3 Unusual Uses For A Gmail Account

Tina Sieber 02-05-2013

uses for gmailGmail is a powerful webmail client ROUNDUP: The 10 Best Features That Keep Me In Gmail Gmail is one of Google's greatest projects and in my eyes it has revolutionized email. Not only is it the best web-based email client around, Gmail also beats free desktop clients by miles. After using... Read More . You can manage multiple email accounts How to Import and Manage Multiple Email Accounts in Gmail Want to manage all your email with Gmail? Here's how to add multiple emails to your Gmail account and manage them with ease. Read More using a single Gmail account, easily set up advanced filters 3 Tips To Deal With Email Overload In Gmail [Show & Tell] Most of us suffer from information overload. Being overwhelmed with private emails may not be a big issue and ignoring half the emails is actually acceptable to a certain degree. In a professional life however,... Read More to manage incoming email, or quickly find archived emails How To Search Emails In Gmail Efficiently Read More using Google’s advanced search options. There is no end to Gmail’s awesomeness for everyday use, hence most users don’t even scratch the surface of what this tool can do. You only need to check out our Gmail guide The Power User Guide to Gmail This free Gmail Guide is for those of you who already use Gmail as an email client and want to take maximum advantage of its many productivity features. Read More for power users to see just how much Gmail can do.


Since Gmail comes with so many in-depth features, some hidden and some available as browser add-ons, it can be used in ways that are not immediately obvious. We previously elaborated on alternative uses 4 Alternative Uses For Your Gmail Inbox Read More like writing a diary, keeping your diet, or organizing books and movies. Much has happened since then and we found that Gmail can handle some seriously challenging tasks now.

Maintain Inbox Zero Free Your Inbox: Easily & Automatically Prioritize Emails With These Free Tools Email has almost completely replaced snail mail communication. Now everyone is trying to get into your inbox. From family and friends to companies and advertisers, they all demand a piece of your attention. If you... Read More by Pairing Filters with Aliases

Filters are fine and dandy, but they require a lot of manual intervention and sometimes fail. Each new subscription and every outdated filter means more emails will default to your inbox until you are bothered enough to fix or set up a new filter.

Enter Gmail aliases. Instead of filtering emails by their content, use a unique email address Divide & Conquer Your Email With The Power of Gmail Aliases When it comes to email organization, the immediate reaction is often all about folders, tags, filters, priority marks, and things of that sort. Not that any of those are bad - in fact, most of... Read More for different purposes and set up filters Regain Control Over Your Inbox With These 5 Tips For Managing Gmail Everyone knows that these days, it's pretty difficult to survive or to manage your affairs without email. In fact, most people have two or three emails to manage, so without a good handle on email... Read More based on the aliases emails were sent to.

You can create Gmail aliases on the spot 1 Awesome Gmail tip You Don't Know about. Seriously. Read More , simply by adding +xyz to the part before the @ sign. For example email sent to or will arrive in the inbox of .

uses for gmail


Now each time you sign up for something online or hand out your email address, decide where you want those emails to go and use the respective alias. By combining aliases with filters, your email will automatically get sorted and you won’t have to worry about a cluttered inbox anymore.

Aliases can be used in many other creative ways 3 Ways to Use Email Aliases in Gmail to Your Advantage Gmail email aliases let you create new email addresses for yourself in an instant. Use these tips to use them to your advantage. Read More :

  • Manage an Email To Do List
    Send yourself emails to your To Do List alias, which is filtered to your To Do List label.
  • Cloak Your Private or Work Email Address
    Add the respective email address as forwarding address (> Settings > Forwarding and POP/IMAP ). Then auto-forward email sent to a specific alias to this email address.

Auto-Answer Emails with Canned Responses

Essentially, canned responses Email Faster & Better With Canned Responses Don’t have time to cook lunch? No problem, grab a can. Need some camping chow that won’t go bad? Easy, get some canned food. Tired of typing the same email replies? Try canned emails! Think... Read More are saved snippets of text that you can insert into your emails. Instead of typing the same stuff over and over again, you ‘can’ it once and subsequently dish it out whenever needed. The person on the other end receives the information they needed faster and you gain time, too. Find a great walk-through for setting up Gmail canned responses and auto-responders here Email Faster & Better With Canned Responses Don’t have time to cook lunch? No problem, grab a can. Need some camping chow that won’t go bad? Easy, get some canned food. Tired of typing the same email replies? Try canned emails! Think... Read More .

