Google Apps Tips

Google Tips Cougar

Discover some of the impressive features available with your account.

Gmail    Calendar    Docs   Sites    Talk    Extras


Reply by Chat

Instead of emailing back and forth, try replying by chat. Gmail automatically saves your conversations, so you can always revisit them just like email messages.

Go Invisible

Avoid unwanted chats by setting your status to “Invisible” so you appear offline, but can still send and receive messages.

Get Organized

Use labels and filters to help organize your email and manage the flow of incoming messages. You can automatically label, archive, delete, star, or forward your mail.

Create a task from an email

To create a new task from an email, click on the More button which appears when you select or view an email and choose "Add to Tasks" from the drop down menu. The task you create will have a "related email" link so you can easily refer back to the email. 

Turn on Desktop Notifications

Go to Mail Settings and in the General Tab you can switch on Desktop Notifications. You can choose to see a notification for all new mail or just important mail (if you are using Priority Inbox this is a handy option).

Open Tasks in its own tab

When logged in to Google Apps, click the link below to open Tasks in a new tab. Then pin the tab or save it as a favorite.
You can also use Chrome to create a shortcut and add Tasks to your desktop.

Unthread your conversations

With Gmail's Unthreaded feature, you can switch between conversation view, where a message and its replies are threaded together in a single conversation, and the traditional view where replies are all listed separately in your Inbox.

Harness the power of Google Search in your inbox

Enter a word (or multiple words) that appears anywhere within the message you want to locate. If you're looking for a message that contains the word "shopping", simply type "shopping" in the search field. Find what you're looking for quickly and easily.

Use filters to automatically star messages from your professor

If you'd like to automatically add a star to messages from your professor, click Create a filter near the top of your inbox. Type your professor's email address in the From: field, and click Test Search to check if the right messages are selected. If you like the test results, click Next Step and Star it. Watch as the messages automatically come into your account just the way you want them to!

The mail that matters

Get the Gmail messages that matter the most. You can auto-forward and filter only messages that match certain criteria and forward those messages to your cell phone.

Edit contacts quickly

Edit contacts right from your chat list by hovering your mouse over one of your contacts, clicking on the contact name, editing, and pressing enter to save.

Log out from anywhere

Did you forget to log out of your last session? Don’t worry, you can sign out of open sessions by clicking on Details at the bottom of your inbox and selecting Sign out all other sessions. The details panel displays the access type, location and time of previous sessions.


Find out if your friends are free

View multiple shared calendars at the same time using different customizable colors to quickly see when everyone is available.

Stay on Schedule

Set up reminders for your due dates, meetings and other important events. You can have notifications pop up in your calendar or sent to you as emails or text messages.

Print your Google Calendar view, or save it as a PDF

You can print out your daily agenda, weekly schedule or a data range, showing the events from your calendar and any shared with you – or you can save the view as a PDF .

Hide personal events with ‘Private’

Set weekend and evening events/reminders like ‘Date Night’ to ‘private’, as your classmates don’t need to see them.


Work in Groups (w/o meeting in person)

Create a presentation and add collaborators who can edit the same document. You can always go back to a previous version and coordinating work is easy since you can see who’s adding what, right as they work.

Get class notes from a friend

Don’t worry about missing a lecture. Create a Google Doc for your class notes and collaborate with your classmates.

Try New Fonts

Add more personality and creativity to your projects by incorporating some of the available web fonts found in Docs.

Fact find without leaving your Google Document with the Research pane

Google Docs now has a really useful Research pane that allows users to access the power of Google Search form inside a Google Document.

Save time with a Google Docs template

Since Google have just announced 60 new templates, if you haven’t checked out Google Docs templates yet, now is a good time.

Two heads are better than one

Working on a group project and can't huddle everyone in the same room? Create and invite everyone to a Google Doc so you can have multiple people in various locations participating at once. You can even chat with each other while you're working.

Collaborate with roommates

Adjusting to dorm or apartment life with a new roommate? Create a spreadsheet in Google Docs to keep track of shared expenses or trash duties.

Go back in time

Working on an online document together and don't like the changes someone made? A list of document revisions shows you exactly who changed what, and when, so you can go back to earlier versions anytime.

Create a free online survey in minutes

Working on a research paper and need a survey to collect data? Using Google Docs you can create your questions, make a form and email it. Everyone can complete questions online in survey format. View all responses in a private spreadsheet online.


Ace your team project

Create a site to work together on a class project. Keep all your files and research in one place, edit shared documents, and track progress.

Share the memories

Let all the members of your team or group easily share stories, pictures and videos in a secure place online. You decide whether you keep your site private within your group or allow others to view it.


Chat together

Invite multiple friends to chat by clicking “options” in the chat window and click “group chat”

Call friends for free

Make free voice calls over the Internet from your computer to a friend’s, and even leave a voicemail that will go directly to their Gmail inbox if they weren’t available.

Share files for free

While chatting with your friends, you can send files directly to them, with no file size or bandwidth restrictions.


Check out Google Labs

Enable the Undo Send Lab. For those of us who don’t religiously check email for spellings mistakes etc, a chance to stop an email from being sent. A verity of Labs can be found under your account settings.