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Ten things to know about GMail for new users

Ten things to know about GMail for new users

1. Getting Help

Gmail has a comprehensive on-line help facility, to find the help centre click on “help” found next to settings at the top right of your screen.

2. Archiving mail

Gmail uses labels as a filing system for messages. Archiving mail means removing it from your Inbox, by removing the Inbox label. If you have labelled the message with one or more different labels, the message can still be found when you look under those labels. If the message has no labels when it is archived, it goes into All Mail. Because Gmail provides a large amount of storage space for your mail, you don’t really need to delete messages that you may someday need again.

More information about using labels.

3. Deleted messages

Gmail encourages you to archive messages rather than delete them. However if you want to remove a message then with that message open, click delete and that message will be moved into the bin. The bin is emptied every 30 days, and the message will be lost forever.

4. Address book

The contacts section has three categories; All contacts, My contacts and Most Contacted. People you email will automatically be added to ‘All contacts’. From there you can add them to My contacts – tick the box next to their name and click on Move to My contacts.

It is possible to import contacts from Outlook or another email package. See the link below the inbox for more information.

5. Mailbox Organisation

Gmail uses labels rather than folders to organise mail. You may label messages with more than one label, or move a message into a label category, which removes it from the inbox.

6.  Optional settings

The link to access your email settings is found at the top right of the screen.

 Once you have opened them, use the links along the top to change to different categories. Among the most useful are

• General – Signature; add any information you want to appear on each message in the box provided. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save changes when done

• General – Out of Office; for vacation messages

• Forwarding – to send messages on to another email address click on Add a forwarding address

• Forwarding and Pop/Imap; (advanced users only) to access your Birkbeck GMail account through another email client such as Outlook, see the instructions on this page

• Web clips; are the one-line snippets from the web that appear above your inbox. To turn them off, untick the box under this setting

 Remember to save any changes you make to the settings. The save changes option does not appear on all screens, but is always on the General settings label.

7. Customize the look and feel

Click on settings then themes.

8. Use of POP and IMAP clients

 POP and IMAP is supported under GMail using pop.gmail.com and imap.gmail.com, with your mail account name set as <username>@mail.bbk.ac.uk. Note that while POP is enabled by default, IMAP has to be enabled first, via settings/forwarding and POP and IMAP. Support IMAP clients and POP clients.

9. Staff email address implications

An email address is always username@domain. Anything else is an alias of that. For Birkbeck mail systems, the email address is re-written so that outgoing it is shown as initial.surname@bbk.ac.uk for staff. As Gmail messages do not pass through Birkbeck systems, this won't happen. That being the case, staff can either set the default sending mailbox to a @bbk.ac.uk address, verify it, and use that for outgoing mail (any replies will be sent to the Birkbeck systems for forwarding to Gmail), or use the initial.surname@mail.bbk.ac.uk which is a Gmail held alias (and any replies will be sent directly to the Gmail box). Alternatively of course, staff can use the Birkbeck Exchange email service.