Muting or Ignoring Emails/Conversations

Have you ever been subjected to the ‘thread that just won’t die!’? If you’re part of a long message conversation that isn’t relevant, you can mute the conversation to keep all future additions out of your inbox.

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. Open or select the conversation.
  3. Click the More button above your messages.

  4. Select Mute.

When you mute a conversation, new messages added to the conversation bypass your inbox so that the conversation stays archived. Muted conversations will only pop back into your inbox ready for your attention if a new message in the conversation is addressed to you and no one else, or if you’re added to the “To” or “Cc” line in a new message.

Any relevant filters you have set up will still be applied to muted messages.

How to find a muted thread
If you need to find a muted conversation, or if you accidentally muted a thread, don’t worry. Muted messages are not marked as read, and are still searchable. You can type is:muted into your Gmail search box to find all muted conversations.

How to unmute a thread
If you no longer want a conversation to be muted, there are two ways to unmute it so that future messages will be delivered to your inbox:

  1. Select the conversation, click the More button and select Unmute.
  2. Click the X on the “Muted” label.

Turning off Conversation View

By default, Google combines your messages into Conversation Threads (emails of the same topic are grouped together) but you can go back to the traditional method of listing your emails as individual messages. You can turn this option on or off at any time.

  1. Login to your Gmail account.
  2. Click on the Settings icon gmail-settings and then click on Settings from the drop-down menu.
  3. Under Conversation View select Conversation view off, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Save Changes.
  4. Your mail window should have Conversation Threading turned off.

Email Merging – Outlook or Gmail

Please know that bulk emailing should be handled with extreme care. Emailing a large volume of addresses should only be done by the CRM department unless they have authorized an alternative. We advise that you seek permission from your manager before engaging in an email merge.

Gmail Sending Limits: Each FamilyLife email account can send up to 2000 email messages a day. Click Here for details on the sending limits with Gmail.

We suggest one of the following two options for completing an Email Merge:

OUTLOOK: If you are required to still use Word/Publisher to send an email merge, you can use Outlook with Google Apps Sync. If you do not have Outlook configured on your computer to sync with Google, seek a Google Guide. For remote staff Click Here. Note: It is suggested that you have Outlook open in the @familylife.com profile before completing an Email Merge.
For the sake of this document, we will not provide the lengthy instructions on how to use Word/Publisher and Excel to send an email merge. We recommend you use the Gmail method instead.

GMAIL: You can create an email merge in Gmail by using a Google Apps Script and the use of a Google Spreadsheet. We have had good luck with the script (YAMM) Yet Another Mail Merge. Click Here for detailed instruction and a video (no audio) on how to use this script. The following is a summary of the steps involved. You will want to test a mail merge by sending messages to yourself BEFORE you deliver a message to others.

  1. Create a Google Docs Spreadsheet (Google Drive) that contains the email addresses and mail merged fields you plan to use. Note: Include a header in the spreadsheet. Have the email addresses in the first column. Only use left justification in your columns.
  2. Open Gmail and compose the email message you will be sending. You can attach images and link to images via a URL but embedding images inline may not work. Make sure you provide a subject. In each area of the email that you want to merge a field, replace it with the following syntax: <<field-name>>
  3. Save the Gmail message as a Draft. This is done automatically by Gmail every 10 seconds but if you click on the X button at the top right, it will initiate a new save before closing.
  4. Return to your Google Docs Spreadsheet. Go to TOOLS and then SCRIPT GALLERY. Search for “yet another mail merge” and install this script to your spreadsheet. You may be requested to Approve this script. This is expected and it allows the script to run on your spreadsheet.
  5. Open the new Mail Merge tab in your spreadsheet and select Standard Merge.
  6. Select the field name that has the email address, select the email from your drafts, change “My name” to be the from name you want and click Send Emails.
    YOU’RE DONE You will notice that a new column is added called Marge Status. If you need to run another merge from this document, you will want to delete this entire column from the spreadsheet before running the merge again.

Working with Themes in Gmail

  1. Login to your Gmail account.
  2. Click on the Settings icon gmail-settings and then click on Settings from the drop-down menu.
  3. This will open up a row of tabs. Please click on Themes.
  4. There are a number of pre-configured themes to choose from or, if you would like to place your own photo behind your email, click on Light or Dark under custom themes.

Enable Popular Labs – Preview Pane

  1. Login to your Gmail account.
  2. Click on the Settings icon gmail-settings and then click on Settings from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click on the LABS tab.
  4. Review the list of labs and click Enable on any that you prefer and Save. DO NOT enable all of the labs. The following are the Labs we suggest:
      Preview Pane:
      (Once you Enable and Save the Lab setting, click on the Preview Pane icon which is located next to the Settings gear at the top right of your window. Select your preferred preview pane view.

      Undo Send: Allows you to undo sending an email.

Set your Calendar Time Zone

  1. Login to your Gmail account and open your Calendar.
  2. Click on the Settings icon gmail-settings and then click on Settings from the drop-down menu.
  3. In the “Your Current Time Zone” category, select “(GMT-06:00) Central Time” or the appropriate time zone for your location and then type CST in the Label field.
  4. OPTIONAL: You can add an additional Time Zone by clicking on “Show an additional Time Zone“.
  5. Click SAVE.

How to view Conference room Calendars

It is often necessary to see all of the events scheduled for a particular room in one view. Our recommendation is that you follow these steps for the meeting rooms you most often use.

  1. From within Google, please open your Calendar.
  2. In the left margin, please locate “Other Calendars” and click on the small down-facing arrow to the right of “Other Calendars”.
  3. Click on “Browse interesting calendars”.

  4. Step 1


  5. Here it may be a good idea to pause for a second. Ain’t this page cool? All of these can be added to your Google calendar — track your favorite rugby teams and keep track of national holidays for the US and many countries around the world. OK, now back to our regularly scheduled common questions page.
  6. Click on “More”
  7. Click on “Resources for familylife.com”
  8. Click on “FL”
  9. Click on “FL-Conf”
  10. Click on “Subscribe” next to any calendars you wish to retain easy access to.

View all Distribution Lists & Addresses

View all Distribution Lists:

  1. Compose a new message.
  2. Click on “To:” in the upper left corner of the message window.
  3. Within the search field, please type “fl-dist” and press “enter”. All distribution lists within FamilyLife begin within “fl-dist”.
  4. Locate the one you need in the resulting list, click to highlight it, and press “select” at the bottom of the window.

View Addresses in a Distribution List:

  1. Click on the Apps Grid near your name and click on the “Groups” icon.
  2. Type “FL-Dist” in the “Search for groups or messages” Search Box at the top of the page and then click on the Search Button.
  3. Click the “See all….” link below the search results.
  4. Scroll down to find the list you are interested and click on the Title.
  5. IF YOU ARE A MEMBER of the list, at the top right click on the word “Members” to view the members.
  6. IF YOU ARE NOT A MEMBER of the list, click on the “You may view the list of members for this group.” link to view the members.