Gmail Introduction: User Interface Tour

    By Andre W. Klein | Small Business

    Video transcript

    One of the best free tools I have ever encountered and in this case, use every day, is called Google Mail or Gmail for short. Having a Gmail account is more than just an e-mail client. It’s kind of like having the key to the Google castle with cool tools.

    This video will introduce you to the various items in the Gmail interface. I’ve already opened up my Gmail account here in the inbox area. Let’s go around and poke around and check out some of the different features.

    Starting over here in the top left, if we hit this drop down arrow here to the right of Gmail, you’ll be able to see the 3 various items you have accessed to here. Right now, we’re in the Gmail. You can also monitor, add to, and organize your contacts as well as your tasks. This search bar, this is not for the Google search, this is for your Gmail search. So if you have bazillion different emails here throughout your entire Gmail account, you can start to use this as one way to locate various emails. There are a lot of other tools at your disposal within Gmail to help keep things organized. This is just one way to help find.

    I’m kind of moving across the top here. I have noticed that in some of my Gmail accounts, this area here is a little different, so if yours is just kind of plain Jane and it doesn’t’ have this bell or this share, there’s a good chance this is because you do not yet have a Google plus account set up within your good account that’s associated with your Gmail account. So just keep that in mind. This one does have a Google plus account set up.

    Now, this is where you would add your image and if you don’t yet have any image in here, like this one does not. You can do that in a couple of ways through your actual settings, through your Google account and you can access that here or you can just hover over your image here and change your profile photo here.

    Moving on down. Here’s where you can access your Gmail settings. If you hit that drop down arrow just to the right of the gear icon, you can check out the various looks of your user interface, compact, cozy, or comfortable. Basically, this is as it says here, the density. How much space is being taken up showing all the information on your user interface. Myself, I prefer compact because you get more information up here. As I get older, my eyes get worse. I may decide to go more into the cozy or comfortable.

    Here’s where you can configure your inbox, check out settings, and change the look of your Gmail through the themes and of course the all important help section. Loads of information in here.

    Here’s where you see the read or the unread emails and as it says here in the inbox, this number 3 tells me that there are 3 emails that have yet to be read and you can tell by looking at your inbox those that are bold have yet to be read. Those that are not bold, have already been read.

    Up here at the top, above your emails you’ve got these options here where you can refresh, you can check, or uncheck the boxes here or more. Now you can add additional features here as soon as you click on or check the box of a particular e-mail, like so.

    At this point, you can archive, report as spam, send it to the trash can, move it to, or add labels or manage your labels. You’ve also got the more option here where you can mark as read, important, add to task, add star, filter messages like these, or mute it out altogether. Talking about the important and the star, that’s these guys here and that’s this and this. This here is a star and this here is an important designation.

    Let’s go ahead and make this a star and you can see it just lights up as a star. If you want to make this important, you can see right up here, it’s marked as important. These 2 are pretty much the same and that they are just a bookmarking method, for lack of a better term, except with the important designation over time, Gmail will learn from those that you mark as important and begin to mark them as important as it come in to your inbox. Be aware of that. If you notice some that are marked as important that you yourself did not mark as important. That’s because Gmail is learning from your actions. Also, these will show up in the starred and the important folders over here. Like so, and like so. Normally, you would not mark it as starred and important. It would be one or the other.

    Whenever you opened up your email, you can see you’ve got all these information here.

    Moving over here to the left, you’ve got these various labels. Some folks refer to them as folders but they’re technically called labels and if you send an e-mail either to these spam label or folder, or the trash label or folder, Gmail will automatically delete them after 30 days. And of course, your sent mail, pretty obvious what that is, what’s where you have composed and sent the mail out. When you start to compose and have yet to send it out, they are going to be stored in your Drafts until you hit the send button.

    Let’s hit the more button here. Hitting the More button here, you can check out the chat history and I believe by default, that’s toggle on, you can’t toggle that off if you want to, and that again is in the settings area. Now you see how this is constantly popping up and down here. You can’t adjust that. Let’s get out of here. Right up here, you can see those 3 dots, if you hover over that, you get these icon like this, left click hold and drag that to where you want. Usually it would be right down at the very bottom and that will prevent it from having to pop up and down.

    Now, this all mail. Just like it sounds, any e-mail that you’ve ever received that you’ve not yet deleted, will show up here. We’ve already talked about the spam and the trash.

    Here’s where you can manage and create your labels as well. So if you want to add these guys here, that’s where you would go to do that.

    This is where you can access your hangouts right here.

    Before I close things out, I want to mention up here about advertisements. These are what you call interest based ads. In other words, through the information you’ve provided Google through your registration process, and that information is what Google uses to provide you with these interest best advertisements. If you want to adjust that, you can do that right here by clicking on “why this ad?” come on down here, click on Ad Settings, click on control your Ad settings, and make whatever adjustments you want.

    A warning though, if you click on the opt out thinking that will get you out of the Ads, it won’t. This will simply opt you out of the interest based Ads, meaning you’ll get Ads on anything and everything. So if you are going to get Ads, why not just get Ads that you possibly would be interested in. if you want to opt out of the Ads altogether, here’s what you do: you come on over here to your settings, hit that, come on down to settings and that’s basically called Web clips. Click on that, untick this box here. Come on back to your inbox, and no more Ads.

    And that’s going to bring us to the end of this video on an introduction to the Gmail user interface. Thanks for watching and you have a great day.

    More Tech articles from Business 2 Community:

    Subscribe to our mailing list
    * indicates required
    Small Business Services