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January 13, 2009

Gmail Is Different. Here's What You Need to Know

Most people find Gmail confusing because they don't understand basic features like labels, archiving, filters. So you'll hear them asking for folders or wondering how to remove messages from the inbox.

This knol written by gravi_t, an active member of the Gmail group, does a good job at explaining the features that make Gmail different.

Imagine this:

- each email is a piece of paper
- labels are post-it notes, sticky notes
- there are default labels, like "Inbox", "Sent items", "Trash" ("Bin"), "Spam"
- you can also create labels (i.e. sticky notes)

This means that - unlike in other email services - you do not put the emails into folders. You actually attach labels to the emails.

Only one copy of your emails:

- you only just have ONE existing copy of your emails
- no matter how many labels (post-its) you stick on them
- you can attach as many labels to this one copy as you want, just as you can stick a lot of post-it notes to the same one piece of paper

This is why your email disappears from everywhere when you delete it; because deleting the email means deleting the "piece of paper"!!

The knol is licensed as Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial and Google should use some of its content in the "welcome" message.

Tip: To find when you created a Gmail account, go to "All mail", click on "Oldest" and you'll see the first messages you've received. You'll need this information to get access to a compromised Gmail account.

{ Thanks, Anonymous. }

This blog is not affiliated with Google.