It’s quick to get Gmail mixed up with other email services. After all, apart from sending and receiving messages, what else would you do with email?
But here’s the thing:
Gmail is more than just a great way to communicate. It’s also a productivity powerhouse.hund
Consider how many of the things you spend time on during your workday could be changed by simply turning on a switch in Gmail that says:
“At this time, don’t bother me with notifications.”
“Move these types of messages into this folder automatically.”
“Insert this contact’s information into my CRM.”
There are numerous Gmail hacks available that allow you to do just that… and much more.
Regardless of whether you use Gmail alone or with a team in G Suite, this email platform has a lot to give in terms of productivity.
Let’s take a look at 32 Gmail hacks you can use right now.
1.Choose a theme to help you concentrate.
Examine your personal and technical gadgets. Is there a custom picture on your smartphone screen? Have you used a relaxing or motivational picture or colour palette to skin your desktop?
It may not sound like much, but your work environment—physical or digital—can have a significant effect on how productive you are or how relaxed and satisfied you are.
Take a peek at the available themes in Gmail’s Settings widget (the gear icon in the top-right corner of your email) if you haven’t already:
Is a beautiful cityscape motivating you to work harder?
Do you find that a bright colour immediately lifts your spirits?
If you don’t like the themes then upload your own picture, template, or splash of colour instead.
2. Design the best inbox layout to focus on the right messages.
Take some time to design the inbox itself after you’ve decided on a theme.
To configure your inbox, go to your Settings widget and select “Configure inbox”:
When Gmail redesigned its interface a few years ago, it divided the inbox into tabs:
Messages that you’ve subscribed to but don’t need to see during the workday are separated into different tabs in this way, allowing you to concentrate on your primary messages:
Here’s an example of the kinds of messages you don’t want to be interrupted by while you’re working:
If you don’t like the tabbed layout of Gmail, there’s another way to consider:
This is Gmail’s legacy interface, which is essentially a tab-less style. Simply uncheck the other tabs under the “Configure inbox” setting to get this layout. All messages will then be sent to your inbox, which means you’ll have to devise your own method for keeping track of them.
3. Use labels and colours to organise and prioritise messages.
Gmail’s organisational tabs would also be insufficient to keep a knowledgeable inbox coordinated. Instead, Labels can be used.
To begin, clear out the labels that Gmail automatically assigns to all users. This can be done under Settings > Labels or in the folder sidebar under “Manage labels”:
You can choose to do the following with each folder from here:
- If the item is unread, it will be shown.
Hide any files that you don’t need to see (such as Spam). Display them if they are unread for files you need to see when something needs your attention (like an unfinished Draft).
Making your own labels is also a smart idea. You will help arrange the files that remain visible in the sidebar this way.
You could make folders for the following things:
- Types of projects
- Progress, process, and status of the project
- Members of the team
It all comes down to where your logical distinctions between your emails are located.
Don’t be afraid to use colour to attract attention to various types of emails and folders:
Gmail gives you the option to add a label colour when you hover over any Gmail folder (ones you built or ones that were already there) and press the three little dots.
You could mark each form of email with a different colour. You may also use it to prioritise emails from a specific individual or company:
The colours you’ve chosen for the files will be carried over to any emails with the same label. Consider the following example:
This example also demonstrates how to use Gmail’s star system to highlight important emails. If you want to use your inbox to coordinate the order in which you deal with such messages or programmes, this is a good idea.
In the next Gmail hack, we’ll go over that in more detail…
4. Use auto-sorting to ensure that priority messages appear first in your inbox.
You can better coordinate and concentrate on the things that need your attention by using marks, colours, and stars. You may also instruct Google to sort your inbox in a specific manner.
You won’t have to sift through pages of messages to find the labelled messages you need to focus on if your inbox is large and unwieldy.
Instead, go to Settings > Inbox and choose the Inbox form you prefer:
You will sort your inbox using the following criteria:
- Importance (enable the “Importance markers” section below)
- Read status.
Choose the alternative that best fits your preferred method of indicating which things are accessible and need to be addressed.
