5 tips for Gmail power users

Think you’re proficient with Gmail? Google is routinely adding and testing new features to help you be more productive and get the most out of the service.

Most recently, Google launched a complete redesign of the Gmail interface, replacing its one-column email view with multiple inboxes that sort your mail depending on whom it’s from: your contacts, social networks or retailers.

From how to customize this new inbox to quickly transferring money, here’s a look at five new Gmail features that will help you get work done.

1. Customize tour new inbox
Gmail’s new interface, which is still rolling out to users, automatically sets you up with five inbox tabs: primary, social, promotions, updates and forums. If some of these are useless to you, you can easily remove them.

To customize the look of your new inbox, click the Settings button at the top right of your screen. Then, select “Configure inbox.” On the form that pops up, uncheck the tabs you want to remove and click Save.

2. Add events to your calendar from Gmail
If you use Gmail to coordinate events or meetings, adding them to your Google Calendar is now a lot easier.

Dates and times in emails sent to you are now underlined. Hover over one to preview your schedule and change the date, time or title of the event. Then click “Add to Calendar” to confirm and add it to your schedule. The entry in your calendar will include a link back to the original email to make referencing the details easier.

3. Transfer money from Google Wallet using Gmail
If you need to reimburse a friend or add money to your kid’s checking account, doing so is as easy as sending an email. This new feature is also still rolling out to users. You’ll know you have it when a ($) button is added to the Gmail compose window.

To send money, compose a new email and click the “Attach money” button. On the form that appears, enter the amount you want to transfer and click send. Transactions are free if you send money from Google Wallet or directly from your bank account. A 2.9 percent fee per transaction is charged if you use a credit or debit card. Receiving money does not cost anything.

Recipients will receive an email confirmation and the funds will be available almost instantly. If you send money from a bank account, the transaction could take several days to clear, Google said.

4. Mute conversations
If you’re involved in a never-ending email thread that you’ve lost interest in, Gmail has one feature that will keep your inbox from filling up. “Mute conversations” is a feature that prevents the thread from reappearing in your inbox.

To mute a thread, select it by checking the box beside it. Then select the “Mute” option from the drop-down menu under “More.” After you mute a conversation, the emails are removed from your inbox and archived. You can still see the conversation in the “All Mail” label, where you’ll see a new label called “Muted.”

To unmute a conversation, check the box and click “Move to Inbox.”

5. Use Google Drive to send large files
Sometimes email attachments can be too large to send the conventional way using Gmail. In this case, you can now use Google Drive to send big files. Google’s cloud storage feature lets you insert and send files 400 times larger than the traditional attachment — with a maximum file size of up to 10 GB.

To send a large email attachment, make sure you’ve uploaded it first to Google Drive. Then, click the Drive icon from the Compose window, and choose the file you want to send. Gmail will verify that your recipients have access to the file you’ve chosen. If they don’t, Google will prompt you to change the sharing settings

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