Gmail. And with good reason. Gmail is where the majority of the activity is happening, so it tends to be where you live. That said, you're likely still interested in keeping tabs on your schedule and what's happening with your work.If you use Google's apps, you likely find yourself spending an inordinate amount of time in
Wouldn't it be great if you could keep an eye on your other Google apps - like Calendar and Docs - without having to open multiple tabs or traverse from window to window? Now, thanks to the latest feature releases from Google Labs, you can. Introducing Google Labs Calendar and Doc gadgets for Gmail.
The new Gmail gadgets are designed to make your Gmail interface more inclusive by providing views into your other Google apps - without having to leave your Gmail inbox. No more jumping around. Now, you can see everything in one spot.
While the real estate is constrained, the view manages to provide just enough detail, giving you access to upcoming meetings and appointments and a glimpse of the latest documents on file.
But you can do more than just view the contents. The Docs gadget allows you to search your documents, and both gadgets enable you to create new items on the fly. The Calendar gadget also gives you the option to have a "mini calendar" present for reference.
To test drive these gadgets for yourself, simply head over to Labs and enable the Calendar gadget and the Docs gadget. Save your new settings and switch back to your Gmail interface. Now, you'll see two new collapsible areas below Labels that give you a view into your Calendar and your Docs.
Labs Holds the Key to Future Gmail Features
The rate of innovation coming out of Labs seems to be on the upswing. Lately, we've seen a steady stream of Google Labs features for Gmail, like Labels enhancements, Mail Goggles, and Canned Responses. And they're beginning to answer very real workflow issues - okay maybe not with Goggles - that enhance the functionality of Gmail and make it a more competitive platform.
It will be interesting to see what users choose to install and adopt from Labs - and equally interesting what they choose to ignore - because that will determine what Google decides to bake into future features of Gmail, itself.
I think it's safe to assume that these two latest gadgets from Labs are leading candidates for core Gmail functionality, especially given how simply and effectively they combine access to the most popular Google apps in the place where most users live and breathe - their inbox.