Odds and Ends

This entry is part 14 of 23 in the series White Belt

Google has been very busy lately adding some very nice features to their version 2.0 interface. As a reminder, the ver 2.0 interface requires IE 6 or later or FireFox 2.0 or later.

if you haven’t been following the blog on the Gmail Podcast website I’ll bring you up to date on a few announcements from Gmail in the past few weeks.

At first glance, the feature of colored labels doesn’t seem like a big deal, but the most I use it, the more I like it. If you look at your labels on the left, you should see very light squares next to each of the labels. By clicking one of these squares you can set a color for that label. Now when you glance at your conversation index, the colors really stand out to help identify groupings of messages.

As a side note, I also noticed while reading a conversation, the labels at the top of the message have a little “x” next to them. If you click on the “x” you remove that label from the conversation. If you click on the “x” next to the Inbox label, you archive the message. That’s a lot quicker than pulling down the “More Actions” list and going to the bottom to remove a label.

Another new feature that will make you GoogleTalk users happy is that Gmail now allows you to import your AOL IM buddies directly in to GTalk. And yes, the chat transcripts from AIM conversations are saved to your email archive like the native GTalk conversations.

The final addition in the past few weeks is the use of a very useful keyboard shortcuts help screen. Besides the cool factor of transparency, being able to reference the help screen at any point. There is a lot of information on that screen so I suggest picking one or two keyboard shortcuts, get used to using them and then go get a couple more. One of my recent favorites is the “.” key that triggers the “More Actions” drop list. Now I can label messages with just a few keystrokes.

Something tells me we can look for plenty more new little features like this in the future. Google has proven that it continues to innovate and add to their product. Keep your eyes on the Gmail Podcast website and listening to the Gmail Podcast for more information.

Quick Tip: How to unmute a conversation. If you mute a conversation and then later decide you want to unmute it, you can use the “Unmute” link at the top. However, you may decide days or weeks later that you want to follow that subject again. This is a simple matter of finding the conversation and moving it back to the inbox. You can find all muted messages by searching using the keyword “is:muted”. Click on the conversation you want, then use the “More Actions” pull down – the first option is “Move to inbox”. This effectively, un-archives the message and continues to present it in your inbox and track it like any other conversation.

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