via VicLovan.com - Google Goodness!.
Add-Ons and info now that you have Gmail!
There are a couple of add-ons and features that will make having Gmail even more cool. The first one is "GmailThis!". It's just a link that you put up on the browser bookmarks / Links toolbar (usually just under the address bar), and it lets you click on it to share a web page by email. When you are looking at a web page that you want someone else to see you just click on that button and it will automatically open up a new email with the subject filled in as the title of the web page and a link to the page in the body of the text. I use this one all the time just to send myself a note about a page that I want to come back to later.
The next one is the Gmail notifier. This one puts a little icon in the tray next to the clock that will let you know when you get new email.
The next tip is to let gmail be your default email client. If you have the google toolbar for FireFox, the next time you open Gmail you probably will get a pop up asking if you want Gmail to be the default email. That way if you click on one of those links on a page that says to email them, you automatically get a new window to email them with their address filled in. If you don't have the Google toolbar, click the link below. Once you have the toolbar installed you can click on the options and check the bottom box "to send with Gmail", and that will manually set Gmail as the default email.
Importing your contacts from Outlook. Open Outlook and from the File menu choose the Import/Export feature. A new box will open and you click on the "Export to a file" option and then the "Next" button. Choose "Comma Separated Values (Windows)" as the option and "Next". From the next box you should choose only the "contacts" out of the choices and "Next". You'll be given a "Browse" button at the next window for choosing a place to save the file, you'll want to put it in a place that will be easy to find. I usually create a backup folder in the "My Documents" folder and give the file a name like "AddressbookVic11122006" with the current date as part of the file name. This is a good practice to do every so often even if you weren't trying to import them into Gmail, just as a backup in case Outlook crashes. The next window will have options to re-map the fields for each contact. I usually don't change anything here. If you do the import and some of the fields are not right in Gmail you may want to go back and Export again and figure out what fields weren't right and change them with the mapping. After the Export from Outlook, open Gmail and click on the "Contacts" link. In the light blue highlight trim toward the right near the top you'll see the Import link. You just browse to the file you just exported and click on the "Import Contacts" button. You'll get a notification and that should be it.
Those are the coolest add-ons and tweaks for now. There are a bunch more benefits to having a Google account but those are for other features like Picasa for pictures, Docs and Spreadsheets for office documents, and Calendar . As you get more into it you'll find even more features, especially the Google Pack and its programs.
How to create a filter in Gmail. You'll find that you can really take control of your email by setting up the labels and using filters to put email in its place, so to speak. I'm currently using over 100 filters and my email is VERY organized. I have several thousand emails that are all in my Gmail and I don't even give it a second thought to be able to find an email about some article that was written last year, because I know that I've probably already got it filtered and labeled.