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Almost anyone and everyone who is on the internet, uses email these days. One of the best if not the best email service is Gmail. If you or your business is internet savvy then again you spend much of your time in email.

Keeping this in mind Gmail has some new lab features 5 Gmail Labs Features Everyone Should Try 5 Gmail Labs Features Everyone Should Try Read More that allow you to keep a close watch on other Google services.  One of the most recent ones and the subject of this article are the Google Docs and Google Calendar gadgets, as well as the ability to add iGoogle gadgets to your Gmail account.

These are all available under Labs on the settings page (or you can click on the labs icon at the top as well). Once you are there you just have to enable the appropriate Lab features.

Google Calendar Gadget

This gadget lets you view upcoming events, locations and details as entered in your Google Calendar.

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Google Docs Gadget

Provides the ability to view recent as well as starred documents in your Google Docs Account, as well as providing search functionality to search documents right from within the Gmail page.

Add other Google Gadgets

While the Calendar and the Docs gadget are provided as distinct lab features, you also have the ability to add iGoogle Gadgets to your Gmail page. This opens up an array of possibilities considering the number of gadgets that are out there.

The screen real estate is limited in the left bar of Gmail page where all the gadgets are placed when you add them. However with a new lab feature surfacing every now and then, we can hope this shortcoming is overcome sooner rather than later. Moreover, we may now see developers developing gadgets specially for Gmail or modifying existing ones for Gmail.  Nevertheless, there are some gadgets out there that don’t require so much space.

Recently Gmail also received Canned Responses Save Time with Gmail Email Templates using "Canned Responses" Save Time with Gmail Email Templates using "Canned Responses" Read More and Gmail Goggles 5 Gmail Labs Features Everyone Should Try 5 Gmail Labs Features Everyone Should Try Read More . Check them out as well. Also check out the “Navbar Drag and Drop” Labs feature which allows you to reorder content on the left navbar.

The Lab features are stepping stones to what could finally find its way into Gmail. Google collects data about usage of Labs features and there is a Google Group which you can join to have your say. You can also use the “Send Feedback” link to post on the Google Group for that particular Labs feature.

While some of the Lab features are intended for a little fun like the Old Snakey and Gmail Goggles (yes I don’t believe it can stop you from sending drunk emails), there are other features that are pretty useful and make you wonder why it was not included in Gmail in the first place.

Which Lab feature is your favorite?  Definitely the calendar and docs gadget in Gmail are two of the more useful labs features.  What else would you like to see in Gmail?   What gadgets are you planning to add to your sidebar?

Let us know in the comments.

  1. Damien
    November 10, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    Hi does anyone know if the google calander gadget can be used on other 3rd party websites other than gmail?

    Thanks

    Damien

  2. Adam Sicinski
    November 1, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    Personally I would like to see a Google Task Manager within Gmail.

  3. chanklor
    November 1, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    hola!
    does anyone knows how to add google reader gadget to the gmail page?

    • Mark O'Neill
      November 1, 2008 at 3:40 pm

      The correct URL is http://www.google.com/ig/modules/reader.xml . Just put it into the gadget URL box. However, when I tried it, the gadget did not appear on the page even though Gmail accepted the URL as correct. Very strange.

      • chanklor
        November 1, 2008 at 4:33 pm

        the same happened to me

  4. Bilal
    November 1, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Hi
    Does anyone know how to enable google labs for google apps (google hosted)?
    I have all the features enabled in "domain settings" but don't get the "Labs" tab in my email setting.

    Thanks

    • Mark O'Neill
      November 1, 2008 at 3:32 pm

      I don't think Labs is available in Google Apps for Domains yet.

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