Do you spend a majority of your time checking and sending emails? These days it seems like everyone does. It’s become a sort of obsession to keep tabs on the emails that we are receiving. If you dislike emails occupying most of your time, the ways below should help you save time. These tricks are designed to work with the features currently available in G-mail. Check your email provider to see if similar features are available.

1. Use labels to categorize emails

Labels are a way of managing your email and putting them in the appropriate folders where they belong. Think of labels as categories, wherein you separate your work emails from your personal emails and so on. So the next time your friend shoots you an email, it’ll appear in the label named as FRIEND in your inbox. It’s interesting, isn’t it?

2. Canned responses

Do you find yourself typing the same email over and over all the time? Canned responses, or email templates, can help you. What this does is let you save a copy of the email that you write frequently, and then provides you an easy way to retrieve it when you want. Check out the video below to find out how to use email templates in G-mail.

3. Use keyboard shortcuts

You should make using keyboard shortcuts your habit, at least as long as you’re in the field of information technology. By doing so, you’ll save a lot of time on emails and can use that time to do something creative. For instance, if you want to compose an email without hitting that Compose button, simply hit the appropriate shortcut keys and it should do the magic. I’m sure you’re capable of finding shortcuts for your email program!

4. Get rid of unwanted email

Most of the times I find my inbox cluttered with offers and unwanted spam. Although my email program filters out some emails, I still see some of them making it to my inbox. What can you do about it? Just hit that Unsubscribe link that appears at the bottom of the message and you should be all set. In case you don’t see it, hit Report as Spam and it’ll never appear in your inbox again. Be sure you aren’t abusing the Report as Spam link, however. If its an email you subscribed to, marking it as Spam will affect other users who actually want to see that email.

5. Load email in a faster environment

If you’re on a high-speed internet connection, you should start using the faster version of your email. G-mail has got both: a lighter view and a faster view. When you click on an email, it’ll appear instantly instead of reloading the whole page, saving you a few seconds (or maybe a few minutes, if you’re on dial-up) with your email.

6. Use email auto-responders

Whether you’re on a vacation or just want to show people you’re a quick email-replier, set-up an email auto-responder that’ll automatically reply to the emails that you get. If you’re on vacation, you can simply set the responder to say when you’ll be back at the office. It will save you time that you’d have otherwise spent on writing out that email!

7. Use email apps if you’re on mobile

If your smartphone is what you use for all of your emailing purposes, you should get an app that can handle all of this for you. While there may be separate apps for each of your email programs, I’d recommend going for the Mailbox app, as it’s got no clutter. It’ll just be just you and your emails in the app. Saved you a bit of your time, didn’t it?

8. Say NO to Facebook and Twitter for emails

Whenever a friend of yours posts something on Facebook or Twitter, you can get an email notifying you. These notifications really make no sense to be in your inbox, as they can also be seen by going to these websites. Head over to both of these websites (and other social sites that you’re active on), disable the email notifications option, and you should be all set.

9. An IM is better than an email

You might say I’m unprofessional for recommending instant messaging (IM) instead of professional emails. But if sending an IM can save you the headache of sending a long email, wouldn’t that be preferable? If someone reaches out to you asking for a little help, sometimes an IM would be more appropriate than a formal email.

10. Do NOT use emails for your to-do list

Most people have a tendency of using emails as their to-do list. When they have to do something, they simply send an email containing the message to themselves. So the next time they look at their inbox, they can remind themselves about the task they should do. You should STOP doing this. There’s a number of to-do or task tools out there to make use of and save your inbox from becoming clogged. It’ll help you find your most important emails so you can work on them instead of wasting time.

Featured photo credit: Detail of Girl’s Hands Typing on MacBook/Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

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