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.
Pane 0: is:starred
Pane 1: label:Bills
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
- 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.