Sunday, July 13, 2008

Gmail, stars, Quick Links and searches.

Here is a great tip for Gmail users. There is a new feature added to Gmail Labs in May called Superstars. This is an extended method of the star used to flag a message. After you enable Superstars in Gmail Labs, save the changes and you now have the ability to choose between 12 icons.

To star messages faster, enable keyboard shortcuts in the settings. "The superstars will rotate when you press the 's' keyboard shortcut or when you click successively," explains Google. "Rotating through the superstars only works when you click (or hit 's') successively. If you pause for a second, then the next click will turn off the superstar. It's designed this way so that if you never click successively, then you'll just get the original on/off toggle behaviour."

Next, enable "Quick Links" in the Labs section too. This adds a box to the left column that gives you 1-click access to any bookmarkable URL in Gmail. You can use it for saving frequent searches, important individual messages, and more.

Now here is the cool part...... if you want to find the messages that have a certain kind of star, use one of the following queries:

Use the search operator "has:" to find all messages with your superstar (e.g. "has:red-bang", "has:blue-star"). Learn the name of a superstar by hovering over its image in the "General" Settings page.

OR here is a reference table

has:yellow-star (or l:^ss_sy)
has:blue-star (or l:^ss_sb)
has:red-star (or l:^ss_sr)
has:orange-star (or l:^ss_so)
has:green-star (or l:^ss_sg)
has:purple-star (or l:^ss_sp)
has:red-bang (or l:^ss_cr)
has:yellow-bang (or l:^ss_cy)
has:blue-info (or l:^ss_cb)
has:orange-guillemet (or l:^ss_co)
has:green-check (or l:^ss_cg)
has:purple-question (or l:^ss_cp)

As you perform a search (say has:yellow-star), when the search results page is displayed, simply click "Add Quick Link" from the Quick Links box, assign your search a short name e.g. Star yellow, and there you go! Whenever you need to find a starred item in Gmail, you have a fast shortcut without having to remember the search query.

So have fun starring and searching !!!

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