Email Basics

Gmail Tips & Tricks

1. Settings
2. Creating folders (Labels)
3. Filtering emails to be delivered into specified folders (Labels)
4. Adding and editing contacts
5. How to use “Search” to quickly find emails
6. And much more…

1. Settings

Settings are probably the most important part of any software program, especially in email. Adjusting the settings can allow you to work faster, feel less overwhelmed by email clutter, and make for an enjoyable email experience.

To find settings in Gmail, just click on the “gear” icon located at the top right of the webpage

*Take note: most programs use standardized settings which means that you should be able to find the same Gear icon / Settings location in mail, Yahoo! mail, mail, Hotmail, etc. as found in Gmail.

*Another note: Gmail works best in Google Chrome because they are both made by Google. Whereas Outlook, Hotmail and Live work best in Internet Explorer because they are both made by Microsoft. Do you see a pattern?

So, once you’re in the Settings area, you’ll see that you have a variety of ways to customize your Gmail email account2015-10-06_1403

Some of the most popular settings to adjust are…

default_text_style“Default text style” these settings will change the way your font is displayed whenever you write and send messages so you won’t have to manually change your font each time you create a message. You can make your font a different size, color and style.

undo_send “Undo Send” is a very handy option for retracting an email after you click the “Send” button. It’s your last chance to stop that email from going out so you can make that last minute correction, just so long as you “undo” the sent message within 30 seconds or less, or whichever amount of time you chose to set this feature at.

my_picture “My picture” is where you can upload a picture of yourself (or your pet) so when recipients get your message they’ll see a nice little picture of you next to your email message inside of their inbox message list.

signature “Signature” allows you to add a custom signature, created by you, to the bottom of your email messages by default so you don’t have to manually recreate it every time you send a message.

2. Creating folders (Labels)

When you’re ready to start creating folders (called Labels in Gmail), click on the “Labels” link, located in the header, at the top of the webpage.labels

Then scroll down to the very bottom to find the “Labels” section. To create a new folder (Label) click on the “Create new label” button.create_new_label

Once you’ve created a new folder (Label), you have the option to either have it be displayed constantly, or keep it hidden until a new message arrives inside of it.


You can color code your folders (Labels) for easier detection. You can also go back and edit your folders (Labels) at anytime.

edit_labelsOnce you’ve created a folder (Label), you can create a “filter” for emails to go directly into that new folder (Label).

3. Filtering emails to be delivered into specified folders (Labels)

Probably the easiest way to create a filter for an email is to first open up the email you want to make a filter for.

In the picture below, you can see that I have opened up an email from Mr.”Dil Pikell” and will now create a filter for all future emails that come from him.

Inside the message, I click on the “More” button (the one with the drop-down arrow next to it)A drop-down menu will appear, then click on “Filter messages like these”

After clicking on “Filter messages like these”, a new menu appears, confirming the email address of the sender, “Dil Pikell”create_email_filter_2 then click on “Create filter with this search”

After clicking “Create filter with this search”, I’m in the last menu where I choose these options: “Skip the Inbox (Archive it)” when I receive emails from Dil Pikell, “Apply the label” [Friends] because that is the folder (Label) that I’ve created for this person, “Never send it to Spam” so I know any message sent from Dil Pikell will not go to junk. And finally, Gmail recognizes that I have an email currently in my inbox from Dil Pikell – I will select “Also apply filter to 1 matching conversation” – and then click the blue “Create Filter” button.create_email_filter_3 The filter is now complete and any future messages I receive from Dil Pikell will go directly to my “Friends” folder (Label).


4. Adding contacts

Anytime you send, reply or forward an email to someone, Gmail automatically adds them as a contact.

If you wish to edit this contact, simply hover your mouse pointer over the sender’s name without clicking

Hover your pointer towards the “Add and invite” to add this contact to your social group, or hover your pointer over this contact’s “Emails” to see the most recent email conversations that you’ve had with this contact.

Hover your pointer over the “Contact info” to edit this contact’s details

If you continue hovering your pointer towards the last three, other small icons, you can click “start a video call”, start a group “hangout with this contact”, or “email this contact”

To edit this contact, you would click on “Contact infothen a new tab will open in your browser window that gives you the option to delete this contact, edit this contact, view recent email conversations that you’ve had with this contact, or add this contact to a group of contacts


Access all of your contacts straight from your Gmail inbox by clicking on the little red drop-down arrow, next to the name “Gmail” (in red), then click on “Contacts

5. How to use “Search” to quickly find emails

There is no longer any need to feel overwhelmed by there being too many emails in your inbox! When you start to use the “Search” feature, you’ll be able to quickly sift through and locate emails according to specific keyword terms, names, email addresses, or any other detail that you specify.

Here is a short video that will walk you through how to use the Gmail Search bar to find emails quickly

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