Google Apps: 5 Secret Features

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You're probably familiar with the Google Apps basics: Perhaps you use Gmail or have uploaded some files to Google Docs, and maybe you've tinkered in Google Sites to develop your own website. But whether you're new to Google Apps or you're a seasoned user, it's worth taking a deeper look: Google has built into their suite some lesser-known shortcuts and tricks that make your use of Google apps more customized, streamlined and simple. Consider these five to start.

1. Enable Shortcuts in Gmail for Faster Use.

Google's Gmail shortcuts--almost 50 of them available in total--help you save time while reading, composing, deleting and archiving e-mails in your inbox.

By default, this shortcuts feature is turned off. To enable it, log into your Gmail account and choose "Settings" from the navigation bar on the top right of your screen. The third option is "Keyboard shortcuts"--choose "Keyboard shortcuts on."

Take a look at a longer set of Gmail shortcuts here.

[Have you checked out Google Apps lately? Read: 5 (More) Google Labs Projects that Should Be on Your Radar.]

2. Add Events to Google Calendar Via SMS.

If you're at the airport and forgot to schedule a meeting in your Google Calendar, don't worry: You can easily add events via your cell phone in a few quick steps.

First, sign into your Google Calendar account and choose "Settings." Then, click the "Mobile Setup" tab and enter the necessary information. A verification code will be sent to your phone; enter the code in the appropriate field and click "Finish setup."

Once the setup is complete, you can send events to your calendar via your phone. Do so by texting the details of your event (for example: "Dinner with John at Jimmy's 6:30pm May 16) to GVENT (48368). You'll receive a confirmation text message shortly after, and the event will appear in your calendar.

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