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BW Businessworld

5 Tips To Be Gmail-Savvy

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In his latest book, Faster — 100 Ways To Improve Your Digital Life, ethical hacker Ankit Fadia gives tips and tricks for a smarter online presence. Here are some pointers to optimise your Gmail:

Un-send An Email
Many of us have cried in dismay within seconds of hitting the “Send” button on an incomplete or impulsive email. Did you know you had a second chance? Gmail allows you to keep your emails in limbo, lest you change your mind. Go to Settings > Labs > Undo Send > Click on Enable > Save Changes. After erroneously hitting Send, Gmail displays the following message: “Your message has been Sent. Undo View message. Click on Undo. You can also go back to Settings > General > Undo Send to select the number of seconds (up to 30) for which the Undo Send option is available.
Search Ninja
Ever found yourself wading through 10GB of email trying to find one particular gem? Yes, you know there’s a search bar, but Gmail gives you more. Here are some self-explanatory keywords you can use as prefix (no space after the ‘:’) to your searches for a more accurate outcome: “to:, from:, in:YourFolder (for custom folders), in:chats”, etc. You can also combine some of them, such as “from:[email protected] larger:15MB”, also“before:, after:, newer_than:, older_than:”, etc.

Sifting Spam
If you have an email account, you’re bound to be spammed. There’s the prominent “Report Spam” button of course, but you can also use the More section to add further filters. Open a spam mail that made it through to your Inbox, click on More > Filter messages like these. You can modify this further by clicking on the “Create filter with this search”option on the pop-up.

Hack Attack
With our lives on Gmail (and that’s hardly an exaggeration), you can never be too careful from who will try and take over. At the bottom-right corner of your Gmail inbox is the Last Account Activity feature that indicates the last time your account was active. Also, the Details link below it lists the IP addresses from where your account was active. So, if you think someone’s using your Gmail account without permission, you can scout for any illegitimate logs. You can us the What Is My IP Address website to track down any suspicious logs.

Chats to SMSes
Miss chatting with people who’re offline? Gmail has a SMS in Chat feature in their Labs. Once enabled, you can enter any mobile number and send them an SMS. Hover the mouse over the name of the recipient. Click on More > Send Text (SMS). Now enter the mobile number and your message. This service works on a Google credits system, so every time you send a message, you lose a credit, but for every message reply, you earn five!
Twitter: @chockro

(This story was published in BW | Businessworld Issue Dated 21-10-2013)