Gmail.
  • You can choose among these according to your relevance of business, and the one that will make your life dealing with emails easier.

Some of the useful and generic Add-ons are as below. Click here for detailed information on Gmail add-ons.

GMass: Mail Merge

If your company needs to send mass email marketing, this is the add-on you must have installed. It also offers you a mail merge system for Gmail.

What can you do with GMass?

  • You will be able to send email marketing campaigns to hundreds and thousands of email addresses. 
  • You can mail merge with data from the Google Sheets. 

Mailtrack

This add-on will just work like Whatsapp for you. With this add-on, you will be able to know when the emails you sent are opened. 

This performs as a great feature to track down the performance of your emails. This way you will get more clarity of the next steps you should take forward with a client. 

Some of the features included in this are.

  • Reminders
  • Link Tracking
  • Full Tracking History
  • Real-time Notifications
  • Daily email report

It was developed majorly for account managers, sales, business development, and people who deal directly with clients. 

It can also be used for internal communication, teams, and coordinators. 

Useful Keyboard Shortcuts

It is often easier to use shortcuts than to search for tools, so to make your writing process quicker and more efficient in Google Docs, here are some shortcuts that you might find useful.

Steps to enable Keyboard Shortcuts.

  • Go to ‘Settings’.
  • Look for ‘General’ click on it. 
  • Look for ‘Keyboard Shortcuts’.
  • Turn it on.

Useful Keyboard Shortcuts


It’s not over yet. You can create your own custom keyboard shortcuts too.

To do so,

  • Go to the ‘Settings’.
  • Go to the ‘Advanced’ tab. 
  • Look for ‘Custom Keyboard’ and enable it. 
  • A new tab called ‘Keyboard Shortcuts’ will appear on the screen.
  • Click on it to begin customizing the shortcuts.

Powering up your Gmail with ContactBook

Towards the end of the blog, you may have found out some amazing tips, tricks, rules, and more about Gmail. We hope we were able to deliver you everything that’d make using Gmail easier for you.

Now, we will suggest a few ways to step-up your Gmail game even further with the use of ContactBook.

Auto-filling Contact information in Gmail

While Gmail allows you to have an add-on of Google Contacts, you should be aware that it doesn’t let you share contacts with other platforms. 

The ContactBook application allows you to share your contacts with other people. For example, if someone needs your contact info but doesn't have it, you can use ContactBook to share the information with them in Google Contacts. Then, that contact info will be available in Gmail, Google Calendar, and other Google apps like Google Drive.

For example, suppose you are a sales professional who recently joined a company that has existing contacts. With your permission, the contacts list of the company can be synced with Google Contacts, which allows you to quickly access the client details in your Gmail account. This also works with other Google apps.

Conclusion

We hope that this comprehensive and detailed Gmail Guide has helped in making you see that your user experience on Gmail can be a lot better than it is now. With a detailed knowledge of all the tips and tricks, add-ons, features, advantages, and more will definitely help you in making the most productivity out of your time and energy invested in working.

Using the features and tips mentioned in this blog you can use the best email services in the world at its full potential.

So now, why not try new add-ons to improve your experience, or try a great Contact Management System i.e. ContactBook to enhance the collaboration between your team?

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