Gmail Keeps Getting Better – Multiple Inboxes & Merge Duplicate Contacts

Gmail is the best free webmail out there. Period.

I just recently listed my favorite Gmail Labs features. And within a few days Gmail Labs has gotten another exciting feature.

Gmail Multiple Inboxes

Multiple Inboxes is another Gmail Labs features that could be optionally turned on in the Labs tab. (green icon by the Settings link) Once you have enabled it, go to Settings Tab to find ‘Multiple Inboxes’ tab. Now you can enter different labels or filters to open in different pane.

For eg:

Pane 0: is:starred
Pane 1: label:Bills
Panel2: label:unread

You can add upto 5 panes and you can also limit the no. of conversations you wanna see in the panes. You also get an option to choose where you want the panes to appear. If you have a widescreen monitor, having these panes in the right side of the inbox is great. Otherwise, you can have the panes above/below the inbox.


I’d love to be able to toggle quickly between these 2 options as at work I have a nice 22″ widescreen but at home I have a 19″ regular monitor. This means I have to change the settings anytime I get to one place since I like having it at the right side of the Inbox the best when I am on a widescreen.

Maybe I should get this lovely 22″ widescreen (Amazon affiliate link) I have been eyeing. :-)

Merge Duplicate Contacts

Managing contacts in Gmail hasn’t been the most attractive part of Gmail for me. Until now.

I seldom go into the Contacts section to manage my contacts. I just type in the name of the person I wish to send an email in the Compose address field and usually can find the address I am looking for. But, I have multiple email addresses for the same person and they all show up in a long list.

I will have to scan the list to find the right email address for the right person. This problem is more apparent if you have multiple contacts with the same first name and you search by first name.

Gmail now lets you merge multiple email addresses into 1 contact in the Contacts screen. You just search for the person you want to see and select their multiple email addresses and now you will see a ‘Merge these accounts’ link. Use that to merge all email addresses into that 1 Contact entry.


A great side-effect of taking time to consolidate your contacts is that now when you type in teh first name in the To: field of Compose, the email addresses are nicely ordered for each contact. This makes it so easy to find the email id you are looking for.

I just consolidated a bunch of email addresses for my friends & business contacts as they were all over the place.

Google Contact Sync for Mobiles

Another compelling reason to merge duplicate contacts is the new Google Contact Sync available for mobile devices. Google can now sync your Contacts & Calendar events across various mobile devices including

  • iPhone 3g
  • Blackberry
  • Nokia S60
  • Sony Ericsson
  • Windows Mobile

Take precaution before you go trigger happy with this Google sync as it’s still in beta.. It’s a 2-way sync so there’s a lot of chance for getting duplicate contacts in your Contacts as well as mobile phonebook. [via Google Sync]

Push Gmail Coming Soon?

There is speculation going around now that Google has started Push Contacts & Calendar Events. Google is interestingly using Microsoft’s ActiveSync protocol for this. It could be a logical precursor as Google tests their infrastructure before bringing ‘Push Gmail’ that will automatically update mobile devices with new email as soon as they arrive like the Blackberry service or Microsoft Exhange Service.

I haven’t looked back since I switched to Gmail but you can look back at my past ‘Gmail related posts‘ below.

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24 Responses to “Gmail Keeps Getting Better – Multiple Inboxes & Merge Duplicate Contacts”

  1. Van@voice T-1 February 10, 2009 at 1:53 pm #

    I have a Gmail account and been using it since last year. I’ve yet to try this new version.

    Thanks for the tip!


  2. Amy@anorexia tips February 10, 2009 at 4:34 pm #

    I was reluctant to use gmail at first because I really don’t like the idea of Google running and controlling the world. But their products are just so darn good that I can’t help myself. I have really fallen in love with gmail now and wouldn’t be without.

    Amys last blog post..Anorexia Queen and Diets

  3. Olivier @ Avent Isis Breast Pump February 10, 2009 at 5:08 pm #

    This is so cool. I’m a real fan of gmail. But some feature are missing I think, like the possibility to automatically open a new message in a separate window.
    But these combined panes, I’m going to switch it on right now

  4. Pickup Lines guy February 10, 2009 at 5:35 pm #

    I have used Gmail since the old days, when one could only join if invited. I have loved it since then. It is the only personal e mail address I still own.

