Quick 5-Minute Gmail Tutorial

Posted by John LaPlante on 9/16/2013


1.  Log in to Gmail.
2.  Click on the red "Compose" button.
3.  In the "To" field, start typing your name.  Click your name when you see it.
4.  In the "Subj:" field, type "Test From Google".
5.  In the body of the message, type "Test Message".
6.  Click the blue "Send" button at the bottom.
Congratulations!  You have just sent your first message from Google!  NOTE:  You will get a copy of this message in your Inbox on Google.  Now, let's read and reply to this message.

1.  You will see a copy of this message in your Inbox in Google.  
2.  Click on it. You will now see the message in Google.
3.  Look near the bottom of the message for the box that says "Click here to Reply or Forward".
4.  Click in this box and type "I received your message!"
5.  Click the blue "Send" button.
Congratulations!  You have just replied to your first message in Google!  But wait…something looks different…
1.  You will see this reply directly under the original message…and it looks like one message, but it's not!!  This is what Google calls "Conversations."  It is an attempt to keep all e-mail messages that relate to the same subject together.  It takes a little bit to get used to Conversations, but once you do, you'll wonder how you ever managed all of the replies to messages in the same topic!
2.  If you click on the red "Inbox" label on the left, you will be returned to your Inbox.  
3.  You should see something like "me(2)" as the "From" person.  This says that the message was from you, and there are 2 messages in this conversation.  It really does help streamline your Inbox and keep related messages together, but it can be a little challenging to understand at first.
4.  If you really don't like Conversations, you can turn them off.  Click on the little round gear icon in the upper right corner, and select "Settings."  Look in the middle of the page for "Conversation View" and click it to "Conversation view off".  Scroll down to the bottom and click "Save Changes".  You will be returned to the Inbox and you'll see all of your messages in a non-conversation view.
Congratulations!  You have just made the first configuration change to Google.  You can explore these settings at your leisure and customize Gmail to be exactly how you want it.  The good news is that these customizations follow you everywhere…so no matter what computer you use, your Gmail will always look and feel the same.  It doesn't matter if you're at work, at home, at a conference…your Gmail will always be the same.  


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