Features to change the way we use Gmail

Many of us who use Gmail do not keep track of what are the new features available in the Labs section. I decided to try out some which has made my Gmail experience a lot better. Here I am sharing with you some of the cool features available in Labs with Gmail. As you can see in the image below I can go work offline, use Google Calendar, have access to Google Documents and also to avoid clutter by having the Chat box moved to the right.


Google Docs Gadget

Google Docs Gadget is a very efficient feature in Gmail. Usually we open Google Docs and then then click on the document we want to open. Here the documents are all shown in the side. This way with one click from your Gmail interface I can open a document or even create a new one.

Google Calendar Gadget

Access to Google Calendar is great. I can add events, edit them and also lookup dates using the Google Calendar Gadget. This is particularly handy for leaving reminders without actually visiting Google Calendar. Another cool feature of this gadget is I could change the view of the Calendar to have the month’s calendar show up instead of events. See image below.


Right Side Chat

Once I enabled Google Calendar and Google Docs to show up in Gmail, they all showed up to the left hand side of the interface. This seemed to be over-crowding my Gmail interface. There is feature called Right Side Chat in Labs which when enabled pins the Gtalk box to the right side of the interface.

Gmail in Offline Mode


This feature allows me to access my current emails even when there is no internet connection. The feature downloads all the email messages on my computer for later reference. This is ideal if you have a laptop but no wireless router. 🙂

Do keep in mind that all these features are still in Labs sections under Settings for Gmail. This means it still being tested. In case you cannot access your Gmail account because of the features which have be discontinued or broken you can always access Gmail in a ‘No Labs’ mode.

Just type in the following URL and you can access Gmail without any ‘Labs features’ being active.



Nickson October 21, 2009

yea, LABS are nice part of google to check out their new thoughts. But i personally don’t really care to visit it everyday.

dhanesh mane May 21, 2010

I like that right side chat one. Gmail really have lots of new features in labs section.

Aditya Kane May 22, 2010

Right Side chat has become one of my favorites too.

dhanesh mane September 11, 2011

Hey I like that google docs plugin as well. Its really nice. I have also added one more plugin dont remember the name as of now. But its description is like this. It allows us to take a short look at email body without actually opening it. You ned to right click on subject and it opens up in small overlay. try u can find it easily in labs.