Pretty much every one of us would be using Gmail, and I’m going to share some Gmail productivity tips that would help you achieve a saner mailbox.
Before we proceed, these are commonplace tips and a bunch of my friends are already using it — So you can just skim over this article for correctness and move on. This is for the people who don’t use Gmail’s features as efficiently as you do 🙂
Since this comes directly in correlation with the other features, I’d like to make this the first item of discussion. As you might be aware, Google ignores any dots in their Gmail.com emails (This however, doesn’t hold valid for the Google Apps email IDs).
It gets better from here. A little known feature of Gmail is that Google ignores any characters after a ‘+’. So [email protected], [email protected] etc. would still deliver emails to [email protected]
Now this is a great gift for people who pretty much live on the WWW, where they can give different set of email IDs to different websites and still get all their emails in one inbox.
Coming to the 2nd tip, there’s this feature called Labels which I’m sure most would be familiar with, that comes in handy for handling these sticky situations where you get too many emails to keep track of, and find it hard to avoid the spam and newsletters.
Use labels to categorize your emails, and then archive them, so that you can go back to them whenever you want, using the labels you had assigned to them earlier.
Now the filters feature from Gmail takes the icing amongst the other tips and it makes them 10x better.
This is one feature I love the most: Create a filter — It could be based on your sender, receiving email ID (I use the various +1, +2 emails I created, over here), subject line, or a combination of all this and much more.
Once you’ve created a filter, Gmail shows you the list of emails that match that filter — Here you can choose multitude of options, including archiving it, trashing it directly, marking it important/unimportant, marking it spam/not spam, labeling it, categorizing it, marking it read and so on.
I personally use a combination of all these — I label almost all the emails using filters, mark few as important, some as spam, delete some, and most importantly, I archive and use ‘mark as read’ for most emails that don’t require my immediate attention/don’t require my attention at all (Newsletters for instance).
Thus, effectively I’ve around 329 filters as of last count (which was 3 weeks ago), and around 160 labels. With these in place, I barely have 20 unread emails at any point of time, including some I’ve deliberately marked as unread for immediate attention and some recent emails.
With all these in place, I’ve exactly 1 email sitting on my Inbox at this moment, which is something I’ve left there as a reminder, and because seeing a zero inbox was depressing for me 😛
That’s it folks — These are 3 very, very simple, but powerful Gmail productivity tips that can make your inbox infinitely better !