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10 Gmail tips to increase your email productivity

10 Gmail tips to increase your email productivity

Gmail has become a part of our work wardrobe. Whether you want to communicate or collaborate, you have to use email. Remote work has only accelerated this trend.

But, despite Gmail being our basic work need, not many know how to use it. It’s why employees waste 2.5 hours daily reading and replying to emails. Not anymore.

In this post, you’ll learn how to use Gmail effectively to save time, increase productivity, and enjoy work-life balance.

10 Gmail tips to 10X your email productivity:

Tip 1: Undo send

We have all been there. You send an email with incorrect spellings. Or clicked on “reply all” on a message when you meant to send it to only one person.

Luckily, Google allows you to undo a message up to 30 seconds after you hit send.

Here’s how to do it:

Click on Settings > See all settings > General Tab > Enable undo send for up to 30 seconds.

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Click on “undo send” on any email to recall a message for up to 30 seconds.

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Tip 2: Send self-destructing emails

Some emails are confidential. You’d like it to expire after 1 day. Or don’t allow the recipient to forward, copy, print, or download the email.

Gmail’s confidential mode just lets you do that.

Start with composing your email > Click on the toggle confidential mode > Set expiration dates, passcodes, and more.

Tip 3: Pause your inbox

It’s tempting to check email notifications every few hours. But, it distracts us from our current work and declines our work productivity.  

The solution? Pause your inbox.

Mailman is a Gmail plugin that pauses all emails during a preset time. Plus, you can set filters to receive emails at hourly intervals, or at specific times.

But, there will be certain VIP emails you would want to receive immediately. Mailman lets you set filters of VIP senders, domains, or keywords to ensure you see the important emails immediately.

Benefits of using Mailman:

- Block times for deep work.
- Remove frequent distractions to finish your tasks.
- Studies show checking email only a few times during a day reduces stress and boosts productivity.

Tip 4: Set email templates

There are some responses you’ve to type again and again. For example, when you're responding to positive customer feedback. It’s the same “Thank You! We appreciate your positive feedback. Let us know how we can serve you better.” every time. Why not set a template? It will make responding faster, easier, and less tiring.

Here’s how to do it:

Click on Settings > See all settings > Advanced > Enable templates.

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You’ve now activated the templates feature. Now, here’s how to create a template.

Open your email > Click on compose > Type your template message > Click on the three-dot icon > Templates > Save Draft as template > Save as new template > Type the name.

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You’ve now created a template. Here’s how to insert a template.

Click on the reply button > Click on the three dots icon > Templates >  Under insert template, choose a saved template to insert in your email > Hit send.

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Don’t limit this tip to sending responses. You can even compose a fresh message and use the template.  Follow the same procedure as above.

Tip 5: Schedule emails in advance

Many times we remember to send an email 3 hours later. But, then we get stuck in other tasks and miss sending the email. Gmail has solved this.

It lets you schedule an email hours/days/months/years in advance.

Here’s how:

Compose your email > Click on the dropdown beside the send button > Click on schedule send > Pick the date and time.

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Tip 6: Create labels

Labels organize your emails. You can put all your work-related emails under the label ‘work.’ Or sort the emails that you want to follow up on under ‘follow-up.’ You can even nest labels that act as a subfolder under one label.

Here’s how to do it:

There are four methods to create labels.

Method 1: Click on settings > See all settings > Go to labels tab > Scroll below to click on “Create new label.”

Method 2: Scroll below under the compose button > Click on more > Click on ‘Create new label.’

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Method 3: This method allows you to create labels through an email.

Open your email > At the top of the inbox, click on the labels icon

> Click on ‘Create new,’ or add to the existing saved labels.

> create the label

Method 4: You can also create labels when composing your email.

Click on compose > Type your email > Click on the three dots icon > Click on labels > Click on create new or add to the existing saved labels.

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Nest labels

These are subfolders under specific labels.

