Top 10 Gmail Labs You Should Enable

Top 10 Gmail Labs You Should Enable

As if Gmail wasn’t powerful enough, you can find all sorts of goodies and extra features in Gmail Labs. The list is pretty massive, so we’ve narrowed down our 10 favourite labs to help increase your email productivity.

We’ve actually gone through our 10 favourite labs before, back when Labs was a bit younger. Now, many of those features are part of Gmail itself, so we’ve decided to revisit the labs and see what else Gmail has cooked up. To access these features in Gmail, just hit the green flask icon next to “Settings” in the Gmail web interface.

10. Undo Send

Gmail Labs’ Undo Send feature is thereyanking out your Ethernet cable

9. Advanced IMAP Controls

use a separate mail clientGmail goes down for awhile

8. Inserting Images

drag and drop images right into the Gmail window

7. Default ‘Reply to All’

6. Canned Responses

send them automatically using filtersautomating Remember the Milk tasksOS-wide text expansion

5. Google Docs Previews

Google Docs previews Lab is pretty useful

4. Custom Keyboard Shortcuts

ninja your way through Gmail
add a few every once in a while

3. Quick Links

turn them into a killer to-do list

2. Message Sneak Peek

Message Sneak Peek featurethis customised stylesheet

1. Multiple Inboxes

This is still one of our favourite Gmail features here at Lifehacker—there’s just so much you can do with it. Whether you want to turn Gmail into your ultimate GTD inbox, use Gmail as your central, universal communications hub, or just manage multiple addresses, Multiple Inboxes has you covered by letting you stack extra lists of emails—whether they be labels, starred messages, or any other Gmail search—in your main inbox window. There’s no limit to what you can do with Multiple Inboxes, so if you’ve ever felt anything was missing from Gmail’s inbox organisation, you can make it yourself here. Note that, unfortunately, Multiple Inboxes does not currently work with Gmail’s Priority Inbox feature, so you’ll have to decide which is more important to you for a particular account.

There you have it—ten of our favourite Gmail labs for increasing productivity. These are all great for managing your email, but we all know Gmail Labs can help you do so much more—like act as your central, universal communications hub and video chat in higher definition. So while you’re checking out our favourite Labs, check out the others available too, because there are some other great ones. And if you have a favourite that we didn’t share, let us know about it in the comments.


  • #7: Dear, sweet, mother of God, NO! “Reply All” is the bane of email, and making it a default is a crime against humanity, time management and bandwidth. I’d personally wire up the Reply All button to a keyboard taser so it’s only used when someone *really* has to talk to everyone. Send your emails to who needs to read them, don’t spam them to the entire world. Your opinion / attendance at a meeting / “LOL” is not that important that everyone needs to see it. Really.

    • i think the way gmail threading works reply all isn’t really that bad. I had it in the corporate outlook world but don’t mind it in my conversations in gmail.

  • I so agree with Chris. “Reply All” is evil, evil, evil in most circumstances.

    OK if you are trying to organise a get-together with friends, totally unnecessary in nearly every other situation.

  • The reply all is the best time saver. Most of my replies (100+ per day) have multiple people that are involved in the email. The project manager and the graphic designer. The shipping dept and the account manager. So I am forever having to do a 2 step operation to do a simple task of pressing reply all. Great feature thanks.

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