Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Gmail and Calendar: How to do cool stuf

Gmail and Calendar: How to do cool stuff

By Network World Staff

Google's Gmail and Calendar are widely used online tools, but that doesn't mean they are used well. We've collected the best advice and tips from IDG for taking advantage of these popular services and making the most of your experience.

Google Gmail and Calendar are part of Google Apps, a suite of online, cloud-based applications. You can access these applications from anywhere on the Internet, and all of the data is hosted on Google’s servers – that is, in the “cloud.” Here is some basic info, a set of frequently asked questions and answers about Google Apps, and five things you didn’t know you could do with Google Apps.

You may be thinking, doesn’t Microsoft Office do e-mail and calendaring? Well, you’d be right – and this is one reason why Microsoft and Google aren’t getting along so well right now. Here is a comparison of the two approaches.

Now, let’s get right to the how-to’s:

How to get a better view of your Gmail Inbox

Not happy with how Gmail looks and feels on the Web? Make it better by accessing your account with an e-mail program.

How to spice up your Gmail signature

Tired of your bland plain text Gmail signature? Want to spice it up with your company logo and some bold formatting? Google has done you right -- now Gmail signatures support rich text format. Here's how you can transform your contact information into an eye-catcher.

9 Gmail Tips That Will Let You Take a Long Lunch

Here are a few tips to help you organize, optimize, and take control of your Gmail so you'll spend less time sorting through your e-mail messages.

How to use Gmail to safely access e-mail from abroad

There's a lot to be said for disposable e-mail addresses that you use for a single purpose, whether that's as the spam-catcher for the mandatory registration e-mail for a competition you want to enter, or so you can safely conduct conversations from a potentially insecure location without compromising your inbox and contacts. Here, we look at how to secure your Gmail account for use abroad.

Gmail tips, Firebug, and server rebuilding

I thought I’d share a couple of useful oddities about e-mail addresses in Google’s Gmail service you might not know about.

How to sync Outlook with your Google Calendar

Surprisingly few people know that Google itself offers a solution: the aptly named Google Calendar Sync. This free utility runs under Windows and automatically keeps Google Calendar and your Outlook calendar in sync.

How to sync Google Calendar with your smartphone

Look no further than Google Sync -- a free service that syncs mobile phones with Google Calendar. And not just Google Calendar, but also Google Contacts and Gmail.

How to use text messaging to add events to Google Calendar

Google Calendar lets you add events via SMS. (Standard messaging rates apply, natch.) All you do is compose a plain-English message, then send it to GVENT (48368).

How to add a 'Next Meeting' box to Google Calendar

Like many of Google's apps and services, Calendar offers a "labs" section where you can find various tweaks and enhancements that are still in the testing stages. One of my favorites: Next Meeting, which adds a box that displays -- you guessed it -- your next scheduled appointment. It's a tiny change, but a very practical one.

How to change the default view in Google Calendar

Reader Rob loves his Google Calendar, but he's tired of the default view, which presents the entire month. What's more, there's a 4 Days option on the view toolbar, but what he really wants is five days. How can he get a five-day view and make it appear every time he visits his Web-based calendar? Easy. All it takes is a quick visit to GCal's Settings page. Here's the step-by-step.

How to sync Outlook with your Google Contacts

In response to my recent post on syncing Outlook with your Google Calendar, several readers wanted to know how to accomplish the same thing with contacts.

How to use Gmail to fight spam

Everybody has a favorite method for fighting spam, the bane of inboxes planet-wide. Tools like MailWasher and SpamAssassin get the job done for some, but I'm partial to another solution: Gmail.

How to stay on top of a to-do list

Your life is busy, and you have got enough on your plate without needing to remember to move your car every week, pay oddly timed bills, or show up for one-time weekend appointments. Luckily, a finely tuned calendaring system can help.

Twitter, Google Calendar come together in TwitCal app

The way Infoteria sees it, Twitter and Google Calendar are two great services that go great together. So why not mash them up into a single app for the iPhone and iPod touch? That seems to be the idea behind TwitCal, a calendar app that also lets you tweet events.

Share an iPad but not your Gmail with Mailboxes

The iPad is a great device to keep in communal areas, like a living room, where people can freely use it to read books, play games, surf the Web, and use apps. Unfortunately, this makes a communal iPad less than ideal for checking private e-mail accounts, since anybody with access to the iPad will have unrestricted access to the Mail app as well. To address this, Lilliput Labs has released Mailboxes for the iPad, a multi-user Gmail client that provides an easy and secure way to access your Gmail or Google Apps email on a shared iPad.

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