12 Tips for Effective Email Management For Gmail Users

Read time: 3 min

 

July 5, 2023

Summary:

With the constant flux of emails flooding our inboxes, effective email management has become a non-negotiable skill in the digital age. Gmail, as a leading email service provider, offers a plethora of tools to streamline this process. From achieving inbox zero to mastering Gmail search, this comprehensive guide explores twelve email management best practices every Gmail user should know.

Why is Email Management Important?

Managing emails is about more than just decluttering your inbox. Effective email organization improves productivity, enhances time management, and protects sensitive information. 

It lets you prioritize important tasks, ensuring that no critical email gets overlooked. Moreover, email security is paramount in protecting your personal and professional information from potential threats.

Email Strategies: Taking Control of Your Inbox

An unorganized email system can (and will) drain both your time and energy. To make sure that never happens, here are some email strategies to help you take control of your inbox.

1. Unsubscribe from Unnecessary Mail

The first step towards achieving inbox zero is unsubscribing from all unnecessary email subscriptions. Newsletters, promotional offers, and random subscriptions – these will clutter your inbox and bury important emails in a blink of an eye. 

Luckily, good people who made Gmail understand this and have made it easy to unsubscribe. One option is to scroll all the way to the bottom of the email and look for a highlighted “unsubscribe” button.

If you’re dealing with an extremely shady business that doesn’t provide the unsubscribe link, simply open the email, click on the three-dot menu next to the sender’s information, and select ‘Unsubscribe’ or ‘Change preferences’.

2. Use Filters and Labels

You’ve probably missed it so far, but Gmail Labels allow you to quickly categorize and locate your email marketing campaigns. Labels work like folders but with added flexibility. You can assign multiple labels to one email, or color-code your labels for visual organization.

And to spice it up, setting up email filtering can be an absolute game-changer. Instruct Gmail to automatically label, archive, delete, star, or forward your mail based on specific criteria. To set up a filter, click on the search bar, enter your filter criteria, and select ‘Create filter’.

3. Set Up Boomerang

With the free Boomerang plugin, you can write an email now and schedule it to be sent automatically at any time it fits you. It’s especially useful if your client lives on the other side of the globe and you don’t want them to receive emails while they sleep. 

You can also set reminders to follow up if you don’t hear back from them. It integrates directly with Gmail, reducing the hassle of jumping between different tools. 

To add Boomerang to Gmail, visit the Boomerang website, download the extension for your browser, and refresh your Gmail page.

4. Use High Priority Inbox

Gmail’s High Priority Inbox is a robust feature that uses machine learning to filter your inbox and showcases your most important emails first. 

To activate it, go to Settings > Inbox > Inbox type, then select ‘Priority Inbox.’ As you continually use Gmail, this feature will progressively learn and adapt to your email patterns, further enhancing its effectiveness.

5. Use Quick Responses

The ‘Smart Reply’ feature of Gmail uses machine learning to suggest three responses based on the email you’ve received. 

Simply select the one you want to use, hit ‘Send,’ and you’ve saved precious time. 

If you want to enable this feature, simply go to Settings > General > Smart Reply, and turn the ‘Smart Reply” on.

6. Use Canned Responses

Canned Responses allow you to create and save email templates that can be reused. This will save you a lot of time and eliminate repetitive typing from your life. 

Navigate to Settings > Advanced > Canned Responses (Templates), and select ‘Enable.’ 

Now, when composing an email, you’ll have the option to insert a saved template or save the current email as a new one.

7. Master Gmail Search

It would be weird if the world’s best search engine didn’t have an excellent search engine for its email service. Gmail search, with its range of operators, lets you filter out and find the emails you need in a matter of seconds.

Familiarizing yourself with the operators, such as ‘older_than:’, ‘has:attachment’, or ‘in:spam,’ will help you out in the long run and save you a lot of nerves. 

A full list of search operators can be found in Gmail’s Help Center.

8. Use Stars and Important Markers

Use stars to mark important emails for later reference. Simply right-click an email and select ‘Add star.’, and there you have it. 

You can customize the type and color of your stars via Settings > General > Stars. Similarly, Gmail’s ‘Important’ markers can be used to flag emails and help you find and prioritize them even faster.

9. Organize with Drag and Drop

You can control the placement of your emails by dragging and dropping them into different tabs. 

For example, if an important email lands in your ‘Promotions’ tab, you can drag it to ‘Primary’ to ensure future emails from the sender land directly in your primary inbox.

10. Archive Emails

Archiving emails helps you maintain a tidy inbox without losing any emails. 

Simply select the email you want to archive, and click the ‘Archive’ button (represented by a box with a downward arrow). 

Your email will be moved from the inbox to ‘All Mail’, and be easily accessible for future reference.

11. Enhance Email Security

Your Gmail account is your unofficial ID card. Losing it can mean opening the backdoor to your identity, bank account, and personal information. Securing it should be of utmost priority

Enable two-factor authentication from your Google account settings for an extra layer of protection. 

Always be wary of suspicious emails to prevent phishing attacks, and keep your recovery information up-to-date.

12. Automate with Gmail Scripts

Gmail Scripts allow the automation of a range of tasks that enhance your productivity. 

From auto-responding to managing bulk emails, scripts are powerful tools for advanced users. 

Visit Google’s Apps Script guide to explore how you can use scripts in your email management routine.

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Conclusion

With the right strategies and tools, managing your Gmail account can be a breeze. These email management best practices are designed to help you save time, enhance productivity, and maintain email security. 

Remember, effective email management is a continuous process. It requires regular upkeep and adjustment to your changing needs and habits. It’s important to maintain consistency, and it will become a habit.

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