I check Gmail Labs regularly to see what new features are available. Sometimes the things one can do with a Gmail account are just silly, like Email Addict. If I need a fifteen minute break from email, I can take one without Gmail's help. There are a few Labs features I find indispensible though, and here is my must-have list:
- I have been waiting for this for so long! I adopted tasks as soon as it was available. It would be nice if it were always visible like contacts and labels, but I can live with the pop out. Nested task lists let me organize tasks into projects. There is just something satisfying about checking of a completed item.
- Right-side chat and Right-side labels
- I love distributing the screen real estate because it just makes sense when you are using a wide screen monitor, especially a laptop with a measly 800 vertical pixels.
- Default Reply to all
- Ugh! How many times have I replied to a group and wondered why only one person responded? Too many. The problem is that I just start typing in the quick reply box and hit send before my brain has time to intervene. Defaulting to reply to all reduces the amount of thinking I have to do.
- Text messaging in chat
- It seems I always remember what I wanted to tell a friend just after they log out. Sending them a quick text without picking up my phone is just great. Plus it is perfect for getting the last word in an argument.
- Title tweaks
- I'm really bad about opening way too many tabs. Being able to see exactly what is open with a glance eases my tab confusion.
- Google Calendar gadget
- Who doesn't want to see their calendar in a short and sweet agenda format when they're emailing and chatting? It is great for quickly checking my appointments before agreeing to a lunch meeting that might run long.
- Google Docs gadget
- Granted, I don't use Google Docs as efficiently as I should. Even when I'm working in Kubuntu I use Microsoft Office 2007. I am one of those weird people who like the ribbon interface. I also do not like the behavior of the enter button in Google Spreadsheets. Anyway, I frequently write simple how-to docs and share them with my users with Google Docs. Having those quickly available for reference is useful at least once a week.
What labs feature do you think is too useful to do without?