gmail new features

How to Make the Most of Gmail’s New Features

By Princess Jones

Gmail started off as a personal project at Google, grew into a beta project, and became an email standard all within a few short years. Today, millions of small businesses use Gmail to run their communications. This past spring, Google introduced a host of new Gmail features and now that we’ve had a little time to sit with the features, it’s time to talk about how they can make a difference in your business operations.

Better Integrations

If you use the Google collection of productivity products, there’s good news. Google has made them more integrated into the email experience. You’ll notice along the right side of the screen that the calendar, notes, and tasks apps have shortcuts that open interactive sidebars. You don’t have to leave Gmail to add events to your calendars, create or update notes, or to manage tasks.

Also, there’s a new Hover feature that makes it easier to handle your messages without opening them. All you have to do is hold your cursor over the message to reveal a pop-up on the right side with icons for archiving, deleting, mark as read, or snoozing the message. These are the same options that were present when you opened the email. But it saves you a step and makes managing your inbox a little faster.

Updated Security Features

The big star of the update was the addition of confidential mode, a feature that allows limited access to messages or revocation of the message altogether. This works because the message content is not sent in the email. Instead, there’s a link to the content that Google can control access to. You can toggle confidential mode on and off by clicking the lock and timer icon on the bottom of your message drafts.

Information rights management mode is another feature designed to beef up your control of your messages. You can prevent your messages from being forward, copy, print, or download by the recipient. Google fully admits that if someone wants to share the content you’re sending, it can be done. This feature is more about preventing unintentional sharing that might happen in your organization. You can turn on information rights management in the administrative management panel of your Gmail for Work dashboard.

Snooze and Undo

Two features previously found in the experimental Labs section of Gmail settings are now standard for all users. Snooze and Undo Send may seem like small features but they pack a big punch when it comes to productivity.

Snooze archives an email until a selected time. Once the time you selected comes, the message goes back into your inbox like any other unread item. This is handy for when you’re receiving messages that aren’t relevant now. Instead of archiving or starring them, hoping you’ll get back to them, Gmail will just bring the message back, at the time you choose.

Why does it seem like you only notice your typos after you’ve already clicked “Send?” Or how about the times that you address an important email to the wrong person and don’t notice until it’s too late? Undo Send is the answer to those little mistakes that make a big difference. As the name indicates, you can undo a sent email for up to thirty seconds in Gmail. Just click “Undo.”

Read on for more on the Undo Send feature, or other Gmail for business tips.

Photo credit: Gmail icon from BigTunaOnline/Shutterstock

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Princess Jones
Princess Jones is the evil genius behind P.S. Jones Copy & Design, where she helps food and drink businesses speak the language of their audiences. For more talk about copywriting, design, and the tools to pull them off, follow her on Twitter @imprincessjones.

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