You can customize Gmail quite a bit. Here’s a list of settings I recommend you enable/configure.
First, hop over to your Settings gear and select Settings to go to, Settings:
Scroll down the page to discover the following nifty settings…
Maximum Page Size
I like to bump this up to 100.
I know I shouldn’t do this, but sometimes I proofread emails after clicking the Send button. Bad habit, I know. Thankfully, there’s a setting for that:
This will give you a 20-second period after clicking Send in which you can click an “Undo Send” button:
I use Stars to mark items in my Inbox I need to deal with. I like to include a couple different priority levels. Just drag-and-drop to customize which stars you want:
One of the best things you can do for yourself–computing productivity-wise–is to learn how to use keyboard shortcuts. In general they allow you do to things quicker, particularly repetitive tasks. But specifically in Gmail they’re oh-so-handy.
(Hint: once back in your inbox hit shift-? to view the list of delicious keyboard shortcuts, or click the Learn more link).
Select a nice picture, it makes it more likely your emails will get a reply.
You can enter pretty much anything you like, but my advice is keep it simple. Also make sure to include your phone number:
Make Sure to Save Changes
Labs are extra/optional things you can enable to give your Gmail inbox extra power. Each lab has a description of what it does on the Labs page, so I won’t go into much detail, but here are the ones I’ve enabled.
Authentication icon for verified senders
Helps you differentiate between phishing emails from eBay and actual emails from eBay.
Google Maps previews in mail
If someone types an address in an email, this makes it easy for you to hover over the address and see a map to the location.
Pictures in Chat
Because, why not?
Unread message icon
I like being able to glance at the Gmail tab in my browser and see how many unread emails I have.
Lastly head over to Themes and you can change the whole look for your inbox. This is very important to do so that you enjoy checking your email as much as possible. You can even use one of your own photos as the background image for your theme.