Tuesday, July 22, 2008
If you haven't gotten around to checking out the Contacts functionality in Gmail, have a look by clicking on the lefthand "Contacts" link in Gmail. You will now see a list of your contacts with whom you exchange mail frequently, as well as a complete list of contacts, and your contact groups. For every contact, you can provide address or telephone details, along with other private notes on the contact. You can also add a small photo for every contact, or add a contact group.
Creating your own contact group has one major advantage: you will then be able to just type the group name in the Gmail To: field, and see it expand to the full list of recipients. Not only will this save you time typing, it also decreases the chance that you'll accidentally address the wrong person (sending potentially private information) because two of your contacts share the same first name.
To create a new group, switch to the Contacts dialog. Click the button with a plus sign and two people at the top of this box to add a group. Name the group—like "Family" or "Colleagues." Then, select "All Contacts" again, and place a check mark next to those you want in the group. Click on the Groups button, and select your new group from the drop-down "Add to ..." list. Now, when you compose a new message by clicking Compose Mail or hitting c, you can just enter the first letters of the group name and hit Return or Tab to expand the name to all email addresses of this group automatically.