The star system, for example, is a simple way to get organised if all you have to do is mark messages as “priority” or “non-priority.” This is how it will appear:
Gmail has now divided your inbox for you, with starred things at the top and everything else at the bottom.
5. Use a single account to manage all of your email.
Do you have any Gmail accounts that you’d like to track during the day? Gmail allows you to import as many emails as you like — and from a variety of sources:
In the example above, you can see that the account has a Gmail address as well as a branded domain address.
Not only will you be able to handle messages from both accounts in one location, but you’ll also be able to:
You won’t have to think about a customer texting you at your personal email address or a personal friend sending something to your company inbox if you remember to choose the right identity when you email someone as long as you remember to choose the right identity when you email them.
6. Use filters to sort your inbox without having to use your hands.
In Gmail, filters are a valuable tool. And there are two compelling reasons to do so:
1.To reduce the amount of time spent dragging and dropping messages across Gmail.
2. To keep your inbox clear and distraction-free until you have set aside time during the day to deal with unread messages in your files.
Go to Settings > Filters and Blocked Addresses to instal a new filter.
When you press the “Create a new account” button, you will be taken to a page where you can create a new account
This pop-up will appear when you press “Create a new filter”:
With filtering, you can get as specific as you want, but it’s probably better to focus on one area at a time.
Let’s say you want all messages from firstname.lastname@example.org to go into your Meeting Notes project folder automatically. You just need to enter his email address in the “From” area.
Then you’d add the filter settings on the next page:
- Ignore the Inbox
- apply label
Don’t forget to check the box that says “Also add filter to matching messages” if you’re using a new filter to clean up your inbox. You’ll save time by not having to manually pass them all.
You’ll save time by not having to manually pass them all.
The same filter settings will appear in the pop-up window. It will, however, be pre-populated with the sender’s email address, saving you time from having to look for or type it in.
7. Use snippets to preview your messages.
Gmail gives you the option to display or hide message excerpts under General > Settings:
Although Gmail compares snippets to the previews you see for web pages in Google search, they’re not the same thing.
This is how email fragments appear:
You can not see much of the snippet depending on the duration of the subject line. Would it still assist you in deciding whether to open the message now or later? That is entirely up to you to say.
Without snippets, your inbox will look like this:
This choice is probably better for you if you find the additional snippet text excessive or even daunting.
8. Use a personalised signature to make a lasting impression.
Your email account is more than just a means of communication. You can also do some ads with your emails.
You can design a custom signature for each of the email addresses you control from this account under Settings > General:
Don’t squander this opportunity; make sure your logo matches the professionalism of the rest of your company’s branding.
Put a mark on it (when it makes sense to). On social media, promote an upcoming event, material, or a place to interact. Alternatively, simply have a way for them to contact you or arrange a call with you.
9. Integrate Gmail with other apps to get more done.
Gmail is compatible with a wide range of applications. These apps can be installed with only a few clicks from the Settings > Add-ons tab:
You’ll find a plethora of add-on options under “Get add-ons.” Asana, a project management method common among designers, allows you to build tasks directly from email:
Video conferencing software, such as Zoom, allows you to start, schedule, and display meetings:
Copper, a zoom gmail add-on CRM app, allows you to build new contacts from open messages instantly (more on how it works below):
Installing email monitoring, connecting to Dropbox, syncing with Slack, signing documents, creating email marketing templates, and more are all possible with add-ons.
10. Integrate your CRM with your Gmail account.
If you frequently work out of your inbox, some CRMs, such as Copper, have powerful Gmail integrations that can significantly boost your productivity.
One of the cool features is that it syncs your Gmail with the CRM (automatically, if you sign up for Copper with a Gmail account).
Simply go to Copper’s Settings and click “Google Sync Settings” to learn more about how Copper works with your G Suite software. As you can see in the screenshots below, Copper tasks can be synced to your Google Calendar, and you can also generate custom Google Slides presentations using data from Copper’s communication and opportunity records!
Here’s how contact-adding (as previously mentioned) works: When you open a message in Gmail and toggle the Copper add-on (the “C” logo on the sidebar), you’ll see a list of the people in the email exchange.
