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How to make Gmail work like Outlook

Switched from Outlook to Gmail for work? Here are seven ways to make things feel more familiar and get some useful Outlook-like features.

Most people resist change. If your company recently switched to Google’s G Suite from Microsoft Office, you might feel confused by or less productive with the new platform — especially when it comes to email. Or you might like Gmail’s features and interface but wish it had some components similar to Outlook.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to make Gmail function like Outlook. It’s sometimes overwhelming to start using Gmail after being used to Outlook, but these easy-to-implement tips will help you speed the transition.

IT folks: Share this story with your users to help them feel more at home in G Suite.


1. Embrace Gmail’s labels

In Outlook, many people use folders as an organizational tool, moving individual emails out of the inbox and into the folder that seems most appropriate. Labels are Gmail’s equivalent of Outlook’s folders, and they, too, help with email organization.

The process of creating labels isn’t difficult. When you open a message in Gmail, you’ll see several icons along the top of the window. One on the far right looks like a tag. Clicking it shows a list of existing labels. Select a checkbox next to one or more labels in the provided list and click Apply. Alternatively, you can click the “Create new” option and create a new label name.

By default, the labels you create appear in Gmail’s left-hand pane, similar to Outlook folders. Click any label to see all the messages with that label.

To manage your labels, click the tag icon and select “Manage labels” option. Here you can edit label names and control which labels appear in Gmail’s left-hand pane, message list and label list.

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