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Once you have decided on an activity to do with a friend, you need to contact your friend to communicate all the details.

One convenient way to do this is with email.

With a phone call, you need to wait until you and your friend are both available at the same time.

Handwritten letters are nice, but they take a long time to send and receive.

Text messages are fast, but it can be difficult to type long messages on a small phone keyboard.

Another advantage of email is that you can send a message to more than 1 person, so you can communicate with a group about the same topic.

You can communicate with a group of friends about your plans for the weekend.

In this activity, you will use Gmail, Google’s email service, to: review the different parts of your Gmail account and email a message, and compose and send an email to a friend or family member that includes an attachment.

To start, make sure you are signed in to your Google account.

Then, open a new tab.

Keep this video open in a separate tab so you can easily go back and forth between the 2.

Next, use the Google apps menu to access the Mail app.

This is where you will access your email.

Your Gmail account contains various folders for organizing your emails.

When you click on the folder, its contents appear on screen.

Some of the folders included automatically for you are: the inbox...

sent mail...

and drafts.

The inbox is like an open mailbox, where all of the emails you receive appear.

The sent mail folder contains the messages you write and send to others.

And the drafts folder is where any messages you start writing but do not send are stored.

Your emails are automatically saved as soon as you begin writing so you can always go back and access them in your drafts folder.

To begin a new message, click the Compose button.

There are several fields to fill out to create and send your message.

The to field is the area where you will input your recipient’s email address.

Email addresses from Google are all formatted in the same way: Other email services may have a slightly different format, but in most cases, email addresses will look like To make sure your email is sent, the email address needs to be exact.

Much like a mailing address for a handwritten letter, if an email address is typed incorrectly, the message won’t be delivered to the right person.

If you’re in a class, type your partner’s email address in the To field.

If you’re not working with a partner, add your own email address.

When you send it, it will be delivered to your own inbox.

Because you are writing from your own Gmail account, you do not have to include your own email address as the return (or from) address.

It is included automatically.

Next is the subject line.

This is the space where you inform the recipient of the purpose of your email.

It’s helpful to be specific in your subject line so that the recipient understands why you’re writing.

Finally, the main space of the email is the body.

This is where you type your message.

To finish writing your email, move on to the next video in the series.

Anything you have typed so far will be saved in your Drafts folder, and you can return to the email later to finish and send it.


  1. Review the folders available in your Gmail account.
  2. Begin a new message by clicking Compose.
  3. Fill out the To field with an email address.
  4. Add the message topic to the Subject field.