How to Get Outlook Style Gmail for Enhanced productivity

We all have to agree that the MS Outlook has more features and is more productive than Gmail. One of such time saving features: Mail preview, is a very useful feature and can really be advantageous when used with keyboard shortcuts. You can also use this in order to maintain uniformity between work email that uses desktop outlook and personal web email.

gmail in outlook style

Click the image above to see a larger version

Needless to say, Outlook style Gmail will enhance productivity and also will make you stand apart from crowd. Thanks to Gmail engineers that recently introduced this feature. Let us see how to enable mail preview in Gmail:

Step 1: Go to Gmail Labs from mail settings.

Step 2: Search for Preview Pane in labs.

Step 3: Enable it and save settings.

Step 4: Go back to inbox and look for split icon at top-right corner of mail list as shown in below picture.

split icon

Click the image above to see a larger version

Step 5: Select your preference -> Horizontal Split or Vertical Split and you are done.

The specific outlook style keeps mails on one side and content on another. Use this technique along with keyboard shortcuts for a drastic improvement in work speed and productivity. Here are few of my favourite shortcut keys that I use regularly while dealing with emails:

c to compose a new mail
f to forward the selected mail
r to reply
j and k for backward and forward navigation between mails
# to delete selected conversation
e to archive the mail

So, effectively putting in simple terms:
Preview Pane + Keyboard shortcuts = killer productivity.
Try the combination to experience yourself and let us know in comments.

1) There is a 3 seconds delay in automatic marking a mail as read after previewing it. You can change this time from general tabs of mail settings.
2) This feature works really well with high-resolution screens.
3) You can discover more of these shortcuts by pressing ? key while in inbox or from this official support page.

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Filed under Gmail. Posted by Abhishek on 15th September 2011.

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