How I Use Gmail: Tips & Tricks

Email is a double edge sword. Some people drown in it, others excel in it. While it has taken me years to get a grip on my daily email ritual, I have taken control of it. The emails lingering in my inbox function as working to-do lists of sorts. (My other to-do list is handled by RTM) If it’s in my inbox, I need to deal with it. More often that not, prior to me calling it a day, I have zero emails in my inbox! How to do obtain this? Read below for more details…

Gmail Filters – If an email comes from a person, company or mailing list that will be repetitive, I create a filter that will automatically label the email when I receive it. This allows for quick action once the email is read or dealt with. If it a one off email, and after the corrective action is taken, it is filed (“labeled”) appropriately. You will save yourself a ton of time by archiving, or even deleting, emails before you ever open them. Filters will help you automate your email!

Gmail Snooze –  This by far, is the single most used App Script I use throughout the day. This is what allows me to keep my inbox at “Inbox Zero” and more importantly, keeps my sanity. I basically have 7 Labels setup ( ‘Snooze 1 days’, ‘Snooze 2 days’, etc.. till ‘Snooze 7 days’). When an email comes in, I read it and make a quick determination; Delete it, Archive it or Reply to it. More importantly, if it’s something I can’t do right away or I am waiting on something related to the email, I snooze it for x amount of days. To “snooze” an email thread, use Gmail’s “Move To” button to move the thread into the “Snooze for X days” label and archive it. Every night at 12:01am, threads will move up through one day of the queue, and at the appointed number of days they will reappear in your inbox, unarchived and unread. At that point, I handle it. If not, I snooze it again, repeating the cycle, keeping my inbox clean.

Multiple Inboxes – Google Labs experiment which makes it possible to have more than one ‘inbox’ in your default Gmail view. One page glance at the emails that matter most.

gmail-multiple-inboxes

Gmail Auto Purge –  With auto-purge in Gmail, you can automatically remove unwanted email messages belonging to a particular label and that have crossed a certain age. Everything filters into my email; System Alerts, Web Alerts, Notifications, WordPress DB Backups, etc… Over time, information that comes in gets out dated and takes up space. Rather than manually purge specific items in a particular label or folder, Gmail Auto Purge Script performs this function for you automatically.

Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts – Being a command line guy, I try to not use the mouse when I don’t have to. Gmail keyboard shortcuts helps me speed through my emails and on to more important things throughout the day.

Gmail for iOS – Official Gmail app that I use on my iPhone and iPad Mini. I never use the mail app built into iOS.