Snooze Your Gmail

Gmail just got an extreme makeover, and there’s more to come.

New look

Does your Gmail look a little different today?

The new version is rolling out to everyone… eventually. It looks cleaner and bolder and includes some useful features. G-Suite users will see these changes first, but you can get the new design and some of the features now if you want to.

  • Open Gmail
  • Click on the Gear icon to expand Settings
  • Click on Try the new Gmail

The page will reload, and you’ll have the new Gmail.

If you hate the new Gmail:

  • Open Gmail
  • Click on the Gear icon to expand Settings
  • Click on Go back to Classic Gmail

New features that are available now

The Compose button is enormous and colourful. (If you only see a colourful plus sign, expand that column by clicking on the three bars at the top of the screen. You can toggle that column to hide or reveal your folders.)

Smart Reply, until now only available in the Gmail mobile app, made its way into the new version.

Gmail uses machine learning to determine how you might want to reply to a message and presents you with three choices. Or, you can ignore those choices. Wouldn’t it be great if real life were like that?

There’s a Right Sidebar with links to Google Keep, Google Tasks, and Google Calendar. I’ve been using the Calendar link to view my schedule, and completely by accident discovered that dragging an email into the Calendar pane schedules an event!

Now you can Snooze an email. Hover over the subject line of an email and look to the right.

You’ll notice several icons over there, which means now you can deal with an email right there instead of having to select it and move to the top of the screen to get rid of it or archive it.

There’s a new Snooze icon there now, so if you want to get the email out of your In box but not lose track of it, Snooze it for an hour or a day, or a custom amount of time. Make it come back into your In box “Someday.”

Attachments can now be opened without first having to open an email. Be a little cautious with this! It’s a very bad idea to open attachments without thinking.

New features that don’t seem to be here yet

Even though I clicked on the Try button and got the new layout, not all the features showed up for me. According to Google, here’s what’s coming:

Use Confidential Mode to send “self-destructing” emails. That is, you can set an expiration date/time for the email to vanish. You’ll also be able to restrict forwarding and printing an email message you send. (Surely there are ways around this? Like a screenshot?)

On mobile devices, Gmail will give us easier ways to Unsubscribe to lists and more granular control over Notifications, but I haven’t seen that yet, either.

What’s not to like?

I like the new Gmail, especially Snooze. And I’m looking forward to getting the features I don’t have yet. But I was disappointed that there wasn’t any obvious way to switch between Gmail and Contacts in the same browser tab like you can in the old Gmail.

But, although not terribly obvious, the integration is even better. Click on Compose to open a new message, and then click on the To, bcc, or cc field.

Wow. You get a pop-up with all your contacts. Use the Search box there to find someone, sort by group, or make a new group. Awesome.

Have you tried then new Gmail? What do you think?

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.


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About the Author

The Technology Shaman, Cate Eales, has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible, and fun for over 30 years.

Cate lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric. She owns and operates Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile computer business providing on-site service for home and small business customers.

Cate is here to help you and your home or business computer get along.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with comments, suggestions, or questions.

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