Gmail is one of those rare things unanimously loved by everyday web users and tech-heads alike. The possibilities are endless. It can be anything from a simple email client to your central nervous system on the web. How far you take it is up to you.
Each day seems to produce a new hack, tool or tip for better Gmail use. In this post, I want to highlight only the very best, hand-picked from hundreds of resources. This is not another resource list you’ll bookmark and never look at again. These tips, monster resources and tools will change the way you use Gmail.
Best Gmail skins
1. Super Clean skin — probably the most popular Gmail skin, Super Clean replaces the standard interface with a minimalist white and sky-blue version. Perfect for the budding Zen-master.
2. Air skin — makes subtle changes to the visual interface, adding clean lines, a cloudy color combo and changes the primary font. The perfect solution for users looking for a fresh look without any radical changes.
3. Mac skin — a Mac-inspired Gmail skin to match the Mac you’re checking your mail on! Adds a Mac-style menu and color-scheme to your Gmail account.
4. Fe Mail skin — a well-crafted and very pink Gmail skin.
5. Dark Gmail skin — almost the complete opposite to the last link, this skin is one for the dark and brooding Gmail user.
6. Silverstar skin — a popular minimalist gray theme.
7. Brushed skin — a gray and maroon theme with nifty gradients thrown into the mix.
Best Gmail resources
8. The Gmail Shortcuts Cheat Sheet — a comprehensive printable cheat sheet of useful shortcuts for Gmail. Print it and stick it to your desk: these shortcuts are worth memorizing. Did you know pressing ‘Tab’ and ‘Enter’ will send the email you’ve composed?
9. Gmail Craze: 40+ Tools and Hacks for Gmail — a frequently updated post from MakeUseOf featuring essential Firefox extensions, Greasemonkey Scripts, Desktop Apps, Web Tools, tips and hacks.
10. 55 Gmail tips — this website is dedicated to providing detailed Gmail tips. It covers everything from excluding chat from search results to importing Hotmail contacts.
11. Hack Attack: Become a Gmail Master — this fantastic guide from Lifehacker introduces Gmail’s most powerful capabilities in a way that’s easy to follow. It will help take anyone only familiar with Gmail’s basic functions to the next level.
12. Use Gmail as Your Universal Email Account — got too many email addresses to keep track of? Forward them all to Gmail and deal with your incoming mail from one central location.
13. Ultimate Gmail Collection: Over 80 Tools and Tips — a monster list of extensions, scripts, apps, notifiers, how-tos and shortcuts for the serious Gmail user.
14. Turn Gmail Into Your Personal Nerve Center — influential technology blogger Steve Rubel shares his essential Gmail life hacks, including:
- How to turn Gmail into a massive personal database
- How to get real-time news updates in Gmail
- How to automatically store your bookmarks in Gmail
- How to manage Calendar and To-Dos in Gmail
- How to blog from Gmail
15. 1 Awesome Gmail Tip You Didn’t Know About. Seriously. — this easy tutorial explains how you can customize your Gmail address to serve different purposes.
16. Gmail Toolbox: 60+ Tools for Gmail — Mashable.com works its magic with a huge compendium of Gmail tools. It includes all the extensions you know and love in addition to some (previously) undiscovered gems.
17. Access Gmail When It’s Blocked at Work or School — Engtech provides five strategies you can use to check your Gmail anywhere, even when the I.T. department doesn’t want you to.
18. Mark Spam Messages as Read — this simple filters hack allows you to prevent your unread spam count showing in the main display. Best of all, it will still alert you to items that have been incorrectly marked as spam.
19. Gmail Tips and Tricks: Monster Roundup — Lifehacker’s big roundup of its favorite Gmail downloads, hacks and articles.
Best Gmail tools
20. Gmail Drive — this tool puts Gmail’s extensive storage capacity to use, adding a new drive to your computer which can be accessed via Windows Explorer. You can create folders and drag and drop files within the drive. If you’ve got unused space in your Gmail account, why not add some more space to your hard drive?
21. GTD Inbox — the email solution for productivity nuts, GTD Inbox is a Firefox extension designed to merge the “Getting Things Done” productivity method with Gmail. It transforms Gmail into a productivity hub you can use to set and manage tasks or to-dos. The interface is very subtle and won’t interrupt the look and feel of Gmail as you know it.
22. Better Gmail 2 — this simple and elegant Firefox extension, authored by Gina Trapani, makes several improvements to Gmail’s core functionality, allowing you to hide the ever-annoying Spam count, compose Mailto links in Gmail and view your storage quota as a useful graph. If you’re still using the old version of Gmail, you’ll need to download the original Better Gmail extension.
23. Gmail Music — this nifty little web-based GUI app allows you to store MP3 files in your Gmail account and play them on any computer.
24. Dragdropupload — a Firefox extension that does away with the pesky ‘Browse’ interface. It enables drag and drop email attachments to make the process quick and painless.
25. Gmail Skins — a Firefox extension to customize the color of your Gmail inbox.
Suggest your favorite skins, resources and tools in the comments section!