I lead a youth group. Most of these young men and women think that having an email address is basically laughable. But for a busy, work-at-home, homeschooling, 30-something mom, email is still an absolutely indispensable part of life.
And in the two years that I’ve had a Gmail account, I’ve basically abandoned all my other email providers and gone full-on Gmail addiction.
- Gmail provides a way to check all other emails (except Yahoo) from one address. And I have a LOT of different emails…several different ones for work, one for my freelance writing, one for family, one for online shopping, etc, etc. I was about to go crazy until I recently discovered I could conglomerate almost all of them into one location. AND it will let you send from whatever account the email came to. I can even have them come in with different colors for different accounts. Priceless!!
- Labels!!! Gmail has this terrific system for adding labels to your messages. Its kind of like tagging pictures in a photo software, I guess. But you can give labels, or categories, to any incoming or outgoing message so that when you need to find that email three months ago with the cannoli recipe your aunt sent you, you simply search your labels for “recipes” and voila – – there it is! Ingenious!!
- Gmail Chat. Although I don’t use it that often, I love looking over at my sidebar to see who is and isn’t online when I am. If someone has sent me an email, sometimes its just more fun to respond to them in real time. Snazzy!!
- I don’t know about you, but I live and die by “to-do” lists. I always have at least 157 balls in the air at any one time, and if I didn’t keep track of what I need to do NEXT, then they would all come tumbling down on my head. Gmail Tasks takes care of this easy-peasy. You can simply type in your daily tasks (which is also automatically imported into the Google calendar), but you can also turn an email INTO a task, which is awesome! So you get an email reminder from Joan at your co-op that you are supposed to bake 3 dozen Danish wedding cookies for the International Cuisine celebration two weeks from Tuesday. You simply click on “Add to Tasks”, and it will let you choose the date, and will also connect directly back to that email, and it will all come to you in a big ole’ reminder two weeks from Tuesday on the dot! Has. saved. my. life. Miraculous!!
- How many times have you sent an email and forgotten to include the attachment? Yep, me too. Or you wrote an angry message you immediate wish you hadn’t. Well, gmail gives you several seconds after hitting “send” to then click “UNDO.” The message stops sending, you get to correct your boo-boos, and all is well with the world. Stupendous!!
- If you use your email for work, or blogging, or any repetitious type of information, then you often need to include different web links in your messages. Gmail has a feature called “Quick Links” that sits in your sidebar and lets you insert any common web link into your email in one click. So if you have told 20 different email friends about this new restaurant they need to try, and you have had to go searching for the link each and every time, you will never have to do that again with Quick Links. It is always waiting there for you to click right in. Wonderful!!
I’m telling you, if you aren’t using Gmail, you aren’t really emailing.