5 Gmail Labs Features Everyone Should Try

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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.

Gmail Labs Features

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Right Side Labels/Right Side Chat

Move Labels and Chat to the Right

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.

Signature Tweaks

Gmail Signature

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.

Quoted Text

Quoted Text

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.

Vacation Time

Vacation Time Auto-repsponder

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

Gmail Attachment Reminder

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!

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Comments (36)
  • Ron

    I should have also put the relevant point that I often want to do this from my BB, and you can’t even go into settings and uncheck your signature in the smartphone Gmail.

    It’d be ideal if you could end your email with a string which would then block the signature from appending on.

    Thanks

  • Ron

    I hope I’m not asking a question that is obvious… If so, sorry. I looked around a bit and couldn’t seem to see anything relating…

    My issue is that once in a while I want to send an email without my signature block. Other than going into settings and checking “no signature” before I write the email, I can’t find a way to do this.

    Any help?

    Thanks,
    Ron

    • Sharninder

      Ron,

      I don’t know of a solution for this other than removing the signature manually for those emails that you don’t want a signature for. You don’t have to go all the way to the settings pane, just delete the signature from the email.


      Sharninder

  • tips photo

    Some of these are great features that can be used in gmail. But there are a few that I don’t see a real big use for or what anyone would use them for.

  • momo

    I want to be able to send emails at a specific date & time.

    • David C

      The suggestion from momo could be useful.

      My wish would be to group all the conversations from a person or with a tag under the same conversation. Yeah, labels are great, but if you want to keep up to date with the usenet groups, it is much better to have all the new messages inside only one message. Currently, my inbox is overflooded and if i use the option to “label n archive” then i lose track of the new messages.

  • Sharninder

    @Munkypint: I agree gmail’s address book is kinda broken in that sense. The ability to “deactivate” an email address is something I’ve wanted for some time too. Hopefully, google is listening :-)

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This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.