When a new contact is added, you’ll see a plus sign next to their name, as well as a mark that says “New Contact”:
Copper then gives you the option of adding them to your CRM address book as a lead or just as a contact:
This can also be done without logging into Copper. The Gmail integration gathers all relevant information and transfers it to Copper.
Furthermore, the Copper add-on scans your email and imports copies of any correspondence you’ve had with the contact into the CRM. That way, you’ll have a complete record of your contact history.
11. From a contact’s page in your CRM, send Gmail emails
Another feature of Copper is that it allows users to send emails to their contacts (leads, coworkers, vendors, and so on) directly from the CRM:
You may also send bulk emails to groups of people from inside the application.
Simply go to your People or Leads folder, select all of the people you want to contact, and then select “Compose Bulk Email”:
This will bring up a pop-up window where you can compose a message for all recipients at once. We’re sending to two people in this situation, the first of whom is Arya:
If you want to make changes to the message for each recipient, simply scroll through the messages and make the changes there.
12. Use Gmail to access your CRM.
Installing Copper’s Gmail browser extension is another useful trick if you use Gmail and Copper.
This Chrome extension attaches Copper’s panel to your inbox in the following way:
You don’t have to quit Gmail to get details about the leads you’re contacting any longer. It’s the equivalent of putting a whole CRM in your Gmail inbox.
13. To write and style emails easily, use keyboard shortcuts.
Keyboard shortcuts are useful not only for creating content in Google Drive, but also for writing messages in Gmail.
This screen appears when you type “?” in Gmail, reminding you of available keyboard shortcuts:
From the Sender/Recipient fields to how you style the text of your messages, you have a lot of influence over every aspect of your communications.
14. To work even quicker, use right-click.
The more emails and files you have in Gmail, the longer it takes to do stuff like transfer a file from the inbox to a folder on the sidebar that’s hidden deep.
By using the right-click button, you can avoid all of that searching:
Right-clicking is useful for more than just transferring and tagging files. Messages can be replied to and forwarded immediately, snoozed before you’re ready to deal with them, or opened in the window.
15. Make Gmail understand you.
If you’d like to use a different language than the one Gmail has assigned you, go to Settings > General: Language.
Simply choose the latest language in which you would like Gmail to show your messages.
However, keep in mind that this will affect the language settings in all of your Google products. If you just need to translate a message once, look for an add-on that will do it for you.
16. Instead of looking up words in the dictionary, use spell-check.
It makes no difference how rushed you are to get a message out, even if it’s just internally. Your emails are the digital equivalent of your voice and face.
You wouldn’t go to work with unkempt hair or mismatched socks, would you? An email that is fraught with spelling and grammatical errors makes the same poor impression.
Locate the “More options” (also known as the three dots) icon next to the trash to use spell-check on a message:
When you’re finished writing your letter, go ahead and press “Check spelling.” It’ll go over your message and point out something that’s unclear or incorrect:
To fix your mistakes and clean up your post, click on the highlighted areas. Then you can press the “Send” button with confidence.
17. Use Gmail’s “Smart” features to place words in your mouth.
Gmail has long been a player in the email game. As you would expect, it’s seen a lot of messages and responses to be able to anticipate what people will say in different circumstances.
Configure Smart Compose: from the Settings > General tab.
With this feature turned on, Google will recommend how the rest of your sentence should be written. Consider the following scenario:
If you want to make the update, press the “Tab” key, and Google will finish the sentence for you. Only keep typing if you don’t want to commit.
You can also configure another autocomplete method from the General Settings tab:
Configuring autocomplete settings in Gmail Smart Reply makes responding to messages in Gmail much easier.
When you get a new post, you have the option of pressing the “Reply” button or typing your own answer. Alternatively, if all that’s required is a quick response, choose from one of the following options.
You’ll save time by not having to open and reply to an email that should only take a second or two to read.
18. Ungroup your emails and clean up your inbox.
Gmail’s Conversation View, like snippets, is an environment that might function for certain users but not for others.
This option can be found in the Settings > General tab.
When it’s turned on, it creates a chain of responses.
Only the first message is shown. After that, all answers are tucked under it. This results in a more organised and manageable inbox.