Example: The sub-folders “dental,” and “healthcare” are under the “HR” label.

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How to create nest labels:

When you create a new label, check the ‘nest label under’ option, and select the label you want the subfolder to be part of.

Automate the labeling process

You don’t have to manually label each email. Automate the process. For example, you can ask Gmail to send all of your colleague's emails under one label, and your boss’ emails under another label. Here’s how:

Open an email > Click on the three dots > Click on ‘Filter messages like this.’

Mention the email address in the ‘from’ field. Then, click on ‘Create filter.’

Click on ‘Apply the label’ to pick your desired label and click on ‘Also apply filter to matching conversations.’ Then, select ‘Create filter.’

How to delete labels?

Click settings > See all settings > Go to the labels tab > Scroll down to find your labels > Click on remove next to the label you want to delete

Click on ‘Delete.’

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Pro Tip: You can even edit your labels. Click on ‘edit’ beside the remove button to do so. 

Tip 7: Decide which emails should show up first

Priority inbox separates the important emails from the rest of your emails, so you can focus on them first. Here’s how to do it:

Click on settings > Under ‘Inbox type,’ click on ‘Default,’ then choose the option:

Important first or Unread first or Starred first.

Tip 8: Add tasks to your emails

Amidst your work chaos, you can miss replying to an email, following up 2 hours later, or setting a reminder for something. Gmail lets you avoid this.

Tie tasks to your emails.

Select the email you want to set a reminder for > Click on Add to tasks > Click on Get started > Add task details > Select the time and date for the reminder > Click on OK.

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Gmail will send you the reminder for the task when the time is due.

Tip 9: Give someone else the access to your email account without sharing the password

Gmail’s delegate feature allows you to share your email account without revealing your password. This is helpful when you want to share the workload (like customer service). Or when you want to delegate your work while you’re on vacation.  

It’s a great feature for someone who keeps the same password across their devices, but has to share the Gmail account. You can add up to 10 delegates. They can read, send, and delete messages in your Gmail account. But, they can't change any of your Gmail settings, plus they won’t be able to chat on your behalf.

Amazing, right?

Here’s how to delegate your Gmail account:

Click on settings > See all settings > Accounts and import > Under “Grant access to your account,” click on “Add another account.”

The other person will receive the acceptance link. They have to accept the offer within 7 days. You will see the name under “Accounts and import” when the person accepts the offer.

You can also remove the person when you no longer want to share your Gmail account. Here’s how:

Click on settings > See all settings > Accounts and import > Under “Grant access to your account.” click on Delete next to the email you want to delete.

Tip 10: Use keyboard shortcuts

Gmail keyboard shortcuts are a time savior. It helps to complete the actions faster and boosts productivity. There are hundreds of shortcuts you can use. For example, use ‘shift + i’ to mark as read. Or use ‘CTRL + .’ to advance to the next chat or compose.

But, first, you need to turn on keyboard shortcuts. Here’s how to do it.

Click on setting> See all settings > Scroll down to the “keyboard shortcuts” section > Select keyboard shortcuts on > At the bottom of the page, click save changes.

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Pro Tip: a) Here’s a list of Gmail keyboard shortcuts you can use.
b) Type ‘shift + ?’ on the Gmail window to get a complete list of shortcuts without having to change the tab.


c) You can even change the default Gmail keyboard shortcuts. Here’s how:

Step 1: Click on Settings > See all settings > Advanced > Next to “Custom keyboard shortcuts,” click Enable > Scroll below and click on “save changes.”

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Step 2: Click on Settings > See all settings > At the top, besides themes, click on keyboard shortcuts > Next to the action, type the keyboard key to make a new shortcut > At the bottom, click on “save changes.”

Become a Gmail power user

Gmail consumes a major part of your work routine. It can become overwhelming to use it while navigating through your day. Not anymore.

Get started with these 10 Gmail tips to 10X your email productivity.