Gmail is a free web-based (POP3 or IMAP4) e-mail service that Google provides to its users. POP3/IMAP4 is the protocol used to send and retrieve e-mails back and forth to remote servers in a secure manner. G-mail became operational in 2004 and became free to the public in 2007 in a beta form. It became fully operational with other applications in 2009.
Gmail storage is now shared with several other Google applications such as Google Maps, Google Drive (includes Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms), Google Photos, Google Calendar, etc. The user’s storage capability is now up to 15 gigabits (GB) of free space. Although it does include ads based on your e-mail content, the application includes threaded conversations for a nice user layout. Your e-mail application also has a nice chat feature for your use as well.
Google is known for its uptime, staying at about 99.9% uptime. Google does have scheduled maintenance for upgrades and bug fixes. There are also upgraded plans for purchase including 30 gigabytes (GB) of storage up to unlimited amounts of storage. Google also provides customer support on a 24/7 basis for your added benefit.
Let’s move on to the most important function here, setting up your new account.
Creating the Account
Setting up an account is quick and easy. Follow these simple steps to create your new account:
Step 1: Go to www.gmail.com and click on the ‘Create an account’ button.
Step 2: You will need to fill out the account details form including the following:
Name (First and Last)
Username (which will be firstname.lastname@example.org)
Password with confirmation (make sure it is complex – use numbers, special characters, upper and lower case letters)
Current E-mail Address
Term Agreement Checkbox
Step 3: After you click the ‘Next Step’ button you will be asked to add a photo if you wish. You do not have to do this if you do not wish to do so. Again, click on the ‘Next Step’ button.
Your e-mail account is now created. You will be redirected to the main page of your inbox.
Features of Your New Gmail Account
Gmail offers a wide variety of features to enhance your use of e-mail. Gmail includes tabbing for your inbox so that it is not a cluttered mess of thousands of e-mails. Google provides five automatic pre-defined tabs that allow you to sort your e-mails. Those tabs are Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates and Forums. However, you can also create your own customized tabs as well.
Google also has a spam filter so that you can specify if an e-mail is spam, so that in the future that e-mail will be marked as spam. When those e-mails come through the server in the future, they will no longer come through your inbox, they will be sent to the designated Spam folder.
Gmail does have search feature so that you can search through all of your e-mails either by contact, word fragments or search string. This is extremely helpful if you have thousands of e-mails and are looking for a specific one or two.
Gmail also supports money transfers and payment options using Google Wallet. This is a new feature that was introduced in 2013. This is a secure way to send money to friends and family as long as you have synced your bank account with Google Wallet.
Using Your New Gmail Account
Logging into your new account is easy. Go to the gmail.com webpage and type in your username (your e-mail address) and your password. You will be directed to your e-mail inbox. Upon entering you will see a list of your most recent e-mails. Remember e-mails are represented and organized as conversation threads. Therefore, you will see a number next to the conversation thread. This number indicates the amount of e-mails in that thread (original e-mail and the number of message replies).
The navigation bar at the top of the page, under the search bar, allows you to quickly perform typical actions such as archive e-mails, report spam, delete e-mails, move an e-mail, label an e-mail etc. To do so, click on the checkbox next to one or many e-mails and then click on one of the functions in that navigation bar to perform the action.
To create a new e-mail, click on the ‘Compose’ button in the left navigation bar. A pop-up will occur from the bottom right hand corner of your screen. You can either continue with your e-mail from here or expand it by click on the double arrow in the top right hand corner of the new message. Type the e-mail address of who the message is going to in the ‘To’ field or click on the ‘To’ field to select contacts from your contact list. Type in the subject of the e-mail in the ‘Subject’ field and then type your e-mail in the main field of the new message. You can always change your text formats, add an attachment from your computer or Google Docs, send money, add a picture, or an emoji. Last, click on the ‘Send’ button to send the new e-mail message that you composed.
You can also save drafts of e-mails, view your sent e-mails, change the theme of your new account, import contacts, download Gmail onto your mobile device, etc. There are several other things to get you fully functional. These are just a few items to get your started. Click on the ‘Learn More’ link at the top of the screen to learn even more about Gmail.
Gmail is one of the best free web-based e-mail services on the market. Although there are many other e-mail applications to choose from, Google has so many other applications that tie in with Gmail that it is a no brainer to go ahead and set up your new free account and try it out. The applications are extremely beneficial and fully functional from all mobile devices making this a powerful tool to your everyday life. Use this guide a starting point and get going now!