However, as a tradeoff, you must be attentive in reading all of the messages in the chain to ensure that you do not miss anything:
This could be troublesome if you have long back-and-forths with customers or teams, as it could cause you to miss a crucial part of the conversation.
It’s up to you, once again, to figure out how to stay organised.
19. Have you changed your mind? Undo is turned on.
Have you ever pressed the “Send” button and immediately regretted it? Perhaps you failed to connect a file or omitted an important instruction. Whatever happened, you’ll have to rush to send out a corrected email and an apology.
That’s why the Undo function is so useful.
You can tell Gmail how long of a grace period to send you to hit the “Undo” button on a message by going to Settings > General:
When you send a message in Gmail after this is set up, you’ll see the following in the bottom-left corner:
Undo can also be used in Gmail for other things:
So, if you accidentally pass or mark a message and then decide to undo it, you can do so by clicking the Undo button below.
20. Drag and drop files from your hard drive.
Although you have quick-sharing options in both Drive and Google Docs, you might not have considered sharing the document or capturing the connection while you were there.
Rather than going back to retrieve the link, use this button in your message toolbar to add the file to your inbox.
Watch the file drop into your message like this after you locate it in your files.
21. Confidential Mode protects classified information.
Perhaps you’re sending login credentials to a new employee or sending confidential financial information to your accountant. Confidential Mode will be useful for preserving the content of your post, whatever it is.
Confidential Mode can be accessed from the message toolbar:
The following protection and expiration options will appear:
Anyone who receives one of these messages would not be able to copy, print, or download it by default.
You may also introduce additional layers of security by using the expiration date and passcode.
22. Use Mute to exit a conversation where you aren’t needed.
BCC is a convenient way to keep others informed of what’s going on without dragging them into the discussion.
But suppose you’re in charge of a team and only want to know when a deliverable is sent to the customer. However, instead of BCC, the sender places you in the CC sector. If there are any follow-up emails from that initial email, you can find yourself on a chain that only serves to clog your inbox.
You don’t need to ask the sender to delete you from the CC area in the next answer if this happens. Simply pick “Mute” from your message options:
This will not delete you from the email chain, but it will shield all subsequent emails from your view.
Simply go to the Archive folder, where the copies are stored, to see them again.
23. Use Gmail messages to create projects.
Do you make use of Google Tasks? If that’s the case, Gmail has a handy shortcut for you. When you have a message that you want to convert open on your computer. When you have a message open that you want to transform into a task or reminder, pick “Add to Tasks” from the menu above:
The Tasks sidebar will appear on the right side of the screen, and a task will be generated automatically based on what Google discovers in your post.
Since the message listed deliverables in this case, it copied the relevant text into the mission. For future reference, it also added the corresponding email to the mission.
24. Generate events from messages with ease.
To build related events, use a similar shortcut from open messages:
However, when you choose “Create case,” the toolbar does not appear. Instead, a new Google Calendar event will open in a separate tab.
Calendar will auto-populate information from your message into the case, similar to how tasks are created from messages:
You have the option of customising the specifics or letting Google manage it for you.
What’s more, the original email is pasted into the notes sector, so you won’t have to go back and forth between your calendar reminder and the original email. All is right in front of you.
25. Use search filters to quickly locate missing emails.
No matter how well you organise your inbox, there will be occasions when you need assistance locating a post. Maybe you filed it in the wrong folder by mistake, or maybe you recall the gist of the message but not the subject line.
That’s when Gmail search comes in handy.
Search is a valuable Gmail function on its own. Advanced search filters, on the other hand, will help you narrow down the results:
For example, you know you’ve discussed the conference you’ll both be attending in the fall with your boss. You know she sent you a list of hotels to book, but you can’t recall the email contained the details.
You remember she sent you a list of hotels to book, but you can’t recall which email contained those information.
You could use the filters above to put her email address in the “From” field and words like “book” or “hotels” in the “Has the words” field.
You can simply skip the screen above as you become more familiar with how the filters in advanced search work:
You’d type “in:trash” to browse through your Trash folder. The keyword you’re looking for is “reservation.”
You can also use all of your folders to check for someone’s email address, name, and other information. Only make sure your request has the following structure.
