Zhong Chu

What are some lesser known Gmail tips?

What are some lesser known Gmail tips?

Answer 1

0. *Getting things done (GTD) First, it's important to note that email at its very essence is a list of todos and notes. What this means is that for every email that comes in, you need to sort it out in a meaningful manner for you to always have an idea what emails (tasks) you need to be acting on, and to be able to find emails when you need them. I use Gmail's wonderful Priority inbox which basically allows you to sort your inbox by sections. Gmail also does a good job identifying which emails you pay most attention to (i.e. important) - you can also help identify it better by clicking on the yellow button in emails. I have three sections (this is the default): A) Important and unread - every new email starts here B) Starred - all emails with stars/flags C) Everything else - self explanatory Every time you open up an email, select an appropriate GTD action: - Reply - Reply and need a reply/response from the other party(ies) > yellow star it - Don't have time to reply / need a further action from you > red star it - Archive it - Delete it - Label it (more on this at the bottom) To get stars: Settings > General > Stars To turn on Priority Inbox: Settings > Inbox > Inbox type > Priority Inbox 1. Shortcut keys This is a super time saver. Never use the mouse again to do the same old things on Gmail. Here are my navigation favourites: c - compose new mail j - go to previous mail k - go to next mail e - archive (goes to All Mail) r - reply gi - go to inbox ga - go to all mail gd - go to drafts l - label gl - go to label Full list of shortcuts here http://support.google.com/mail/b... To turn shortcuts on: Settings > Keyboard shortcuts 2. Labs Hidden gems of Gmail. This is where the small crazy ideas of the Gmail team become a reality. You can do things from playing snake to making sure you don’t drunk email here. Some of my personal favourites: - 'Unread Message icon' allows you to see how many unread emails you have at a quick glance of your tab's icon - ‘Canned Response’ lets you create and save email templates. - ‘Default Reply to All’ - self explanatory. How often do you just reply to just the sender? - ‘Undo Send’ is definitely one of the top on the list for me - how many times have you hit the send button and regretted? These few precious seconds could change a lot of things. To choose lab features: Settings > Lab 3. Filters We subscribe to a bunch of stuff out of habit. We receive email from people that belong to certain ‘groups’ - family, friends, work to name a few. You can automate all these sorting by creating filters and using labels to sort them out. I have specific filters that tag my mail with the labels (more on this further down) ‘family’, ‘friends’. More importantly, for those emails that I don’t want coming into my inbox I set the filters to Skip the Inbox (Archive it). This is great because I do occasionally check All Mail for things that I might have missed out but most of the time it’s less the case of missing important mail, and more the case of going through unnecessary evils like Groupon daily deals. To create filters: ‘inside a mail’ > More > Filter messages like these 4. Labels Labels just had to happen for me. This is really what defines the whole inbox. Putting context into email. Also helps when you want to look for something around that context. Assigning a label is easy, you just select the email (or while reading it), click the label button and either tag an existing label to it / create a new label. Key tips: a) Color your labels by selecting a color from the drop down on the left panel of the screen. b) Kinds of labels: I have labels for my work - ‘Hallways’,‘onecentmovement’ ; on ‘Marketing’, ‘Finance’, ‘Health and Fitness’, ‘Ideas’, ‘ANU’, just to name a few. c) *Action labels: ‘Now’ - ever struggled with finding that plane e-ticket, receipt to claim a gift, or that email on that subscription you were meant to cancel before they renewed it after a 30-day trial? I use the label ‘Now’ to label things that I’ll need to refer to in the short run. Use case: I hardly ever print out my e-tickets now that it isn’t really required at most airports. Upon arriving the airport counter, I fire up my iPhone mail and go to ‘Now’ and present the e-ticket email as a reference to the counter person. ‘References’ - For emails that are insightful / meaningful that I may want to refer to again. These days, I manage it mostly using Evernote. 6. Others Go get Rapportive if you haven’t already - it allows you to get rich contact profiles right inside Gmail. You’ll be able to basically see stuff of that person like their Linkedin profile, latest tweet, whether they are checked in nearby - so that you can establish rapport. Want your gmail to look more like Microsoft Outlook? You can active Preview Pane under Gmail labs.

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