Google Smarts: 5 ways to get more out of Gmail, Maps, Calendar and Docs

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Think Big Tech and I bet Google comes to mind. They control our inboxes, calendars, document storage, cloud storage, routes and more. Most of their products are free to use, which means you are the product they sell.

You have options. Tap or click here to see my list of search engines that are better at protecting your privacy.

We settled on Google tracking because these services are free and incredibly easy to use. Hey, if you’re in the Google ecosystem, you might as well make the most of it. Here are five ways to do it.

A new study found that Google’s Gmail favors liberal politician candidates, causing emails from most left-wing politicians to end up in the user’s inbox, while more than 75% of messages from conservative candidates are marked as spam.
(Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

5 WAYS TECH CAN HELP YOU FEEL SAFER AT HOME

1. A solution for your packed inbox

One of the best privacy features built right into Gmail is spam protection. I’m not talking about a junk folder. This tip is even better.

You can create a new email address known as an alias without any special setup. All you have to do is add a plus sign and a word to your email address after your username, like so: “username+alias@gmail.com.”

A handy use is to tie your recurring subscription services to an alias, like this:”username+subscriptions@gmail.com. “You can use this trick for email newsletters, correspondence with friends, neighborhood association information, or anything else you can think of.

Pro tip: This is also a great way to see if a company is selling or renting your email address. If you notice a message that you didn’t sign up to receive, check which of your email addresses it was sent to.

Go further: To make aliases really useful, you need to filter them to their own designated places in your inbox. Tap or click here and scroll to #2 for directions.

2. Share your emails without revealing the password

Do not share your email password with anyone. Period. But you can share one inbox with someone. It works really well in certain situations.

Say you run a small business and want multiple people to have access to customer service email. Or maybe someone in your family is sick or just getting older and needs help managing their email. They can share their inbox with you.

To add a delegate:

Open gmail on your computer and click settings > Show all settings > Accounts and Import or Account > Add another account.

Enter your delegate’s email address and click Next Step > Send email to grant access.

If you give someone access to your Gmail account, they can sort emails with filters, archive emails, and use labels to organize emails. You can also send, read, and delete email messages.

Pro Tip: Another good use for sharing an inbox is if you have a home email address that you send all your bills to. Share that with your spouse. Tap or click why every home should have its own email address.

Go further: Verifying multiple different email accounts can be tedious. Tap or click here to learn how to forward all your email to one place.

The study shows that spam is broadly defined as "Unsolicited emails that come from an entity that the recipient does not already know or has no interest in knowing," but google defines it as "any content that is unwanted by the user."

The study shows that spam is broadly defined as “unsolicited email that originates from an entity that the recipient does not yet know or have no interest in knowing,” but Google defines it as “any content sent by the user is undesirable”.
(Fox News)

3. This Google shortcut saves so much time

Creating a new Google Calendar invitation takes time. You need to open your calendar and then click a few buttons. There is a much easier way: “Cal.new. “Seriously, try typing that into your browser’s URL bar without the quotes. Just make sure you’re logged into your Google account.

As if by magic, a new calendar invitation will appear for you to fill out.

This also works with many other Google services. You can open a Google Doc by typing “doc.new“or a Google Keep reminder by typing”Note.new.”

You can use one of the following keyboard shortcuts for each application:

Google Docs: document.new, docs.new, doc.new

Google Sheets: Sheet.new, Sheets.New, Sheet.New

Google Slides: presentation.new, slides.new, slide.new

Google Forms: forms.new, form.new

Google Notes: keep.new, notes.new, note.new

Google Calendar: meeting.new, cal.new

Google Meeting: meet.new

Pro Tip: One of the easiest ways to organize your Google Drive folders is to color code them, which is surprisingly easy. Open your Google Drive and right click on the folder you want to change. Click Change Color and choose the color you want. Finished.

Go further: Keyboard shortcuts are a great time saver. Tap or click seven of my favorites including Ctrl + Shift + V.

4. See where you went with Google Maps

Google Maps makes it easy to get around, but you might not like the stark reality of seeing every single place you’ve laid out on a map. To check your location history:

If you’re signed in to your Google account on a computer, open maps.google.com.

Click on that Hamburger menu in the upper left corner.

When the full side menu opens, click your timeline. This will bring up a full map of where you were.

Data of the places you have visited can also be obtained by opening the side menu and clicking your placesand then click Visited.

Pro Tip: You can exclude certain trips from your search history by turning on incognito mode. Google Maps does not save your search history or update your location history to include that location. Tap or click here for easy activation steps.

Go further: You can turn off location history altogether if you don’t like it. Tap or click here to do this. It only takes a minute.

5. Work offline (but needs to be set up beforehand)

There’s nothing quite like settling down on the go to get some work done and then realizing you don’t have internet. The good news is that you can read, reply, and search your Gmail inbox even when you don’t have an internet connection.

Note: E-mails will not be real Posted until you’re connected again, and you won’t get any new emails until you’re connected to the internet. Think of it as putting all your answers in a queue.

Open gmailthen click Settings gear. Choose Show all settings.

Click on the tab that says Offlineand Check the box to enable offline mail.

Pro Tip: You can schedule emails to go out exactly when you want them to. Tap or click here and scroll to #8 for the planning steps. It’s easy. I use this all the time.

Go further: You can also work offline in Google Drive. Get the steps here. Make sure you set this up before you need it.

BERLIN, GERMANY - APRIL 22: The Google Drive file hosting service logo seen on the display of a smartphone on April 22, 2020 in Berlin, Germany.

BERLIN, GERMANY – APRIL 22: The Google Drive file hosting service logo seen on the display of a smartphone on April 22, 2020 in Berlin, Germany.
(Photo by Thomas Trutschel / Photothek via Getty Images)

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