The Benefits of Gmail

how to use gmail more effectivelyRecently I made the decision to switch my email program from Outlook and Thunderbird to using Gmail. My primary reason is to be able to check and follow emails while I am out of the office – meaning away at a conference or on a trip.

Logging in to my PC from away is not always an option and it requires my office PC being on and ready for use. When away this can be a hazard if no one is checking on it.

I can use a webmail system for some but then I have no access to emails already in my inbox or sent folders. All of this made me take the jump in mid-December to Gmail.

Gmail does have some limitations but I am slowly getting used to them or trying to find a work around. MY latest word around discoveries have been:

  1. Getting my email signature to appear below my reply back to someone and above the message they sent (As opposed to showing waaaaay at the bottom of the email below all conversation that has gone back and forth already.
  2. Working around the limitation of only being able to import 5 additional email accounts.

Today I wanted to share the solutions here – in case others are having the same issues.

The solution to #1 – the email signature was solved using Google Labs. Now you have to be brave enough to try out a Labs feature as they come with a warning:

Gmail Labs allows you to try out experimental new features in Gmail. If you’re going to brave the Labs world, it’s important to keep the following things in mind about these features:

  • They may break at any time.
  • Similarly, they may disappear temporarily or permanently.
  • They may work so well that they graduate and become regular features.

When you go into the Labs, you want to enable the Signature Tweak function and this places your signature before the quoted text in a reply, and removes the “–” line that appears before signatures.

The Solution to #2 – limitations of only being able to add 5 additional email accounts into your system.  This one is solved with the new feature “Multiple Sign-Ins”.

With this setup you turn on the multiple sign in feature and then you can sign into another gmail account (one you have also imported up to another 5 email accounts in) and then you can toggle back and forth between the two accounts.  This will give you access in total up to another 5 outside accounts.

Hope this helps you fix up a couple of your issues with gmail – any other features you like to use – please share here in the comments!  Thanks.


  1. Welcome to the Gmail club. It takes a while to get used to the limitations in Gmail and I too find many workarounds. Just to assure you, I’ve been using their labs for years and have yet to have one break. Always check for new ones…they are really handy, my latest favorite is Boomerang.

    Will look forward to your importing workaround.

  2. Grace, thanks for the comment – you made me realize that I had only posted part of the blog post! I have published it all and it does show you the work around for multiple accounts.

  3. Thanks for the great Gmail tips, Kathy. I had an issue with setting up a client’s multiple email accounts in Gmail and resorted to only setting the sixth one up as a forward. (Not able to respond to email using same incoming address.)

    I will definitely utilize the multiple-sign-ins feature for this issue.

    Thanks for sharing your solutions.

  4. Glad to help Janet! Grace mentioned above that the Labs work very well so definitely a feature to watch and look for new tools!