  5. Anna February 11, 2009 at 6:42 am #

    I agree with you…Gmail is the best thing out there. And yes Yahoo should be worried about this :D

    Annas last blog post..Weight Watchers Oatmeal Spice Muffins recipe – 5 points

  6. Best CSS Gallery February 11, 2009 at 7:48 am #

    I’ve been with gmail for years, it’s just the best. Thanks for this post!

  7. speed@police speed traps February 11, 2009 at 8:35 am #

    I totally agree. Gmail rocks. I remember gmailswap when gmail was invite only. I forgot what I traded for an invite, but it was something worth $$$! I did the the same for an orkut invite, too! It’s a love hate thing w/ G. They’re going to run everything….

  8. Kate@Design Miami February 11, 2009 at 10:46 am #

    Do you know that you can now synchronize gmail not only with blueberry but with windows based smartphones and iPhone?

  9. James@Life Coaching February 11, 2009 at 1:27 pm #

    The Google Labs stuff just seems to keep rolling off the press, though how much of it will still be available in a year or two’s time is a slight concern. I’m betting the less popular stuff will be bulldozed before too long to make way for new features.

    I do like the personalisation touches (multiple inboxes could be handy if I ever get round to setting it up), but for me the Offline option will make the biggest difference (and perhaps even allow me to ditch Outlook).

  10. JR @ Cheap Laptop Computers February 11, 2009 at 1:49 pm #

    I have to try gmail, I am with Yahoo and always has been but it is not that functional, I have a couple of accounts for different purposes and I have to logout of one to login into others, and it’s a pain!

  11. Francis@IT-Versicherung February 12, 2009 at 3:40 am #

    Gmail keeps getting better indeed! I love Gmail since the very beginning and now that it has multiple inboxes and merge duplicate contacts, I am loving it more. Gmail is simply the best webmail!

  12. Chris @ PPC Coach February 12, 2009 at 1:25 pm #

    I really love these new features that GMail keeps coming out with. I might have to buy that widescreen monitor myself to take advantage of the multiple inbox feature.

    Chriss last blog post..Limited Time 50% PPC Coach Discount

  13. Moolah February 16, 2009 at 8:20 pm #

    When I first started using gmail 2 yrs ago, I didn’t like it because I didn’t think it was user friendly. However, when you use all the tools that it offers you do many productive things. The new features just make Gmail that much better.

  14. Underarm Sweating February 17, 2009 at 1:52 pm #

    Its same for me, I ve been with gmail for many years, meanwhile tested his rival, was disappointed, so lets stay with gmail, is the best!
    My only second doubt is, about safety, collecting all this data..

  15. Pete@fx trading February 19, 2009 at 8:51 am #

    Gmail is getting better, without doubt.

  16. Baseball card boxes February 21, 2009 at 11:08 am #

    I really like the new features that gmail is adding. They are the best by far when it comes to free email accounts.

    Baseball card boxess last blog post..So far so good!

  17. Bidet February 21, 2009 at 5:33 pm #

    Wow gmail just keeps getting better and better, I wonder what they will come out with next

  18. The Blogger Source February 23, 2009 at 12:24 pm #

    I still think it’s a bit clunky but at least it is improving.

    The Blogger Sources last blog post..15 Tips To Get More RSS Subscribers

  19. Music Production company Australia February 26, 2009 at 6:53 pm #

    Really it is nice post and thanks for sharing it and really it is very helpful.

  20. ray March 2, 2009 at 10:18 pm #

    appreciate the info guys, thanks

  21. Discon July 7, 2009 at 10:50 am #

    Possibility to automatically open a new message in a separate window, I remember gmailswap when gmail was invite only. I forgot what I traded for an invite, Do you know that you can now synchronize gmail not only with blueberry but with windows based smartphones and iPhone

  22. David Crosby August 17, 2009 at 7:21 pm #

    Thanks for the info. Regards

  23. Chris Smith February 8, 2011 at 6:02 am #

    • Nice post! Really informative, you might also try duplicate remover tool like Scrubly Duplicate Remover. This works well; can automatically take away all duplications. No hassle at all, just gives this a try.


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