26. Allow your browser tab to notify you that you have unread messages.
Some of you can’t afford to miss a new message or wait too long to reply. As an example, whether you keep track of help or customer service requests. Alternatively, whether you’re in charge of client partnerships or project workflows.
Enabling the unread message count in your browser tab is one way to remain on top of your inbox. This can be found under Settings > Advanced:
When this option is activated, the total number of unread messages in your inbox will be shown in your inbox.
Keep in mind that if you use filters to transfer emails out of your inbox automatically, this number will not represent it. This is just a tally of the things in your Inbox.
27. Get a desktop notification if anything urgent comes up.
The screen notification for Gmail is another form of notification you might want to use.
When you first sign up for a Gmail account, you’ll be prompted to trigger desktop notifications with this pop-up:
Even if you say “No thanks,” you can still enable it later by going to Settings > General:
This is the best way to do it because it gives you complete control of what appears on your screen when you’re working.
If you know your inbox is still full of letters, turning on “New mail alerts” might not be a good idea. Set only relevant alerts to come in, so you only get notifications that need to be addressed right away.
28. Allow Gmail to remind you to follow up.
When you receive dozens or even hundreds of messages every day, managing your inbox can be difficult. You should tell Google to nudge you rather than hoping you don’t forget something.
To switch on Nudges, go to Settings > General:
Your customers, suppliers, coworkers, managers, and others can be forgetful, even though you aren’t.
Gmail will remind you to respond to important emails you haven’t yet sent, as well as to follow up with email recipients who haven’t replied.
29. Create email templates to save time.
The Canned Responses tool can come in handy if you send the same types of messages over and over again, such as quotation requests, appointment reminders, and welcome emails.
Go to Settings > Advanced: to enable this function.
In new texts, you’ll notice a new choice for “Canned Responses”:
You can do the following from here:
- As a new prototype, save the latest draft you’ve written.
- Fill in the blanks in a message with a pre-written answer.
- Remove a template that you no longer require..
Only make sure each of the canned answers is clearly labelled so they’re easy to find
30. Make delegating simpler by granting access to your email to your assistant.
Isn’t it true that you have to take a break or a sick day at some point? Gmail makes it easy to hand over ownership of your inbox to an assistant or coworker at that period.
Accounts and Import can be found under Settings > Accounts and Import.
This helps someone else to run your email address instead of you.
You may also create a rule that determines whether a message is read or unread. If you’re offering a coworker access when you’re out sick, for example, you may want to leave conversations unread so you can refer back to what was done when you return.
Maybe you’ve hired a virtual assistant and want them to handle your inbox completely. It would be inconvenient to leave something unread all of the time. Simply put, trust them to do what they need to do and mark them read.
31. Check and send emails, even if you’re not connected to the internet.
Email is one of the most important business tools, particularly if you don’t call or text customers and coworkers frequently.
While the Gmail app allows you to work offline, you can need it if you’re working remotely from your computer:
You can do so by going to Settings > Offline and clicking “Enable offline mail.”
32. Use Boomerang to put a stop to the inbox chaos.
In the corporate world, email is a fascinating concept. You want to receive emails because they make it easier to send and receive information… You, on the other hand, do not want to be distracted by them.
To prevent email from distracting you during the day, you can use filters and other organisational techniques. However, you might discover that you need more to prevent your gaze from drifting to Gmail.
Boomerang for Gmail is a browser extension and mobile app that allows you to “Pause inbox” and turn your inbox off for a fixed period of time:
Boomerang isn’t limited to just that.
When you build a new message in Gmail, you’ll see a new toolbar of options:
You can do the following with this toolbar:
- Examine the content of your message and how easily it can be understood.
- Request a read receipt and keep track of the number of clicks.
- Make a time for your message to be delivered.
- If you don’t get a response, transfer the message back into your inbox at a specific time.
With these Gmail hacks, you can take control of your inbox (and your workday).
Who’d have guessed that Gmail will make so many of your tasks easier
Not only that, but you will gain access to a plethora of new functionality that you might not have previously considered possible with your email platform.
If you’ve ever been concerned about how much time you spend on email each day or how much of a distraction it is, these Gmail hacks can help you change your mind. Now go take control of your inbox!