This series is dedicated to specific e-mail providers on the internet. In this installment, the service provider concentrated on will be Google’s Gmail.

Gmail, launched in March 2004, has grown to be one of the most-used free e-mail services on the internet. While it doesn’t have a large of a userbase as Yahoo! Mail or Hotmail, it’s still a force to be reckoned with.


Modifying Gmail Settings


At first glance the Gmail settings panel looks simple enough to use but it is actually quite complex. Here’s a list of the features you will most likely be interested in.

E-Mail Signature

Location: General tab

The signature in Gmail can only be input in plain text only. This is fine for most people.

Vacation Responder

Location: General tab

If enabled, every mail sent to your Gmail e-mail address will be automatically responded to with the message of your choice.

In addition, you will be very aware the vacation responder is enabled because in the mail interface there will be a large colored bar at the top (anywhere in Gmail) stating it is turned on.


Location: Labels tab

There are no folders in Gmail but there are labels and this is one of several places you can create them. Once any label is create it will be listed in the green box on the left sidebar.

To note: You can assign colors to labels. When you hover over a label in the green box on the left sidebar, a small down-arrow will appear next to the label. When you click that you can assign the label a color if you wish.


Location: Filters tab

A filter is (besides search and labels) the only way you can sort e-mail in Gmail. You can filter by one of a combination of From, To, Subject, Has the words, Doesn’t have (the words) and Has attachment (checkbox).

What’s coming up…

In the next post – setting up Gmail with the e-mail client of your choice. You don’t have to use a web browser; you can use a client like Outlook Express, Windows Live Mail, Mozilla Thunderbird and others.

Stay tuned!