5 Cool Gmail Apps

I  really love using Gmail. It is free, fast and easy. And it is even easier when Google constantly adds more and more functionality to this great free email service. And that’s what differs Gmail from the mail applications like Microsoft’s Outlook where things change big-time but on a much longer time. But with Gmail, it’s different. There are apps added very frequently by Google Labs developer team and those apps change Gmail less but with time, it gets a lot better than changes on Microsoft Outlook.And that’s whole Google’s philosophy: Develop new features quickly, release them (even if unpolished) and solicit user feedback.

So i have created a list of 5 great Gmail apps that have helped me (and I hope will help you too) cut down on the time I normally take to toggle between applications.

To add any of these features, click on the green beaker in the top right corner of your Gmail account (just to the right of where your e-mail address appears in bold lettering). Once you’re in Gmail Labs, you’ll see a list of the add-ons with brief descriptions. You simply click “enable” or “disable” for any of these, and make sure you hit “save” at the bottom of the page. (If more work is required in setting one up, I’ve noted that in the application info below). Also, each lab feature has a “send feedback” link where you can write to Google Apps and Gmail developers.

Ok, here they are:

1. SMS text Gmail chat

Gmail already gives you ability to instantly chat with your friend contacts via Gmail but most of these contacts are out for lunch or away and leave their computer on, so you can’t really instant message them. So you decide dropping them an Email, but then not everyone owns a smartphone to recieve emails and read them instantly. And that’s where SMS text Gmail chat comes in. Now you can send SMS text message from your Gmail chat box to their mobile phones and this way they will read it instantly (if their battery isn’t off… :)

How to set it up: After you enable it (in Google Labs panel as explained above) and click save, return to your Gmail inbox and go to the chat widget (it’s on the left column of your Gmail by default, but there’s actually another feature in Gmail Labs that allows you to move it to the right side if you like). Then in your search box (above chat contacts where it says “search, add or invite”) enter the name of desired contact to find them. And after their name pops up in the list below, you will see and option that says: “Send SMS Text.” near their name.

From there, add and save the number for that contact. Now, go to that person’s name on your buddy list in the chat widget, and you’ll be able to send him or her an SMS Text.

Note: But remember that normal text messaging fees apply for your recipient, and that only U.S. phones can utilize this feature for now. Because SMS texts have 160 character count, it would be nice to see a character countdown as you type the text (like you would on Twitter). Also, when you receive a text from a Gmail sender, a random phone number appears (I supose from wherever it gets routed).

sms_chatgoogle_sms_gmail

Google’s blogpost about this App

2. Forgotten Attachment Detector

We all forget things now and then. And it happens with sending an attachment too. Like when you start writing an email and describing what attachment holds or what should your contact do with it (or whatever…), you often forget to actually send attachment. Funny but it happens very often.

And with Forgotten Attachment Detector this will not happen so often. Whenever you are sending and email and using words like “attachment” or “attach” in it and you click send without attaching the file, this detector will prompt you message and will remind you to do it.

How to set it up: Just go to Google Labs panel, enable it and click save.

attachment-detector

Google’s blog post about this App

3. E-Mail Addict

If you are an email addict (like me) and spend much time at your Gmail panel (chatting or responding to emails…) this tool will help you spend less time on Gmail. once an hour your e-mail will shut down, asking you to “take a break” and you will become invisible on Google Chat for 15 minutes. For some of you it might be quite annoying,  but for some who wish to make themselves less addicted to Emails managing and spend their time on other things this could be very helpful application.

How to set it up: Just go to Google Labs panel, enable it and click save.

take-a-break

Blog post from KnowledgeForward about Email Addict

4. Google Docs Gadget

For the full web-based version of Google Docs, you’ve typically needed to click on the “Documents” link in the top left side of Gmail, launching a new tab in your browser. Now, with this Google Docs Gadget, you can see your recent documents as a widget beside your Gmail inbox. It has a “new” tab that immediately allows you to begin a new document, spreadsheet, presentation or form writer.

How it works: Go to Gmail Labs, click enable, and save. The widget will appear on left column of your Gmail page.

gadgets_in_labs-g-docsr

Google’s blogpost about this App

5. Google Calendar Gadget

Calendar is very important addon for you organisation and time scheduling. And normally to see full page of this Google App, you would click Calendar on the upper left tab. But now with this application, there will be a widget added to your Gmail sidebar so you can see and schedule important events or meetings.

How to set it up: Just go to Google Labs panel, enable it and click save. The widget of Calendar will appear on your left sidebar in Gmail where you can see all the details.

gadgets_in_labs-calendar

Google’s blogpost about this App

That’s all. I hope these Gmail addons will help you like they helped me.

Enjoy!

[tags]google, gmail, email, google labs, attachment detector, google docs, gmail calendar[/tags]

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9 Responses
  • Mickey Reply

    This is great list Gennice. Thank you for this great info. BTW, maybe you should include Gmail Video Chat…

  • GenniCe Reply

    Thanks for commenting Mickey. I didn’t include Gmail Video Chat because it isn’t directly helping user to spend less time at Gmail panel.
    But I will write another post about other Gmail Apps and will include Video Chat there…

  • Bash Bosh Reply

    Yup, it’s the great list of included Google Mail application!
    Very quality written!

  • Raj Reply

    And the latest from Gmail is offline Gmail, a great advantage to go thru your mail when you are offline.

  • mobiles24 Reply

    Please, can you PM me and tell me few more thinks about this, I am really fan of your blog…gets solved properly asap.

  • Author Reply

    Always good quality info from this site!

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