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For some of us writing, reading and sending emails is a daily chore. Wouldn’t it make life a lot easier if there was some way if we could speed up the whole process; giving us more time to enjoy a naughty cup of tea and a digestive biscuit in the staff room. Well if you’re clever enough to be using Gmail, there are actually plenty of nifty little tips and tricks you can utilise to make your day to day email-athon far simpler. Here are the top productivity hacks for Gmail.
Undoing a sent email
We’ve all had a problem with premature email-ulation at one point or another in our careers. Normally we send an email to our co-workers without containing the said attached file, or even clicking send just as your see you’ve misspelt your boss’s name completely wrong. However, all of this ‘send button fear’ can be a thing of the past; Gmail actually offers you an opportunity to undo it:
Click Gmail setting.
Click ‘labs’ tab.
Find ‘undo send’ and click enable
On doing this you will now be given the option to ‘undo’ emails for few seconds after you press the send button. This is truly a saving grace for many of us!
Keeping all your mail in one place
Since the email boom, many of us will have a few different accounts with different websites; which can be a pain when retrieving email. However, using Gmail it is possible to keep all your email in one place. Using the ‘mail fetcher’ you can add up to five different email accounts, enabling you to send and receive mail via POP3 without even logging out of your Gmail. Pretty handy, aye?
To really save on valuable office time, master the shortcut keys. This way you can navigate through your entire Gmail inbox without even having to click the mouse; simply using the keyboard. When it comes to meeting big email deadlines, utilising the Gmail keyboard shortcuts is vital. It’s well worth noting that not all of Gmail’s shortcuts are turned on by defaults, so it’s worth having a quick read through the documentation above to learn and enable the ones that will save you the most time.
If you really want to get advanced this this, you can find greasemonkey userscripts to further customise and extend your gmail experience. Remember though, the beauty of using a web interface for your email is that the functions are more or less the same no matter where you are – if you learn to rely on userscripts you may find yourself frustrated using someone else’s machine (and end up typing nonsense in your message).
Have you ever been part of an email thread which you couldn’t be less bothered about? It is incredibly irritating when your phone buzzes with notification after notification from a conversation which doesn’t even concern you. However, there is an easy remedy to this situation – did you know that emails could be ‘muted’? All you need to do is click ‘mute’ in the ‘more actions’ drop down menu and you will be forever left in silence from that particular conversation.
Gmail; the external hard drive
Turn your Gmail into an external hard drive using the Windows drive shell extension (or Gdisk on macs). Drag and drop files now in your windows explorer on and off of your Gmail, working like an email-orientated Dropbox.
With Gmail, you can stick digital labels to emails as they fly into your inbox. For example if you want all your work emails labelled in one group, go to settings and click filters and then create new filter. You can then enter the email addresses from all your work contacts, so that when an email comes into your inbox from one of them it will be labelled accordingly.
Prioritise your inbox
A piece of Gmail innovation is Priority Inbox; you can sort your inbox at a click of a button. By enabling this feature, Gmail detects what emails you interact with the most based upon a few different factors and presents them to you in a ranking of importance. This neat little video will explain a little more about it.
So there you have it – some productivity boosting tips to make you more efficient at handling your email, no matter whose machine you are using.