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Toolkit Tuesday: 13 Gmail Tips and Tricks

  Being part of a virtual office means I constantly check my email. Over the years I’ve used multiple email services. Still, my personal and work accounts are both set-up through Gmail. Some of these tips may be familiar to you while others may surprise you — I’ve definitely learned a few new Gmail tips and tricks in compiling this list. Gmail: Tips and Tricks 1.) Rapportive Google Chrome’s extension Rapportive simplifies finding a potential contact’s email address. The extension provides links to social media accounts, photos and tweets connected to the address. If you need a quick refresher before sending

Google

 

GoogleBeing part of a virtual office means I constantly check my email. Over the years I’ve used multiple email services. Still, my personal and work accounts are both set-up through Gmail. Some of these tips may be familiar to you while others may surprise you — I’ve definitely learned a few new Gmail tips and tricks in compiling this list.

Gmail: Tips and Tricks

1.) Rapportive

Google Chrome’s extension Rapportive simplifies finding a potential contact’s email address. The extension provides links to social media accounts, photos and tweets connected to the address. If you need a quick refresher before sending a message, or want to take an educated guess at someone’s email address, this is a great addition to your account.

2.) Keyboard shortcuts

A widely known but helpful tip: turn on your keyboard shortcuts in Gmail’s settings! Even before turning on shortcuts, some are still available. The two I use most often:

  • “Ctrl” + “Enter”: Sends your message
  • “N” “P” and “Enter”: “N” and “P” will respectively take you to the next and previous messages in a thread. To open a thread, you press “Enter”

3.)  Archiving

I don’t delete any of my messages. Instead, I archive everything! This way I can remove clutter from my inbox and search for my messages when I need them.

4.) Gmail Labs

These add-ons to Google are “experimental”, meaning they haven’t been permanently added to Gmail and might break. If you want to take the risk there are lots of features, including a way to unsend emails.

This article from Mashable covers Gmail labs you might want to try.

5.) Mute

The mute option is in plain sight, but should be mentioned. If you’re part of an ongoing thread that doesn’t apply to you (or never did), mute the conversation! Essentially, Gmail archives the conversation, which means you can recover the messages later.

  • To mute: Click on the thread you want muted, select the “More” button and then click “Mute”.
  • To unmute: Search for the conversation by typing “is:muted” into the search box, select the muted conversation and click on the small “X” in the corner of the label titled “Muted”.

6.) Tasks

If you want to stay organized, using tasks is a step in the right direction. Use the task box to write important “to-do’s” from your emails.

  • To open tasks: Click on the “Mail” drop down menu above the “Compose” button, then select “Tasks” and a small box will appear at the bottom of your screen.

OR

  • Select a message, click the “More” button above the message and select “Add to Tasks”.

7.) More dots!

A hack I recently learned : dots aren’t recognized in your email address. For instance, you can write:

example@gmail.com or e.x.amp.l.e@gmail .com

and it goes to the same place. This is helpful if you want a dot between your first and last name, or can’t exactly remember someone’s email address.

8.) Send and Archive

Lately, I’ve been sending and archiving messages manually. It turns out there’s already an option in Gmail settings to automatically archive emails after sending. This can save you time and space in your inbox.

  • To send and archive your messages, go to your Gmail settings and select the “Show ‘Send & Archive’  button in reply”.

9.) Importance Markers

Under “Settings” in your “Inbox”, there’s an option to turn on Importance Markers. The markers let you know which messages in your inbox are important by flagging them.

Heads up: The feature is better for personal accounts, because after testing in my work account, every email was (understandably) flagged.

10.) Chat/ Google+ Hangout

Because Gmail is a popular service and used for businesses, chat is a great opportunity to send messages to coworkers.  To open chat, click on a contact’s name on the left side of the Gmail screen. A green circle will let you know if the contact is online.

11.) The Email Game

The Email Game is a Google Chrome extension that turns cleaning out your inbox into a fun game. The extension keeps you motivated by incorporating timers and positive feedback as you race toward inbox zero.

12.) Signals

Signals is another Chrome extension. The tool shows when your emails are opened by recipients. Anyone working in sales, or a position where following up is important can benefit from Signals.

13.) A Friendly Reminder

If you say you’ve attached a document or picture in an email, Gmail will send you a reminder if you press send without attaching anything.

 

For more Gmail Hacks:

These are only 13 of the ways you can use Gmail. Tips and tricks? Suggestions? Let us know!  

Heather Allen

Belle's first employee. Lover of great food, good books and spreadsheets. Mom of three. Native Floridian and city girl residing in the cornfields of central Illinois.