7 Tips to Optimize your Gmail

We often might receive tens or even hundreds of emails each day. Without proper and easy-to-use tools or techniques to manage and automate certain tasks, we probably will sink in piles and piles of unread and uncategorized emails from everywhere.

Gmail provides a rich and flexible email and task management platform. It features a very useful set of tools that save time and boost productivity.

Inline Search

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You can write search queries directly inside the search field. The search queries could consist of different filters. 

  • in:location : limits the search for the email(s) to specifically be inside either the inbox, unread emails, sent emails, drafts, available labels, or categories, rather searching the whole piles of emails.
  • from:sender : limits the search to only display the emails that are received from a specific person or group of people.
  • to:receiver : limits the search to display only the emails that are sent to a specific person or a group of people.
  • has: attachment | stars-type : limits the search to only returns emails that either has an attachment, or a specific star type.

example:

from:john.smith@theco.com to:chris.philips@theco.com has:green-check budget 

the above search term will return only the emails that were sent by John Smith, and Chris Philips is one of the receivers, and it has the green-check mark and has the word budget.

For a full list of all Gmail search operators, check the Search operators you can use with Gmail from the Gmail Help Site.

Filtering

Filtering can automate various helpful tasks on emails. First, to filter emails you can either use the expanded search box filtering tools at the top of the email inbox, the inline search terms, or from within the opened email itself.

The expanded search box
Filtering from within the email

We need to click Create filter button to see the available filtering options

Filtering options from Gmail

Here we can select the filtering options that we want. All of them are self-explanatory. Don’t forget to tick the last option Also apply filter to the matching conversations to apply the selected actions to all matched emails in the inbox.

Labels

Labels offer a simple and quick way to organize emails from different senders, with different star-types, or filtered using other criteria to be organized under distinct sections. So by one click, you can access different sets of emails.

Canned Responses

You often find yourself sending some emails over and over again, with exactly identical content (or with very minor changes). This could be a quite tedious and time-consuming chore. Canned Responses streamline this chore by providing a fast way to create reusable email templates. Canned Responses can either be created from scratch or created based on an existing email.

First, you need to enable the Canned Responses, if you haven’t done that previously. From the Cog icon in your Gmail, select Settings, then Advanced tab, then enable Canned Responses (Templates).

Now, if yow want to create a template email from scratch, just compose a new email, write whatever you want to include in the email, don’t forget to add placeholders if necessary. Placeholders could simply be a general text, like; FIRSTNAME, LASTNAME, TITLE, [ ], ______, or anything similar. After finish composing the template email, select More options from the compose box, then select Canned Responses, then Save draft as a template, Save as a new template.

To use an existing email as a template, simply open an existing one and save it as a template.

To use a canned response, simply open an empty email, from More options in the new email box select Canned Responses, then the name of the saved template under the label INERT TEMPLATE.

Auto Forwarding

Auto Forwarding could be applied to emails that match certain criteria. This could come handy in some situations, for instance; you’re in your vacation and you want for specific emails to be redirected to your alternative email or a colleague’s email so he or she can deal with it while you’re away, or you might have a general inquiries email for your company, so instead of checking that email’s inbox every now and then, you can set a rule in the inquires email to automatically forward all the emails it receives to your email’s inbox.

First, you need to specify a forward email address. From Cog icon, select Settings, then, Forwarding and POP/IMAP tab, Add a forwarding address. After confirming the forwarding address, create the forwarding rule.

To create a forwarding rule, create a filter for the emails that you wish to forward using the filtering in Search email field at the top of the inbox, then, in the filter options, select the required email address(s) included in the Forward it to option.

Side Panel

Side panel adds shortcuts for many apps and services that optimize and streamline your work with Gmail. By default, it already comes with shortcuts to the Calendar, Notes, and Tasks. You can add many other apps and services from the wide range of available productivity tools in the G Suite Marketplace.

Schedule Send

Schedule send allows you to set a specific time and date in the future for an email to be automatically sent. This is a very useful tool when it comes to proactive planning and automation. So you’ll eliminate any chance of forgetting or lack of accessibility.

To set a time and date for an email to be sent, instead on clicking on the Send button in your email, click the small arrow pointing-down, and select Schedule send and select the desired time and date.



You view/cancel all the scheduled emails under the Scheduled section in left side of the inbox.

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