Basic Steps for Using Gmail Notes
If you haven't installed the Gmail Notes extension for Firefox, go to the Getting Started page and do that first.
Once the Gmail Notes extension is installed, you can open the sidebar and start the application. There are three different ways to do this:
- Select the Firefox menu "View" → "Sidebar" → "Gmail Notes"
- Right click to open the Firefox context menu, and select "Gmail Notes"
- Use the keyboard shortcut Control-Alt-G
When the sidebar opens, you should see a plain page with a "Sign In" link
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Before you can create or access notes, you must sign in to the application server. To do this, click the "Sign In" menu item, and a Google account Sign In window will pop up on your screen. It looks like this:
If you don't see the Sign In window, it may be because Firefox is blocking popup windows. Check the Getting Started page for info on how to change the Firefox popup settings.
Enter your Gmail address and account password. Note — the Gmail Notes servers do not see this information — it goes directly to Google. If the sign in is successful, the sidebar will update to show the Gmail Notes standard, 3-tab user interface.
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Now that you are signed in to Gmail Notes, you can begin creating notes. Click one of the conversations in your inbox to view it. When you do that, the Gmail Notes menu changes slightly, with the addition of a "Create Note" menu item near the top:
When you click the "Create Note" menu item, the panel switches to editing mode, with a two-row toolbar displayed near the top, and some additional buttons above that. The panel will also expand to 1/3 of the browser width, unless there is some external limit. In editing mode, the panel looks like this:
You can now begin typing text into the panel. The toolbar can be used to format the text, in the same way you can format a Gmail message. Here's an example of what you can do:
To finish editing, click the "Close" button. When you do that, the panel will return to its standard width and the menu will be updated from "Create Note" to "Edit Note", and two more menu items will be added, "Print Note" and "Delete Note".
Opening the Sidebar Panel:
Connecting to the Gmail Notes Server:
Creating and Editing Notes:
A Couple Suggestions:
OK, you should now be able to create notes, edit them, save them, view them, and delete them. Before leaving this page, here are a couple tips/suggestions:
Gmail Superstars: After you finish creating a new note, we STRONGLY recommend that you to apply a Gmail star to highlight the message, in order to denote that a note was created. (You can also assign a label for messages with attached notes, of course, but we find that less convenient.) We further recommend that you enable Gmail Superstars, a Gmail Labs feature that extends the "starring" system to support up to 12 different icons to flag important messages. We sure wish Gmail Notes could automatically assign one of the superstar types to messages with notes, but we just don't have access to that kind of functionality. So you have to do it manually. We like the blue-info star (see the screenshot below), but you can use whatever you like, of course.
Gmail Quick Links: Another Gmail Labs feature we like to use is Quick Links, which are bookmarks to common Gmail views. In particular, we like to create a Quick Link to the list of conversations that we have flagged with the superstar for indicating a note is attached. For the blue-info star, you can do this by searching your Gmail for "has:blue-info" and clicking the "Add Quick Link" button.