Gmail is a great service and the two Google Lab add-ons, “Send & Archive” and “Smart Mute” make Gmail even better and faster to use.
Send & Archive as the name implies, allows you to reply to an email AND archive the conversation at the same time, which is a tremendous Gmail time saver for reading your messages and keeping your inbox clean.
Smart Mute is also extremely helpful, as it allows you to basically “stop listening” to a Gmail conversation. So say 10 of your friends are involved in a Gmail conversation and you no longer want to receive updates (replies) to this conversation, Smart Mute let’s you avoid having to have the conversation appear in your inbox as these new replies come in.
Accessing Google Labs for Gmail Plugins
1. First, to access any of these add-ons (or plugins), open your Gmail account and open your mail settings. To open your Gmail mail settings head to the widget-looking blue circle at the very top right of the screen (next to your Gmail address), and left-click. In the drop down that appears, left-click on “mail settings”.
2. One you are in the mail settings area, click on the “labs” tab…
…and you will see a list of available add-on features for Gmail. Note also Google’s warning that these lab add-ons could disappear at any time, and the link to use if for some reason the lab features mess up your inbox (it’s: https://mail.google.com/mail/?labs=0 ).
3. Now simply browse (or use the search dialog box at the top of the labs menu) to find the feature you want to use, and click the “enable” button.
That’s it, and enjoy your newly streamlined Gmail workflow.