On their own, the following Gmail hacks probably aren’t going to catapult you into peak productivity, but adopting a few and mastering them will create a noticeable difference that you can parlay into greater overall performance in your job.
Unsend an Email
Hit "reply all" on something you only meant to send to a friendly coworker? Send unflattering information about a client to that client? Well, you’re not alone. In a 2019 survey from Grammarly, 3 of 5 respondents admitted to being embarrassed by an email they’ve sent.
In addition to being embarrassing, rashly hitting the send button on an email you later regret can send you into clean-up mode, and that’s not good for your productivity — or your career. Thankfully, Gmail does have a limited unsend function that can help you avoid a catastrophic communication error. Keep in mind, though, you'll only have up to 30 seconds to realize your mistake.
To turn on Gmail’s unsend function, go to the settings page and under the "Undo Send" menu item, select your desired cancellation period.
Filter Your Emails
Taking advantage of automation is the fastest and easiest way to boost your productivity. In Gmail, an automated filtering function allows users to automatically perform certain actions on emails based on the criteria they select. For example, comment notification emails for Google Docs could be sent to a specific folder and removed from the inbox.
A filter can easily be created based on a selected email:
- Open the type of email you want to filter
- Click on the “More” drop-down menu
- Select “Filter messages like these”
- In the menu that opens, select and enter the filtering criteria, such as an email address or keyword
- Click “Create filter”
- Select one or more courses of action for Gmail to perform on filtered emails.
- Click “Create filter”
Another way to create a filter is to perform a search for the type of email you’d like to filter and select “Filter messages like these” from the “More” menu
Default “Reply All”
While accidentally hitting reply all to an email is a situation that seems to get a lot of attention, there's also the mistake of accidentally replying to a single person when you meant to reply to the entire group. Gmail helps users avoid the latter situation by allowing them to set "Reply All" as the default option. To engage this setting, go to the settings menu, and in the general tab select the" Reply All" option.
Get Desktop Notifications Only for Important Emails
Research has shown frequently checking your emails will make you more stressed than checking them only a few times throughout the workday. One Gmail hack to avoid this unnecessary stress is to set up desktop notifications for only your most important emails.
Start by setting up a filter that automatically marks emails from certain addresses as important. Then, turn on desktop notifications for important emails in the settings menu. Keep in mind, Gmail must be open in one of your browser tabs for desktop notifications to work.
Use Templates to Send Premade Responses
If you find yourself regularly sending the same messages over and over, you may want to start using the Templates function to save and use stock responses. To turn on this function:
- Go to the settings menu and enable "Templates" from the "Advanced" tab.
- Create a template by composing a stock response in an email.
- Click on the "More" option in the email menu.
- Click on templates.
- Click on "Save new template."
- Access or delete your saved templates through the "More" menu in any email.
Keep Your Inbox Tidy with Send and Archive
How many times have you wrapped up an email conversation and allowed a dead thread to linger in your inbox for weeks on end? The "Send & Archive" function is an easy Gmail hack to keep dead threads from occupying unnecessary space. To turn on the "Send & Archive" button in email replies, go to the settings menu and click to show the “Send & Archive” button in replies.
Mute Conversations That Don’t Involve You
Just like getting caught up in a group text message you have nothing to do with, getting stuck in an email conversation is distracting at best, and annoying at worst. Gmail allows you to mute email conversations by clicking on the "More" pulldown menu when looking at an email and then clicking "Mute."
Take Your Productivity to the Next Level with Teamstand
Gmail hacks can only take your productivity so far. If you really want to get ahead of the game, you should consider adopting Teamstand’s powerful file organizer for Gmail.
Teamstand is a Chrome extension that automates the organization of digital assets in Gmail to reduce the amount of time you spend searching for files. Our app presents organized lists of important files in a collapsible panel within Gmail, bringing critical assets to where you’re already working. Like the best apps, it’s intuitive and simple. Best of all, it’s free. Contact us today to get early access to Teamstand’s automated digital filing finding cabinet.
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