Yahoo on Tuesday spruced up its free Web-based email service as chief Marissa Mayer continued her quest to win users from rival Google for online tasks people tend to daily. Upgrades to Yahoo Mail rolled out to mark its 16th birthday included letting…
As of November 2012, Gmail is officially the most popular webmail service in the world. It took Google almost a decade to get to the top in this regard, but finally, Gmail has taken the number one spot, where Hotmail used to be.
I don’t know about you, but it is not a surprise at all. Gmail has been growing in popularity, and while it is simple, it is also powerful. There are a lot of “tricks” which users can employ; tricks that will make the experience so much richer. Long-time Gmail users will have integrated these tricks into their workflow, but if you are not aware of them and want much more out of Gmail, take a look at these 5 powerful tips to maximize Gmail.
Remember Google’s April Fools’ prank? Gmail Motion was – is – so ridiculous that we all knew that it was nothing but a prank. In case you missed it ((Have you been living in a cave???)), Gmail Motion is e-mail which can be controlled using your body. With this innovative Google development, all you need is your body and you can do whatever you need with your mail. As one person put it, be careful when you sneeze, though, as you may end up deleting all of your e-mails! Here’s the video of the Gmail Motion in action.
Anyhow, prank or not, the idea is actually realizable. Consciously or not, the guys behind the prank may have started something. You know how it is with creative minds, don’t you? When a bunch of guys from the Institute for Creative Technologies ((ICT at the University of Southern California)) saw the video above, their minds started working overtime.
I can just imagine them as they were watching the video. Hey, this is actually technically possible! Why don’t we give it a shot and give Google a dose of their own medicine while we’re at it?
Armed with a sensor taken from Microsoft’s Kinect (talk about the irony of it), they started a projected called the Software Library Optimizing Obligatory Waving, or SLOOW. You don’t have to be slow to use the set up, but you do have to move your butt (and other body parts). Check out the video the guys created to demo their project.
Now this isn’t exactly your run-of-the-mill scientific proposal, but it seems to work, doesn’t it? While it is real, I doubt that we’ll be seeing this kind of setup available to the general public any time soon.
Have you used your Priority Inbox yet? I shall write this post under the assumption that you activated the new Gmail feature the moment you saw that red notification in the upper right corner of your browser. (I know I did!)
A little over a week since the Priority Inbox was launched, it seems to me that it is not generating a lot of excitement. I jumped right into the water by activating the feature, and I am still using it. Yeah, I guess my Inbox does look more manageable now, but somehow, I feel as if I were missing something. Maybe I am. Maybe you are, too.
Well, the Google team shared five tips to make the most of the Priority Inbox in the Gmail Blog yesterday. Let’s take a quick look – maybe these tips will fan the flames of enthusiasm again.
- Customize your sections. Did you know that you can further tweak the sections so that you will see exactly what you want to see in your Inbox? You can add sections, indicate labels that you want to be shown, and even control the number of messages to be shown for each section.
- Train the system. Truth be told, I have been spending too much time on doing this. I know I can train the system as I go along, but it’s just a lot of fun going through months’ worth of e-mails and labeling each as important or not.
- See the best of your filtered messages. Okay, this one totally escaped me the first time. Anyhow, you can override filters so that messages deemed important (but with filters) will still be shown in your Priority Inbox.
- Use filters to guarantee certain messages get marked important (or not). More on filters? If ALL the e-mails your boss sends you are important, then simply create a filter that will cause all e-mails from your boss’s address to be marked as important.
- Archive unimportant messages quickly. Too many e-mails in the “Everything Else” section? Just click on the drop down menu and archive shown messages in one fell swoop.
So tell me, do you find any of these tips helpful?
How does your Inbox look right now? If you’re using Gmail, you’re probably already using labels and filters. These features have helped many a user sort out their Inboxes. There are still some who are having problems dealing with the daily influx of e-mails. It is not surprising to see a cluttered Inbox every now and then.
With the announcement at the Gmail Blog yesterday, things might just get much easier for Gmail users. They have released the Priority Inbox Beta, which promises to help users deal with e-mail overload. How is the new feature going to do this?
Well, we all hate spam – message that are totally useless – but we also get loads of message that are not really spam – bologna or bacn. What Priority Inbox does is to sort out this second class. It doesn’t mark the messages as outright spam, but it will also make sure that the bologna doesn’t flood your Inbox and bury the truly important messages.
With the new feature, you’re going to see three sections in your Inbox:
- Important and unread
- Everything else
The system will identify which message belongs to which group via an assortment of “signals.” For example, if a certain person e-mails you a lot and you reply to his/her messages often, e-mails originating from that address will be marked important. As you may surmise, the system will deliver better results the more that you use Gmail, as it will “learn” from your behavior. There are also considerations for manual labeling – you can mark a message as important or unimportant yourself. Here’s the video demo.
I just checked my Gmail and I don’t have the feature yet, but the blog says that they will be rolling it out in the next weeks. Look out for the red notice in the upper right of your Inbox that says “New! Priority Inbox.” I’m sure we won’t miss it when it does come out.