Get to know your Gmail features

There is a lot to Gmail you might not even know about. By clicking the “settings” link at the top right side of your Gmail screen and selecting the Labs tab, you’ll find a range of features that Google describes as, “Not quite ready for prime time.” This, however, does not mean they aren’t functional or useful. Here are a few of them:

E-mail Addict

Addicted to e-mail? Enable the take a break button. This button shuts down Gmail for 15 minutes. A massage across the screen tells you Gmail is down right now.

Mail Goggles

After having a drink at the bar, you don’t want to send an e-mail you might regret. “Mail Goggles” has you covered. By choosing this option, Gmail will prompt you with a set of simple math problems to solve. If you can’t solve them, Gmail won’t let you send your email. You can decide what times of day you want “Mail Goggles” enabled and when you don’t.

Text Messaging (SMS) in Chat

As many forms of technology converge, Gmail converges with them. By enabling Text Messaging (SMS) in Chat, you can send and receive text messages from your Gchat.

Inserting images

If you have to send an image to someone, it usually gets uploaded as an attachment. Instead, you can enable the “insert image” feature, which adds a button to your toolbar to insert images directly into the body of your e-mail.

Google Calendar gadget

Too lazy to click the calendar link to check your Google calendar? Just enable the Google calendar gadget. It adds a box in the left column of the screen that shows you your Google calendar.

Right-side chat

Not everyone likes their Gchat on the left side on the screen. If you’re one of them, you can move the contacts bar to the right side of the screen by enabling the “Right-side chat” option.

Navbar drag and drop

If you want to want to be more ambitious and start re-arranging your Gmail window beyond just moving Gchat to the right side, enabling the “Navbar drag and drop”, will let you re-arrange your Gmail window to your hearts content.

Old Snakey

Deep down inside we all miss the game “Snake.” Enabling this option will not necessarily enhance your productivity, but you’ll be able to play the game on your screen.

Custom date formats

Perhaps this isn’t a ground breaking feature, but not every country uses the same date and time format as the United States. If you wish, you can use the 24-hour clock format or show the date with the day first, followed by the month and year.

Sender Time Zone

Enabling this option allows you to see the time zone the sender is in, a very useful feature if you’re trying to set up a phone interview or don’t want to accidently wake up someone if you need to call them after they respond to an e-mail.

Message translation

Not particularly accurate for the nuances of language, but for simple translations, it can come in handy.