Three Must-Have Gmail Add-Ons

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2. Gmail Inboxes

How it helps do no evil: This tool basically adds more inboxes, or window panes, to your main Gmail inbox. These boxes can contain e-mails related to frequent search terms that you use. You can also match them to labels that you create to help organize your Gmail messages. For instance, if you have a label for "Travel," you can create a pane that lists your travel messages. This add-on can be helpful if you're hoping to have a front-and-center visual of certain e-mails and don't want to have to keep searching for them.

How to set it up: Go to Labs, click "enable" and "save changes." After your inbox reloads, click on "settings" in the upper right hand corner of Gmail. In the settings menu, you'll see a new "Multiple Inboxes" tab. Click on it. This will let you set what you want to appear in your extra panes (up to four of them). If you type a term into one of the fields on its own, the tool will create a pane with that search term. To add a pane that contains a label, add "Label:" before you type term into the field.

One other important reminder: in the Multiple Inboxes settings, you can decide to add panes "below," "above" or "to the right" of your regular inbox. If you keep your Gmail Chat box on the right side of your Gmail, make sure you use "above" or "below" and not "to the right." Otherwise, the panes will look pretty funky on the page.

Doing no good : The idea behind this feature is great, but it's definitely an add-on that won't appeal to everyone, because it will make your inbox uglier and more crowded. So you'll have to decide how much time the panes will actually save you in the long run.

3. Send and Archive

How it helps do no evil: Normally, after you reply to an e-mail, if you want to archive it, you must do so manually after you save. With the aptly named "send and archive," a button is added to your reply messages for you to send and archive the message in one click.

How to set it up: Go to labs, click "enable" and "save changes."

Doing no good: This add-on won't generate controversy or complaints. However, people have already told Google in user comment threads that it would be nice to have a "send and delete" button as well.

This story, "Three Must-Have Gmail Add-Ons" was originally published by CIO.

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