Category Archive: Site

Oct 26

New in Labs: Auto-advance to the next conversation

Today, whenever you open an email in your Gmail inbox and then archive or delete it, you’re taken back to your inbox. Many of you have asked for the ability to instead go to the next conversation. Keyboard ninjas will already be familiar with the “]” and “[“ keyboard shortcuts for archiving and going to the next/previous conversation. For everyone else (and for people who frequently mute or delete conversations rather than archive them) we’re offering a new feature in Gmail Labs called “Auto-advance,” which automatically opens the next conversation after you archive/delete/mute the one you’re on.

To get started with “Auto-advance” go to the Labs tab in Settings, enable it, and click the “Save changes” button. By default, “Auto-advance” will advance to the previous (older) conversation in your inbox — perfect for people who read their newest mail first. If you usually read your oldest email first and would rather advance to the next (newer) conversation, you can change the direction from the General Settings tab.


Hopefully this will save you some time the next time you have to deal with a crowded inbox. Try it out and let us know what you think.

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/new-in-labs-auto-advance-to-the-next-conversation

Oct 26

Help us improve Tasks

If you’re using Tasks, you’ve probably thought about something you’d like us to improve or an additional feature you wish you had. Well, we want to hear your ideas — whether they’re for Tasks in Gmail, in Google Calendar, or on your phone.

For the next few weeks, we’re running a poll for Tasks feature requests. We really appreciate the feedback we’ve already received about syncing, sharing, Calendar integration and more, and we’re looking forward to hearing more details within these topics as well as any new requests you have. The poll will remain open until November 19th, at which point we’ll take a careful look at all of the feedback and prioritize your requests. So if you have a few minutes between now and then, please take a look and vote to help us improve Tasks functionality. Thanks!

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/help-us-improve-tasks

Oct 15

Help keep your account safe with the Gmail security checklist

October is National Cyber Security Awareness month and a good time for a reminder about why hijackers do what they do and how you can protect your account. Check out the Online Security blog to learn about common hijacking techniques and security practices that will help you stay one step ahead of the bad guys. To help ensure your Gmail account is safe, take a minute to visit the Gmail help center and complete our new security checklist.

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/help-keep-your-account-safe-with-the-gmail-security-checklist

Oct 04

Follow Gmail on Twitter

We launch new features in Gmail almost every week, and people learn about these features from different sources — friends and family, the news, this blog, or our what’s new page. But heavy Twitter users like me often have to rely on @google and other users for updates related to Gmail. Starting today, you can now get all your Gmail news, tips and tricks directly from @gmail.

As always, if you encounter any issues with your Gmail account, our Help Center and user forum are your best resources. But if you have feedback or ideas you want to share, feel free to reply @gmail or include #gmail in tweets – we’ll be reading your feedback periodically.

We’re also giving away 140 snazzy t-shirts:

To get a shirt, tweet your best ode or haiku to Gmail (see some examples). The first 140 people to do so will get a free shirt in the mail (subject to these contest terms).

To follow us, visit http://twitter.com/gmail.

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/follow-gmail-on-twitter

Sep 29

Turn off Gmail’s conversation view

The way Gmail organizes mail into conversations is like cilantro. You either love it — and, like me, enjoy the nice citrusy, herbal finish it gives to everything from salsa to curry — or you hate it. And those of you who hate it hate it enough to launch sites like nocilantro.com and ihatecilantro.com (“an anti cilantro community”), where you can hate it together.

But my fondness for cilantro pales in comparison to my love for Gmail’s conversation view, or message threading. I haven’t had to wade through multiple messages to follow a conversation in years. A centithread hasn’t filled up the entire first page of my inbox in almost as long as I can remember. Having all the replies to an email (and replies to those replies) grouped with the original message simply makes communicating so much easier.

It turns out not everyone feels the same way. And just as an outspoken minority has banded together in unison to declare their distaste of one of nature’s most delicious herbs, some of you have been very vocal about your dislike of conversation threading. So just like you can order your baja fish tacos without cilantro, you can now get Gmail served up sans conversation view. Go to the main Settings page, look for the “Conversation View” section, select the option to turn it off, and save changes. If you change your mind, you can always go back.


This feature will be rolling out over the next few days so if you don’t see it immediately, check back in a bit. And once you try it out, let us know what you think.

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/turn-off-gmail%e2%80%99s-conversation-view

Apr 15

Drag and drop attachments onto messages

I’m always looking for ways to save time. Suppose I want to attach some files to an email, and I already have a folder open containing those files.


I used to have to click “Attach a file,” find the photos, click them, etc. Starting today, if I’m using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox 3.6, I can just drag and drop the files to attach them — easy as pie.



We’ll enable this for other browsers as soon as they support this feature. For now, you can drag and drop attachments in Chrome and Firefox only.

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/drag-and-drop-attachments-onto-messages

Apr 15

Insert a calendar invitation

Since my friends share their schedules with me in Google Calendar, when I want to see a movie with them, I can check to see which nights they’re free before sending out an email about it. However, I need to switch between Gmail and Calendar in order to check their availability and send an email invitation.

Today, we’re launching a new feature that brings tighter integration between Gmail and Calendar, making it easier to create Calendar events from within Gmail. When you compose an email message, there’s now an “Insert: Invitation” link right under the subject line.


When you click it, a small window appears that displays your availability as well as that of the people you’re emailing provided you have permission to see their calendars.


