Here at Make Use Of, we’re big fans of Gmail and use it all the time. We love the interface, the features and above all, It just works.
But, as with all software, there is room for improvement and although Google has been adding features to Gmail at a dizzying pace, there’s only so much they can do, without breaking up the thing for a whole bunch of users.
And that is where Gmail Labs come in. My guess is that the Gmail team at Google got tired of deciding if a feature was good enough to be in Gmail and so have designed Gmail Labs to let the users decide, which is an awesome idea if you ask me!
According to the Gmail team,
Gmail Labs is a way for us to take lots of the ideas we wouldn’t normally pick and let you all (who use Gmail) decide whether they’re good or not.
To enable the Labs features, log-in to your Gmail account and click on “Settings”. There you should see the Labs tab. Click on that for a list of all the available features.
Right Side Labels/Right Side Chat
This is one of my favorite extensions. All it does is take the list of labels and the chat box from the bottom-left of the page and places it at the top-right of the page. What a huge difference that makes.
The problem with the labels/chat box at the default location is that one has to do a bit of scrolling and clicking to reach there. This extension takes the pain out of using the labels.
This is one of those things that has been, in my opinion, broken in Gmail since day one. I’m glad that the team has finally got around to providing a solution to the problem. The signature tweaks extension lets you place your signature before the quoted text when replying to an email. It also removes the ‘–’ before the signature.
This extension is definite proof that God exists. Gone are the days of selecting and deleting irrelevant text when replying to a message. A huge time-saver if ever there was one.
This is another useful extension that lets you specify the start and end dates for your vacation, so that the auto-responder can stop auto-responding to emails when you’re back.
Now, I can see that grin on your faces, I know all of you have at some time forgot to disable the auto-responder ;)
Forgotten Attachment Detector
We’re all guilty of forgetting to attach a file while sending an email. Hell, I’ve even sent job applications without attaching my resume :-) This extension is definitely a God-send for people like me … and I use it all the time.
Do you guys have any favourite Gmail Labs extensions ? Are there any extensions you would like Gmail Labs to invent? Please leave a comment and tell us your dream Gmail extension!