Do you use Gmail or Google Apps for email? Gmail remains the favorite web-based email service for many of us in spite of the competition from other email services. Also, as more and more businesses use Google apps, the dominance of Gmail has grown byleaps and bounds. That’s actually why we take Google services really seriously on TechNorms. Particularly, Gmail Add-ons and other tools are really important to make your work and life easier, fun and more productive.
Gmail Labs contain some awesome tools that are still under experimentation. If they get accepted by enough Gmail users, they’ll eventually get added to Gmail. However before they get accepted, you can get ahead of others and try out these experimental features in Gmail Labs.
10+ Gmail Labs Add-Ons
Here, we have selected more than 10 Gmail Labs add-ons that we find very useful. Note the ones that appeal to you and head over to your Gmail settings to enable them. We shall also discuss how to do that in this post.
How to Enable Gmail Labs Features
Before we see the best Gmail Lab features, let’s look at how to locate Gmail labs option in your account and enable the features you want. You can enable all the features you want at once and save changes. First, open your Gmail account. Click on the gear icon above Gmail Inbox and select “Settings” from the dropdown.
On the settings page, click on “Labs” at the right hand side of the tabs displayed.
Select “Enable” for all the features you’d like to enable. Then move to the bottom of the page and select “Save”.
Your Gmail account will immediately refresh, and the changes would have been added. Now let’s see which are the most interesting one’s among all the Gmail Labs features.
1. Undo Send
This feature is extremely useful for people who send a lot of emails daily. Sometimes, you send an email in a rush and immediately remember more information or notice an error in the sent message. With this add-on, you can instantly stop the message within a few seconds of sending the message.
2. Preview Pane
Are you a really busy person that receives a lot of emails. This add-on lets you read messages right next to the list of messages in your inbox. A preview pane gets added to your inbox, and you can decide whether you want a horizontal preview pane or a vertical one.
This way you can quickly skim through the messages in your inbox first thing in the morning or last thing at night. You can also reply messages in the preview pane.
3. Canned Responses
If you are self-employed or working in customer service, this is particularly useful for you. “Canned responses” lets you save common messages in your inbox. You get quick and easy access to these messages when you need them. Just click on a button, insert your canned response, edit your message and hit send. That way, you can save a lot of time.
To save a “canned response” after enabling this feature, just go to “Compose New”, enter your message and click on “canned responses” and save. Here’s a detailed overview of Canned Responses feature in Gmail and How to set them up.
4. Inserting images
Do you itch to add pictures to your emails. Here’s a Gmail Lab add-on that takes care of that for you. It adds a new icon for inserting pictures to your Gmail.
5. Quote Selected Text
This is also really useful if you are in customer service or you work where you respond to a lot of enquiries regularly. Quote Selected Text add-on lets you highlight a text and then quote only the highlighted text in your reply.
This way, you can remove fluffs easily and answer only a particular question in your reply.
6. Sender Time Zone
Do you interact with people across different time zones by email? This tool helps you become more courteous and organized. It shows the Time Zone and current time of the senders of emails in your inbox. With this add-on enabled, you will know when to expect replies to your emails and whether you client or team mate is actually working late.
Here’s what you get in your Gmail messages before Sender Time Zone is not yet enabled:
When you enable Sender Time Zone, here’s what you get:
You also know whether it is better to just call the person up or wait for a reply.
7. Message Sneak Peek
This is also really useful for people who receive a lot of emails daily. It is an alternative to the Preview Pane feature mentioned above. You don’t have to open each message before knowing what is in there. Simply right-click on each message to get an idea of what the message is.
8. Pictures in chat
Want to make your Gmail chat more interesting. Start showing pictures and not just the names. This feature does that for you once it is enabled.
9. Extra Emoji
This feature helps you add more picture characters or emoticons to your messages. Once enable, the characters will appear above your new messages.
10. Unread Message Icon
Want to know how many unread messages you have at a glance? Enable Unread Message Icon to display the number of unread messages at the top of your inbox all the time.
Still Not Satisfied? Here Are More Gmail Labs Add-Ons
- Video Chat Enhancements – Provides better Gmail voice and video chat
- Create A Document – Instantly create document from email conversations or more.
- Google Calendar Gadget – Add Google calendar to the left column of your Gmail inbox.
- Green Robot – Know if your friend is chatting from an android device or a computer
Check out our very own Evernote Widget for Gmail and Google Calendar where you can access and add new notes to your evernote account.
Here’s your chance to get more from Gmail if you haven’t started using this features. Just carefully select the features you like and enable them once. If you think we missed an important feature, kindly add to this list in the comments.