Gmail is by far my favorite free email service. Through the years, as I’ve begun working and connecting more with people, my email has been an integral part of my work. I’ve fine-tuned my Gmail experience and through trial and error have optimized and customized Gmail to suit my needs, and I have never been so productive. There are so many options for personalizing and altering Gmail, you can find a way to make it work best for you! I’ve listed some of my favorite Gmail tips and tricks below.
This has been a very helpful tool in sending emails to clients. Having a form letter is helpful and easier for the person who uses them, but the user can often see right through our tricks, I know a form letter when I see one most times. But there are certain emails I have to send every client. If I’m sending a home page design to a client, or our initial questionnaire where we learn more about their business and what they want out of their website, form letters are invaluable. If I didn’t use them, I would find myself always searching for past emails, and copying and pasting what I said to the last person, and the person before them. Gmail’s lab has this add-on, Canned Responses, helps me pull up my Canned Responses in an intuitive, user friendly way.
Click here to learn more about Canned Responses.
Key Rocket for Gmail:
This Chrome extension has whipped me into shape as far as learning shortcuts go. I’ve downloaded cheat sheets, but I never find myself using them naturally. With Key Rocket for Gmail, a small window pops up to the right of the window any time you do not use a shortcut that you could have. You keep pressing the Compose button, why not just click “C” instead? I have saved so much time by utilizing this extension, and forcing myself to learn shortcuts!
Click here to learn more about Key Rocket.
If I’m working elsewhere on my computer and I get an email, I get this subtle notification from Google Notifier! I try not to let email rule my life, to no avail of course, but if I’m expecting an email, I don’t have to be a slave to my inbox. By clicking on the icon in the top toolbar, you can even compose and email, or manually check your email!
Click here to learn more about Google Notifier
I am a very organized person, clutter is not my friend. Gmail is one of my favorite things, but it can get cluttered at times. Minimalist Gmail is an incredible Chrome Extension that allows you to pick and choose what widgets and whatnot is visible in your inbox! I have customized my Gmail in a way that I only see what I need to see, my inbox, most used labels, the new tab feature, and a few other bits of information. My inbox is minimalist, personalized, and no longer distracting.
Click here to learn more about Minimalist Gmail.
Increase the frequency of Gmail refreshing your inbox:
A couple of months ago, I was having issues getting emails in a timely fashion. Someone in the office would send an email, and if I didn’t know about it or wasn’t hitting refresh constantly, I wouldn’t get the email for over 30 minutes! Now there are a couple of ways to solve this problem, but Gmail POP3 Checker was the best solution for me. You have to donate at least a couple of dollars or something in order to get this feature, but it is so worth it. Now I have Gmail set to refresh every 3 minutes, and I get things done a lot faster!
Click here to learn more about Gmail POP3 Checker
The tools I overlooked for so long, Labels and Searching:
Can’t find that email about god knows what from so and so a couple of months ago, but you need to find it? Instead of sifting through months of emails, Gmail’s search tool is incredibly powerful. You can search a specific subject line or label, or search through all correspondence with a certain email address. Sometimes, if I forget everything else about the correspondence, but I know we talked about knitting, I will make knitting my search query, and I usually find what I need, as Gmail search also can look through the content of the email.
Click here to learn more about advanced Gmail searching methods.
Where would I be without labels?! I don’t want to know. The only things I want in my inbox are emails I haven’t read yet, emails where I need to take immediate action, and emails that contain information that I might need in the next couple of days. If my inbox becomes full enough where I have to scroll in order to see everything, I get antsy! I don’t want infinite scrolling to find an email become my life. Once a task is taken care of or a thread of communication is finalized, I label it immediately, getting it out of my inbox and into whichever label it applies to. I have labels for work, shopping, fitness, selling stuff on Amazon, my parents, and for volunteer and freelance work I do. Labels are the simplest way to organize your email, and they’ve had the most impact on how I work. Out of all of the features, bells and whistles available with Gmail, labels are my diehard favorite!
Click here to learn more about Gmail labels
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