Tips For Simple Gmail Usage
Even though the email was originally just mail for me, the constant improvement of Gmail allowed it to be used for more than just a dump for text and picture messages. For me, Gmail is now a cross between task scheduler and mail. For some advanced users, this post will not be anything new, but if right now you have 999+ letters in your inbox, then you can safely read on.
Get rid of unnecessary design
Gmail gives you a lot of freedom to choose the look of your mailbox. In addition to the theme, which we will not focus on now, you can customize the order in which letters are displayed and the appearance of the letter itself from the main page.
By choosing the “compact” view, you will be able to see more emails at a time without stumbling over every attachment displayed in the “default” mode.
In the settings of the “Inbox”, you can make it so that unread messages always appear at the top, and not get lost in the general stream. There you can also choose how many letters you want to see on the screen at a time ‒ for example, no more than 25 unread and no more than 50 reads.
The left block of the home page can also be customized. Hide folders that you don’t normally use from view by dragging and dropping them into the footer. For example, you may find that you only use Inbox, Sent, Drafts, and a few of your shortcuts. After that, everything else is superfluous information, which, if necessary, can be expanded by clicking “more”. You can hide chats too.
The new version of Gmail has a side model on the right, giving access to all notes in Google Keep, Calendar, and to-do list. But if you do not use this block, you can hide it in the lower right corner of the page.
Unsubscribe from mailings you don’t read
Unhelpful mailings are a major source of inbox chaos. Of course, sometimes it’s scary to unsubscribe from them, but you should gather your strength, set aside half an hour, and properly clean your mail. Consider this as an investment in the future, because every extra letter (not even open) eats up a valuable resource ‒ your time and attention. Also, in the latest version of Gmail, the ability to unsubscribe is built into the mail interface: for most mailings, the corresponding button is to the right of the sender’s address. If such a word is not there, you will find it at the end of the letter.
Establish a labeling system
Gmail has many ways to quickly process incoming messages by categorizing them. Labels and stars allow you to create a labeling system that’s right for you.
Labels can be used as storage folders or as colored labels to quickly navigate your inbox.
Think about what large categories you can break down the letters that are most important to you, and create the appropriate number of labels: the fewer the better. It is convenient to assign each one its color so that you can immediately distinguish them. For example, you can make a label “tickets” (for a movie, for a concert, for a plane, etc.).
If your inbox is divided into letters from colleagues and clients, or you just receive letters with a predictable domain or content, then it is convenient to mark them up automatically by creating an appropriate filter.
Here are examples of email categories from the editor:
• reader reviews
• ideas of readers
• proposals of partners ‒ for example, publishers, some educational projects or other media
• letters from colleagues
• mailings ‒ including important and necessary!
• personal letters
• letters from freelance authors and experts
From these categories, you can automate markup only for emails from colleagues, personal emails, and mailings. Below is an instruction on how to do this ‒ using the example of letters from colleagues.
How To Create A Filter
Gmail is convenient to use with drag and drop. To put a letter in a folder, drag it to the left block on the shortcut icon, and to just mark it, drag the shortcut to the letter!
Not all emails can be answered instantly ‒ there is a “leave unread” mark for such emails. In order not to forget that you have already opened this letter, you can use different marks to the left of the letter ‒ you can define their number in the settings. By default, this is stars, but you can change it by double-clicking. Here’s one possible use case for icons:
red ! ‒ for the most urgent emails
yellow ! ‒ for important, but not urgent
? ‒ for letters you need to think about
>> ‒ for correspondence, in which you need to wait for the answer of another participant
The latest version of Gmail has a “snooze” function, which is very convenient. If you understand that the letter is not urgent and you do not have the opportunity to answer it right now, postpone it until the moment when such an opportunity arises ‒ at the end of the day, tomorrow, next week, for a specific day, and hour. At the scheduled time, the email will reappear in your inbox with a reminder when you snooze it.
If you often have to answer the same questions, or send out similar instructions, get yourself email templates ‒ they are a great time saver.
You can enable templates in advanced settings.
After activation, templates are available in the form of sending a letter. Write the template just like a regular letter, then select “Create a prepared response …” and give the template a name. The next time you need this text, simply select it from the “insert” box.
Don’t check your mail often
Each reply to a letter gives the joy of a “small victory” and progress, which is why many people become addicted to checking their inbox. This dependency is fueled by browser extensions with unread mail count.
But there is nothing worse than being distracted by another notification of a new letter in the midst of a difficult job. Psychologists believe that by performing several tasks at the same time, people lose up to 40% of their productivity. It often happens that after being distracted by writing, it is very difficult to focus on business again.
If new letters interfere with your work, turn off notifications. Set aside a time during your workday to devote entirely to sorting emails. Let it be 2-3 intervals of 15-20 minutes. If you periodically receive letters that can be answered in a few days, you can put them in a separate folder ‒ and set aside half an hour a week when you sort it out.
Rarely do the letters wait with a response for a couple of hours. If you are still afraid of missing a particularly urgent letter, enable notifications for a short period, or customize them selectively ‒ for example, only for letters marked “important”.
The main thing is not to worry
Don’t blame yourself for messing up your mail. After all, a huge number of people, including professional and successful people, have a mess in the mailbox. It’s just that if you spend a little time setting up, working with mail will become easier and more enjoyable. And do not be discouraged if after a while you do not notice how the mess begins again in the box ‒ this is just a signal that you need to set everything up again. This is something like the general cleaning of the apartment ‒ from time to time, you have to repeat.