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What are DownloadSquad's favorite Gmail Labs features?


Most DownloadSquad writers and editors are avid Gmail users (well, Gmail or Google Apps email, which is essentially the same thing only with your domain). And since DownloadSquad is composed of such hard-core nerds, I was absolutely positive nobody would leave their Gmail completely stock-standard -- so I set out to discover what Gmail Labs features our guys use. And here are the results:

Sebastian uses very few Labs features, and mainly likes to flick through emails very, very fast, starring anything that needs to be replied or acted upon later. One feature he does use is mouse gestures, for flicking through mail faster.

Lee already beat me to it ages ago, of course, and simply sent me a link to a post he wrote back in March 2009 titled 10 GMail Labs features worth enabling. He still uses them all, which is a testament to their lasting power. Amongst Lee's features you can find crowd-pleasers such as Undo Send and Media Previews, but also some more obscure stuff such as Add Any Gadget by URL.

Head over to the post to read more about Lee's favorite features, or continue reading this post after the fold to find out what are the other writer's favorite Gmail Labs features!

Jay says that for him, filters are still the killer Gmail feature. They're no longer in Labs, but Jay does add one interesting tip: if you use a dumbphone, you can filter certain messages to forward to your phone and thus get easy text alerts. Handy!

Victor uses the Mark as Read Button (and adds, "srsly, LABS?", to which I can only agree). He also uses Google Docs and Calender on the sidebar, Message Translation, and Superstars.

Matthew uses custom date formatting (I can't blame him – American date formatting is horrible, if you ask me!), Docs preview, Google Voice player in GMail, and a bunch of other Labs features. Two features he can't live without are Mark as Read Button and Send & Archive Button. In total, Matthew uses nine different Labs features, which almost rivals Lee's ten, but is no match for Jason:

Jason is an email heavyweight; in fact, he has so much to say about the subject that he started Inbox Era, a whole blog dedicated to email. Jason says, "I just counted, and there are 53 items in Google Labs, of which I have 23 enabled. You want me to pick just one?"

The one Labs feature Jason picked was Multiple Inboxes: Using either labels you've already assigned, or the same Gmail search syntax you already know, you can create up to four extra areas on your inbox screen.

When further prodded, Jason told me he can't live without Filter Import/Export, Canned Responses, Inserting Images, Mark Unread From Here (I didn't even know that one!), Navbar Drag and Drop, Quick Links and Undo Send.

Dolores is quite a minimalist, especially when compared to Jason. In her own words, "I love me the canned responses". I use them too!

Myself: My very favorite Labs feature is Undo Send. It's just so useful. I set it to 20 seconds, and I use it almost every day, often multiple times per day. What can I say, I'm trigger-happy.

The other Labs features I really like are Canned Responses (although I have just one), and Nested Labels, which has been a real game-changer for me. Suddenly I can have "folders", and things are so much easier to manage like that, especially when Gmail is my "main" inbox which pulls in all other email.

So now that you've read our favorites, what are your favorite Gmail Labs features? Tell us in the comments!

Tags: DLS, email, gmail, google, labs