Five ways to enhance Gmail with Labs

Google adding an offline mode is just the latest Labs project to try and enhance the Gmail experience, as there are plenty of other Labs add-ons already available that help you get the most from Google's webmail service.

Here are our top five picks of features that will make you more organised, efficient and - appear more smarterer.

Google Calendar Gadget
If you use Gmail, then chances are you're a Google Calendar convert too. This oh-so-simple feature adds a small scroll-through-able box in the left of the Gmail screen set-up which shows your selected Google Calendar to let you see, at a quick glance, upcoming events, locations and details.

Forgotten Attachment Detector
We've all sent emails harping on about the attached file and then, with a sickening thud, realised we've not actually attached said file. Make those moments a thing of the past with Gmail's "Forgotten Attachment Detector". It's got your back when it comes to sending a message without the relevant enclosures as it prompts you when pressing that fateful "send" button if you mention attaching a file, but forget to do so.

Send & Archive
Particularly dullsville practical, but hella useful, the "Send & Archive" options adds a button to the compose mail form that lets you send a reply to a message, and archive the email conversation in a single action.

Canned Responses
Although described by the creator as "email for the truly lazy", we think it should be dubbed "email for the truly clever". Do you find yourself typing out the same old replies to emails time and time again? ("I no longer deal with garden gnome welfare, please contact Jan on....") Avoid repetitive email injury by creating a "Canned Response" that, at a couple of clicks of the mouse, will insert your pre-typed text into the email reply. If you can't even be arsed to do that, it can also be set up to auto-send emails using filters.

Mail Goggles
Designed to prevent users of the free mail service sending messages they might later regret due to inebriation, this feature presents would-be late night emailers with capchta-style maths puzzles before it will send your missive. Even if your excellent brain, despite the amount of alcohol imbibed, can do the maths, it at least gives you a moment's pause before you hit send on that email equivalent of a drink-and-dial booty call.

All these - and more - Labs feature can be enabled by going to "Settings" in your Gmail account (top right) and then clicking through to the Labs tab.