Even if you work with Gmail mail every day, chances are you do not know all of its capabilities. Here are 25 tips to effectively use Gmail that will make it easy to complete many tasks and save you time.
Where to start
Change the background
Instead of seeing the usual white background of Gmail, relive your mailbox with something bright. Simply select the Themes section in the configuration in the upper right corner to set a new background from the options or upload your own image.
In addition, you can experiment with the interface configuration. In “Spacious” mode, you will have plenty of free space, and “Compact” is good when you need to place as many messages as possible on the screen.
Add friends (and messages)
To add your contacts and old messages to the system (it does not matter if you are using Gmail for the first time or if you are creating an additional account), go to “Settings” → “Accounts and import” and select the link “Import mail and contacts” To that you can add your data from other mailboxes.
Make Gmail look like Outlook
In the section “Configuration” → “Laboratory”, activate the “Display area” function to see the full text of the messages on the right, as in Outlook. The habit is second nature, so if you’ve worked with corporate mail all your life and are now trying to adapt to Gmail, the Display Area feature will ease your transition.
After turning on, you will see different display options in the drop-down menu to the left of the configuration.
Focus on the most important.
Gmail can determine which messages are most important to you. Diligent, yes? In the “Settings” → “Inbox” section, select “Follow my actions in the mail …” for Gmail to analyze your messages.
You can also select the “Enable bookmarks” or “Ignore filters” function (more details about the filters are described below) and change the type of folder so that important messages are displayed at the top. Then, in the “Settings” → “General” menu in the “Desktop Notifications” section (if you are using Chrome, Firefox, or Safari browsers) you can select the “Enable important email notifications” function.
Get rid of conversations
There are two types of people: those who like the function of Chain of letters and those who hate it with the power of a thousand suns. If it belongs to the second group, go to “Settings” → “General” and deactivate “Chains of letters”.
Gmail makes it possible to archive messages instead of deleting them. This is done so that you do not have to worry about the availability of free space and constantly clean your box. If you want to archive a message, open it, and click on the second icon on the left (box with the arrow pointing down). The message will be waiting for you in the “All mail” tab in the left sidebar.
Look at your file
No matter the amount of space for free storage of Gmail files, 2016 is the year 2016 and people are sending more and more attachments. If you have reached your limit on the amount of memory, it is time to get rid of some messages. Click on the arrow in the search box, check “There are attachments”, select a size of 10 MB and click on the button with a magnifying glass. This way you will see all the messages that weigh more than 10 MB. Mark the letters you no longer need and send them to the basket.
Answer and file
Why leave a letter in your inbox if you have already answered it? Use the “Send and archive” function to avoid overloading incoming messages while waiting for a response to your email. Go to “Settings” → “General” and select “Show button” Send and archive “in the answer”. Now you can respond in the usual way, by accumulating messages in your inbox, if you wish, or immediately archive additional emails when you respond.
Use labels and filters.
You can add a label to each message. The new shortcuts will appear in the left sidebar. Simply open the letter and click on the “Labels” icon, which is in second place on the right. Now create a new shortcut or select an existing one (by the way, you can drag the shortcut from the sidebar directly to your message).
Click on the “More” button and select “Filter similar letters”, and then – “Create a filter according to this request”. About Gmail filters, you can write an article separately, so for more information, see the section “Filter settings”.
Buy additional storage space
If you are really tired of wasting your time with the problem of storing files, you may spend additional space. Scroll down on the message page and in the lower left corner you will see how much space you have left, as well as the “Manage” link.
If you have occupied almost 100% of the available space, click on the link. A 100 GB plan costs 139 rubles a month, and you can use additional space not only for Gmail, but also in Google Drive and Google Photos, if you use them.
Get to work seriously
Change the display mode of letters on the page.
Try increasing the number of messages on the page to 100: so, you can have a look at the full range of your letters. Go to “Settings” → “General” → “Maximum page size”. You can also choose to display 10, 15, 20, 25 and 50 messages per page.
