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Preview Google Docs, Maps, YouTube, Picasa and Flickr in Gmail Messages
They're all just switches you have to flip in Gmail's Labs section, but they're all a big help that doesn't slow down Gmail hardly at all. If an email you receive happens to have a link to one of Google's prime services, or a Yelp or Flickr entry, you'll get a quick-glance preview of that item in the email. If somebody's pointing you to a Google Doc, you'll see the start of that doc in the email footer, so you can screw up the appropriate level of anticipation or boredom. Turn them on from this Labs search.
Get Birthday Reminders from Google Calendar
Why should you bother updating and cleaning out your Google Contacts? Because once you get through the tedium of adding in friends and important contacts' birthdays, you can head into your Calendar settings and check the box to the right of "Contacts' Birthdays and Events", so that you'll always know when to send a card, email or quick mention. It's a lot more reliable than hoping you see the notification in Facebook. (Thanks for the tip, timepiece!)
Copy from Docs or Chrome on One Computer, Paste to Another
Maybe work has blocked Gmail, but not Google Docs. Or maybe you want to remember something that you're going to paste into Google Docs quite a bit. Any which way you use it, Google's Web Clipboard — built into Google Docs' menu bar, and also as a Chrome extension. The Web Clipboard also does the job of stripping or retaining HTML formatting, which is handy if your normal Ctrl+C/V shortcuts normally mess with your formatting.
Search Google Docs and Gmail Messages at Once
Did you write that website password in an email to Bob, or did you send it to him inside a document? If you need to find something in your Gmail, Google Apps mail, and/or Google Docs account, you'll want to enable Apps Search in your mail Labs. Now your Gmail searches automatically include Google Docs in-document searching, too.
Send Reader Items to Gmail, Calendar or Elsewhere
Don't just tack a star onto interesting Reader feed items you come across — go ahead and send them straight into (full) Gmail for sending to friends. See a concert or event coming up? Fling it into Google Calendar. Those two are easy Reader Send-To tweaks, but most Google apps offer similar functionality through URL tweaking, so go ahead and get nuts. (FYI: To activate the Send-To menu without your mouse, hit Shift+T while perusing Reader items).
Push Every Ping You Get Through Gmail
Google offers nice apps for managing Talk messages through their widgets and so on. But you can manage all those little messages and pings through Gmail itself, along with Facebook, Twitter and other notifications. Whitson walks through using Gmail as your central, universal communications hub, and it's good training for anyone who feels beholden to keeping six tabs open at once, at all times.
Send Email from Other Domains Using Your Gmail Inbox
Setting up Gmail to send email from other accounts isn't too hard, but Gmail lets your recipients know that the mail was sent "on behalf of" your original address — and some spam filters might not be too cool with that. You can, however, manage all your mail from one inbox and keep it all kosher by authenticating your outgoing mail with a Google Apps account. It's a bit more setup, but the long-term convenience is worth the initial investment.
Google's always releasing neat little in-between and mash-up tools, so we very well could have missed a few. Tell us about your favourite Google all-together fix in the comments.