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Super Charge your Google Apps Email with Labs

By May 10, 2013June 6th, 2022No Comments

googleLabsIf you’re using Google Apps to manage your email, one of the settings you should look through is Google Labs. According to Google, the Labs project is “a playground where our more adventurous users can play around with prototypes of some of our wild and crazy ideas and offer feedback directly to the engineers who developed them.” That sounds fun.

To get to Google Labs, quick the Gear Icon in the top right of Gmail. Then click on “Labs.” Here are my favorites, and why I like them:

Auto-Advance – Whenever an email is deleted or archived, I’m automatically advanced to the next email. No returning to my inbox.

Background Send – When I click send + archive, I’m moved onto the next email, and the last email I was working on is sent in the background. I’m not waiting for the email to send, so this eliminates a few seconds per email (Note that this lab will not work if you also use Boomerang).

Google Voice player in mail – I love Google Voice because it transcribes my email to text. The transcription isn’t perfect, and most of the time I get the general idea of the message. Sometimes though, I need to listen, and this handy lab gives me a playback feature right there.

Smart Labels – My favorite. This Lab works a lot like SaneBox, but without the paid subscription. It labels incoming mail as Notifications, Forums, Social Updates, or Promotions, and it allows the user to set which tags will skip your inbox and go straight to archive. I started out with just Social Updates and Promotions, and have added Forums now as well. In the past 5 weeks, this Lab has kept over 500 emails out of my inbox. Wow!

I recommend trying out a few, but if you decided you’re not going to use a Lab, disable it, because more Labs seem to slow Gmail down just a bit. Unfortunately, it looks like Google is no longer developing any of these Labs projects. They were intriguing at one time, but now they’re just dead, and may not always work properly. So although there may not be any more Labs in the future, there are a few that definitely improve productivity.


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