Labs 2

There have been several additions to the Gmail Labs since I originally told you about it in June of 2008. If you haven’t listened to that podcast, I recommend you go back and listen to it to better understand what Gmail Labs is and how to use these terrific extensions to the software.

One of the new features is called “Mail Goggles”. The idea behind it is that it gives you time to gather your senses before sending and email you might regret. By default, Mail Goggles is enabled late at night when you are most likely to send an angry email to your boss, or a message to your ex-girlfriend wishing you had gotten back together. To enable Mail Googles, click on the “Settings” link in the upper right, then the “Labs” tab. Scroll down until you see “Mail Goggles” and enable it. Mail Googles works by making you do a few simple math problems before you can send your mail. The idea is that if you aren’t in the right mind to do some simple brain work, you aren’t in the right mind to be sending that email to your ex-girlfriend.

Another new feature in the labs is Advanced IMAP Controls. This is handy to use if you find your mail client getting bogged down by a large Gmail “All Mail” folder for example. Once enabled, just go to the “Labels” tab under “Settings” and you’ll find a new checkbox next to your labels that reads “Show in IMAP”. Uncheck the box and the corresponding folder will disappear from IMAP.

There are also some more obscure options for those of you who want to make Gmail’s IMAP work more like traditional IMAP providers: you can turn off auto-expunge or trash messages when they’re no longer visible through IMAP.

The IMAP protocol allows messages to be marked for deletion, a sort of limbo state where a message is still present in the folder but slated to be deleted the next time the folder is expunged. In Gmail’s standard IMAP implementation, when you mark a message as deleted, Gmail doesn’t let it linger in that state — it deletes (or auto-expunges) it from the folder right away. If you want the two-stage delete process, after you’ve enabled the Advanced IMAP Controls, just select ‘Do not automatically expunge messages’ under the ‘Forwarding and POP/IMAP’ tab in Settings.

Here’s today’s Quick Tip. If you like sending short messages where the subject IS the message – like “Call me right away”, and don’t want to be annoyed by that pop up message that says “Send this message without text in the body?” – use EOM (short for End Of Message) or enclose it in parenthesis and Gmail will no longer bother you.