Gmail Basics

This walk through is designed for people who are brand new to Gmail.


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Access Gmail by going to: Follow the steps below to create your new Gmail account:

1. Click on “Create an Account” in the top right corner

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2. Fill out your personal information, select a user name and password, prove your not a robot, agree to the terms, and then select “Next step.”

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3. Set-up your profile by adding as much or as little information about yourself as you want. A completed profile allows people to easily find you on the web and adding a profile picture puts a “face to the name.” Select a picture from your computer to add a profile picture.

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4. Congrats! You now have a Gmail account and can get started! After you hit “next” you will see in your inbox three messages from the Gmail Team including: Tips for using Gmail, Welcome to Gmail, and Get Gmail for your mobile device.

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5. Now you can customize your Gmail account by selecting a theme. This is optional, however I’ve seen lots of custom Gmail accounts. It’s quite a popular feature in Gmail!

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6. The next step is to configure your inbox (like setting a theme, this too is optional). This is a relatively new feature in Gmail, and is actually a nice way to keep your mail categorized.

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The tabs you can enable in Gmail include:

  • Primary- conversations between you and others
  • Social- messages from social networks and social websites
  • Promotions- marketing e-mails, deals, and offers
  • Updates- confirmations, receipts, bills, and statements
  • Forums- e-mails from online groups, mailing lists, and discussion boards

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If you are like most people in education, or in any industry for that matter, staying on top of your email can be a challenge. Some people receive literally hundreds of emails daily. Taking advantage of the features offered in Gmail can help you create a more manageable and stress-free email experience.

Now that you have set-up your Gmail account and you know the basics, you can go to the intermediate page of the Help Desk blog where you will learn how to create Gmail labels (aka folders), how to apply filters to your mail, and how to set up groups. Investing some time up front to learn more advanced Gmail features will save you lots of time in the long run and ultimately increase your productivity.


The video tutorial below by senior blogger Nathan Rippin demonstrates how to send an email, how to carbon copy and blind carbon copy recipients, and how to add attachments.

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