6 Gmail Add-ons that Could Save Your Mind, Your Time and Your Reputation
Gmail this week added an optional feature that allows users to selectivly “mute” those email threads that just won’t die. Called Smart Mute, the feature is now a part of Gmail’s list of experimental “Labs” features, which Google makes official if enough people find them useful.
“You know the ones I’m talking about: those emails with 10+ people cc’d where everyone replies all, but you lost interest five emails ago,” Bruce DiBello, Software Engineer for Google , wrote in a blog post.
If you enable “Smart Mute” from the Labs tab in Gmail Settings, muted conversations will only appear in your inbox if a new message in the conversation is addressed to you and no one else, or a new email in the conversation adds you to the “To” or “Cc” line.
Google Labs can be accessed by clicking on the small green lab beaker up in the corner of your Gmail window next to your address. It’s worth checking back on a regular basis for new additions. Here are our current favorites:
Swipe through emails
It’s not quite the same as swiping pages on an iPhone, but this add-on comes pretty close. Open an email and when you’re ready to move on to the next one, hold the right-click on your mouse and swipe to the left to read the next message or swipe right to read the previous one. Move up to go back to inbox view.
Add an image
Like Yahoo Mail and Windows Live Mail, the text editor in Gmail does not provide a way to insert images into the body of the message, a feature that Microsoft Outlook and AOL Mail allow. When enabled, you can upload and insert image files from your computer or insert images by URLs.
Time zone converter
Even if you’ve mastered converting time zones to GMT, throw in CET and daylight savings time and you’re apt to get it wrong, which could cause a communication snafu with friends and associates around the world. Turn the Google time converter on and you’ll see the current time for the sender, which is updated each time a message is opened. In a message, click on “Show details” next to the date in the upper right hand corner of the message box to reveal the times, which will appear with all of the extra information available under the sender’s name.
The right Bob
Oops! Sent to the wrong Bob, a common mistake that can also be embarrassing when your boss and your buddy go by the same first name. Enable this add-on and Gmail will automatically prompt you when sending an email to someone with the same name as one or more in your contact list.
Late night blooper protector
Google Goggles offers protection against sending an email that wouldn’t pass the light-of-day test. You’ll have to correctly answer three math questions before composing a new message. In “Settings”, choose the days and time periods when you're most likely to need Gmail to step in and double check that you want to send that email.
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