uses for gmail


Canned responses are great for manually pasting standard bits of text where you need them, but there are more clever things you can do with them! Paired with filters and aliases, canned responses can answer your email without you intervening at all. Here are a few ideas:

  • Out Of Office Reply
    Set up an auto-responder to let people know you are on vacation and when they can expect to hear from you. You can target any incoming email with a new filter or add a canned response as action to existing filters.
  • Email FAQ
    Create filters for specific keywords in which the action is to send a matching canned response, for example to share requested information or answer a common question.
  • Automated Chat
    Set up filters for common phrases, such as how are you, what do you think, or other things some people frequently ask or tell you and let them auto-respond with canned responses. Admitted, this is a silly idea, but could make for a good joke.

Manage Customer Relationships and Projects

Why use an additional service if you can meet all your CRM and PM needs within Gmail? Plenty of browser add-ons can turn Gmail into a productivity beast Turn Gmail Into A Productivity Beast With These Chrome Extensions [Beta Invites] Gmail is a fantastic email client. In fact, I will go as far to say that it’s the best. With that said, can it really get any better? With these Chrome extensions, it can. And... Read More that will make other established tools look dated. My favorites are Boomerang and Streak, both available for Chrome.

With Boomerang you can schedule emails and reminders Schedule Emails to Send Later with Boomerang for Gmail in Chrome Gmail is in ingenious tool for managing emails. Much of what it is lacking per default, is covered by Gmail Labs apps or browser add-ons. Boomerang is a browser add-on available for Chrome that let's... Read More . You can make archived emails return to your inbox when you need them, send emails on a specific date, and make sure you are reminded of an email you sent whether or not the recipient has replied in the meantime. It’s a great tool for managing projects with deadlines and following up on conversations. You could even automate emails with Birthday wishes, so you will never forget. The add-on is available for Chrome, Firefox, and Safari and the free version is limited to 10 emails per month.

Streak on the other hand is a full-fledged project management add-on for teams Manage & Collaborate On Email Intense Projects Inside Gmail With Streak [Chrome] Streak is a powerful Gmail project management add-on for Chrome. It comes with templates for many different types of projects, for example customer support or event planning. In Streak, projects are called pipelines. You can... Read More . It offers templates for the most common types of projects, but you can also set up custom ones. With multiple people collaborating, each from their own inbox, you can assign tasks, have a colleague follow up on a support request, or collectively move projects from start to finish.


Another great tool that belongs into this category is ActiveInbox Organize Your Gmail Inbox Better With ActiveInbox Read More . Unfortunately, I haven’t been using it myself (yet). However, it does look impressive. See for yourself:

The free version of ActiveInbox offers all key features, except for deadlines, notes, GCal integration, and saving / syncing preferences.


With Gmail you can do so much more than sending and receiving emails. It’s a versatile tool, which can be adapted to your needs. If there is an insane or creative use you can think of, there will be ways to make it happen.

How do you tap the full potential of Gmail? Have you discovered any cool uses for Gmail that I didn’t address above?


Related topics: Email Tips, Gmail.

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  1. Asher Motola
    May 6, 2013 at 6:30 am

    With all these great uses for Gmail (which I do enjoy) does anyone know if it's possible to turn off the thread email feature for the iphone/ipad version?

  2. Ymailer
    May 3, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Adding '+xyz' to Gmail address is useful, but how do you compose a message with '+xyz' included in the From box, so that any reply from XYZ is returned to that temporary address?

    • Tina Sieber
      May 6, 2013 at 10:13 pm

      You can add it as an alias in Gmail. Go to > Settings > Accounts and Imports and > Add another email address you own. Make sure > treat as an alias is checked and enter your +xyz email address and verify it.

      Then when you compose an email, change your > From address. You can expand a drop-down window with all your aliases and choose then one you want to use.

      Is that what you're looking for?

  3. k odu
    May 3, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    This is a great post. I have been using email since it was on beta, but never used this features. Thanks a lot.

  4. null
    May 3, 2013 at 2:34 am

    If you have a WordPress blog, use one of the plug-ins that does an automatic backup every day. Create a Gmail account for the backups to be sent to, and filter them so they bypass the inbox and go direct to the archive.