Organize everything by color.
You can mark a message as important very quickly, but different messages can have different degrees of importance. Go to “Settings” → “General” → “Stars” and select “All Stars”. Now, if you click on the asterisk and mark the letter, it will change color with each click. So, you can sort the important messages by their content.
Convert messages to to-do lists
Most likely, you already consider your inbox as a large to-do list. So, why not turn your letters into tasks that can be crossed out? Click on the “More” button in the active conversation and select “Add to tasks”. This thread will now appear in Google Tasks along with a link to the original post.
Keep track of the number of unread messages
In the section “Configuration” → “Laboratory”, activate the “Unread message icon” function. If you, like any normal person, have an email tab open all day, you will always see how many unread messages remain. This is in case you do not have enough stress.
If you use the Google Chrome browser, you have the opportunity to work in the mail in offline mode. Of course, you cannot send and receive new messages, but you can move letters from one folder to another and create drafts. To enable this function, go to “Settings” → “Offline”.
Give the secretary access to your account.
If you still cannot manage the letters, you can pass all this horror to your secretary. To do so, go to “Settings” → “Accounts and import”, select “Grant access to your account” and add other Google users. They will not have the right to change their settings and password, but they will be able to read, archive messages and, of course, respond to them. The letter will be signed with your name and the name of your secretary in parentheses to avoid confusion.
Control the human factor.
Some do not understand the advice at all. Fortunately, you can block anyone (or site) with just a couple of clicks. When you receive a message from someone who would like to be blacklisted, click on the arrow in the upper right corner and select the “Block user” function.
Now all messages from this address will be immediately spam.
Find old letters
Do you want to quickly find all the messages of a friend? Simply place your cursor over the name of the sender, even from the inbox, even from a specific letter, and a contact card will appear. Then click on the link “Correspondence” to see all the messages of this contact.
Cancel messages sent incorrectly
All of us once accidentally sent letters to the wrong address. Fortunately, in Gmail, you can simply cancel the shipment. Go to “Settings” → “General” and activate the “Cancel send” function. Here you can also select the time interval for the cancellation of the shipment: from 5 to 30 seconds. The next time you send a message, you will see “Cancel” above.
Ignore group messages
You can easily exit the group’s message chain by clicking on the “More” button and selecting “Ignore”. Now you will lose all messages, except those in which you are the only recipient of the letter.
If you want to return to the group message, enter the query: it is silenced in the search box, so you will see all the strings ignored. Then select “Do not ignore” in the “More” menu. Unless, of course, you do not mind at all.
Create new accounts on the fly
Let’s say you want to filter messages very carefully or, for example, create an additional account for the services where your primary Gmail account is already used. In this case, you can create a virtual email address attached to the main address simply by adding “+ any word” as you type “+”. For example, “your address is +firstname.lastname@example.org” for online purchases.
All reply messages will be sent to your primary Gmail address.
Send messages in a dream
Make customers and colleagues think you’re a workaholic maniac by scheduling messages to send at night with the Boomerang extension available for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox browsers. With the free version you can send up to 10 messages per month.
In addition, this extension will convert your emails into reminders, without showing them in your inbox until you are ready to answer them. This is ideal for creating the appearance of an empty inbox folder on Friday night.
Automatically respond to repeated requests
If annoying customers flood you with similar requests, you do not have to type the same answer over and over again. Simply activate the function “Response templates” in “Configuration” → “Laboratory”. The next time you print the answer, save it as a template and do not hesitate to send the same requests.
Give the mouse a break
Almost all actions in Gmail can be done with the keyboard. The main shortcut keys work by default, but do not forget to go to “Settings” → “General” and enable the “Shortcut” function. Save the changes and then click on the question mark to see the possible shortcut keys.
Stop checking other mailboxes.
In the section “Settings” → “Accounts and import”, click on the link “Add your POP3 email account”, and Gmail will download your mail from other mailboxes. Then, configure the sending of messages: you can respond both from your Gmail address and from other email addresses.