You can check your friends’ availability and choose an appropriate time for the event you’re setting up right from there. When you’ve settled on the details of the event, click the “Insert Invitation” button and a preview of the invitation will appear in your email message:


When you send the email, the event gets added to your calendar as well as to your friends’ calendars.

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/insert-a-calendar-invitation

Apr 13

Google Buzz buttons

We’ve seen lots of people using Google Buzz to share interesting links from around the web. To do so, you had to copy and paste the link from one browser window to another — there weren’t buttons that made it easy to post to Google Buzz without leaving the site you’re on. Savvy sites like Mashable and TechCrunch quickly got creative and implemented their own Buzz buttons, using Google Reader as the backend. But not every site owner should have to hack together their own version of these buttons (and not everyone who uses Buzz also uses Reader), so this morning we’re making copy-and-paste Buzz buttons available for anyone to use.

Starting today, you’ll see these buttons around the web on participating sites including: The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Glamour, YouTube, Blogger, MySpace, GigaOM, PBS Parents, PBS NewsHour, The Next Web, TweetDeck, SocialWok, Disqus, Vinehub, and Buzzzy. Mashable and TechCrunch have updated their sites to use these new buttons too.


A number of sharing platforms, including ShareThis (pictured below), Meebo, Shareholic, AddThis and AddtoAny have also incorporated the Google Buzz button into their sharing functionality, so you’ll see Buzz listed as a choice when you go to share something on many other sites around the web as well.


If you want to add Google Buzz buttons to your site, just go to buzz.google.com/stuff, configure your buttons with a couple clicks and copy a few lines of JavaScript. Paste this code where you’d like the Buzz buttons to appear and you’re all set.


And if you’d like to promote your own Google Buzz account, we have a button for you, which allows people to follow you on Buzz right from your blog or website. Here’s an example using the Google Buzz team’s own Buzz account (clicking it will take you to the Buzz team’s profile page and from there you can easily follow our team’s posts):

Follow on Buzz

You can grab that button code from buzz.google.com/stuff as well.

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/google-buzz-buttons

Apr 08

New in Labs: Nested Labels and Message Sneak Peek

Labels are more flexible than folders because a given email can have several labels but can’t be in several folders at the same time. A highly requested feature for labels, though, comes from the world of folders: the ability to organize labels hierarchically.

If you think this might be useful to you, go to the Gmail Labs tab under Settings, look for “Nested Labels,” enable it and click “Save.” You’ll then need to name your label with slashes (/) to make it the child of another. For example, let’s say you wanted to create a simple hierarchy with a “Home” label, and inside it a “Family” and a “Vacation” label. Just create three labels with the following names:

Home
Home/Family
Home/Vacation

You can then create “Home/Family/Kids,” “Home/Pets,” etc., to get something like the screenshot on the left. If you had the parent label “Home” before you don’t have to create it from scratch.

You can create complex hierarchies of labels if that’s the way you like to organize your mail, and you can expand/collapse labels to save space. You’ll always be able to tell whether a given label contains unread messages in its collapsed child labels by looking at whether it’s bold or not.

Please note that this lab doesn’t play nicely with the “Hide Read Labels” lab. You might not get exactly what you expect if you have both labs enabled; for example, the collapse/expand icons won’t always appear when they should.

Another highly requested feature is the ability to preview messages to get a glimpse on what they contain and maybe take immediate action without opening them.

This is exactly what “Message Sneak Peek” does. After you turn it on, right-clicking on a line in your inbox shows a preview pane with the message in it.


You can also use keyboard shortcuts for a faster sneak-peeking flow (enable keyboard shortcuts in Settings first if you haven’t done so): hit ‘h’ to open a sneak peek card, then navigate with ‘j’ and ‘k,’ and dismiss the current card by pressing “Escape.” Messages you peak at will stay unread (or it wouldn’t really be a sneak peek, would it?).

Happy nesting and peeking!

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/new-in-labs-nested-labels-and-message-sneak-peek

Apr 05

Confirm your Buzz settings

Shortly after launching Google Buzz, we quickly realized we didn’t get everything right and moved as fast as possible to improve the Buzz experience. We made a number of changes to the getting started experience based on your feedback, the most significant of which was replacing auto-following with suggestions for people to follow.

Rather than automatically setting you up to follow the people you email and chat with most, Google Buzz now suggests people for you to follow instead. This way, Buzz is still simple to set up (no one wants to peck out an entire social network from scratch) but you aren’t set up to follow anyone until you choose to do so.

But many of you started using Google Buzz before we made these changes, and we want to help you ensure that Buzz is set up the way you want. Offering everyone who uses our products transparency and control is very important to us, so if you started using Google Buzz before we changed the start-up experience, you’ll see the following confirmation page the next time you click into the Buzz tab:

This page highlights your current Buzz settings and makes it easy to change anything you want. You can view and edit the people you’re following and the people following you, elect whether you want those lists appearing on your public Google profile, and modify any of the sites you have connected to Google Buzz, like Picasa, Google Reader, or Twitter. If everything looks good, you can confirm your Buzz set-up with a single click. And remember, you can always change who you’re following by clicking “Following XX people” from the Buzz tab or modify your preferences from the Buzz section of Gmail Settings.

To keep up to date with all of the improvements we’re making to Google Buzz and provide your feedback, follow our team’s Google Buzz account. For tips and tricks on using Google Buzz, check out the videos on our new YouTube channel: youtube.com/googlebuzz.

Permanent link to this article: http://jimstips.com/official-gmail-news/confirm-your-buzz-settings

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