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Published on January 29, 2019

16 Less Known Gmail Hacks That Will Super Boost Your Productivity

16 Less Known Gmail Hacks That Will Super Boost Your Productivity

You are probably an ardent user of Gmail and use it almost every day. Do you think you’ve utilized every function of Gmail to ensure maximum productivity when you work? Likely not.

In fact, not all useful Gmail features are spelled out explicitly. So in this article, I will run you through 16 less known Gmail hacks that will super boost your productivity.

1. Unsend a Sent Email

Email blunders are extremely common. An AOL survey, covered by CBS states that around 32% of people accidentally forward the wrong email.

A wrongly sent mail with an undesired attachment or carrying confidential knowledge may create a bad impression as a professional or can even ruin your career.

Keeping this common error in mind, Gmail has created a feature that can help to “unsend” a sent email within a time span of up to 30 seconds.

To do this, simply go to the “Settings” page of your Gmail account. Enable the Undo Send button and set the invalidation period according to your wish. The below given screenshot will help you to understand better.

    2. Get All Emails in One Tab

    Are you the kind of person who hates tab hopping? Would you rather see all your emails at one place rather than different tabs like Social and Promotional?

    This hack ensures that all your emails, irrespective their category are all neatly stacked up in your primary Inbox.

    To achieve this, simply go to the settings of your Gmail and click on the Inbox tab. You can un-select the promotional and social check box and now all your email would be in one place.

    The following screenshot should help:

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      3. Get More Tabs

      However, if you are not someone who likes a laundry list of things, you can likewise add tabs like Updated and Forums and further segregate emails.

      Emails will now automatically be clubbed into the new tabs, helping you focus on important emails.

      4. Self Destruct Email

      Gmail has developed a custom software script that hosts a self-destruct feature. Using this can add a timer to your mail and it will be self-destructed after a certain interval of period.

      This helps when you don’t want an email to be forwarded to someone else. To do this, click on the padlock icon near the send button before you send out the email.

      A new tab named Confidential mode opens with the option of Set Expiration. Make the necessary changes here. Refer to the screenshot and easily self-destruct emails!

        5. Send Mails with a Verification Code

        The confidential mode discussed above also allows you to send an email with a verification encryption sent via SMS to the recipient.

        This will enable you to build an additional coating of security to your mail. Using this feature, you can be sure that the mail is read by the intended recipient only.

          6. Keyboard Alternatives

          If you use your desktop or laptop computer to check your emails, you can use shortcuts from your keyboard to enhance your productivity. Some popular Gmail hacks to improve your productivity are –

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          • Use the alphabet key “N” to read the next message and “P” to read the previous message if you are reading a multi-message conversion.
          • By holding Ctrl + Enter you can send your composed message.

          To utilize the keyboard alternatives, you have to enable it from the settings of your Gmail as given in the screen capture below:

            7. Display Density

            If you are not receiving a lot of emails, I’d recommend you to decrease the display density of your Gmail Inbox.

            It serves like a multi-window function. It is also helpful for you to glance at the just important part of the email.

              8. Reply All

              Occasionally, we forget to select the “Reply All” option while sending a response to multiple recipients.

              However, Gmail has come up with a solution to this problem. Just click on the settings tab and go to the general tab. Scroll down to the “Default Reply Behaviour” and select the Reply all option.

              Now the “Reply All” option will always be the default option selected when conversing with multiple recipients.

                9. Showing Maximum Number of Emails per Page

                If you are receiving too many emails in a day, then you should definitely explore this option.

                It gives you the ability to access more conversations per page. To achieve this, go to settings, click on the General menu bar and scroll down to “ Maximum page size”.

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                Thereafter set the number of conversions you want per page. For reference, check the screenshot given below:

                  10. Conversion View

                  If you are a fan of the classic Gmail, this is a handy hack.

                  To avoid a “thread” view in favor of the old conversation view – just follow these steps. Go to the General menu in the setting tab and simply scroll down to the “Conversion View” and select the option “conversion view off”. Refer to the screen capture underneath.

                    11. Desktop Notification

                    If you live off your emails, then this is a great option. You can simply add a chrome extension of Gmail or go to Settings > General > Desktop Notification and turn it on. It is also extremely helpful if you have set up email alerts for critical functions . The screenshot shared below will help you get it set up.

                      12. Advanced Search

                      This is one of my favorites of all the features. You probably would be using the regular search feature for your Gmail.

                      However, with the sheer amount of emails in the inbox, it is difficult to find specific information. This is where advanced search comes in.

                      Using this feature you can search a specific mail among hundreds of email of your inbox by applying useful filters as illustrated below:

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                        13. Insert Google Drive Files

                        Need to send a large file? Not a problem with Gmail’s new integration feature. You can insert Google drive files as attachments to your mail.

                        Simply click on the Google drive icon on the lowermost portion of the window. It will convert your file as a link or an attachment as shown below:

                          14. Right Click Menu

                          Previously absent from the classic feature. The good old right click is here. Now if you right click on your emails, you can get the option to mark it Unread, Archive, or remove a message. All at a click of a button, straight from your Inbox page.

                          15. Vacation Responder

                          On leave? Don’t have time to reply to all the email you get? Head to the auto-responder option in Gmail.

                          You can customize what message you want to send out to people. To activate it, simply go to settings, click on general tab and scroll down to the vacation responder.

                            16. Account Recovery

                            I get at least one email a day that is spam that tries to hack into my account. So for security purposes, do update your account recovery options. This will be helpful when you are unable to remember your password or have been hacked.

                            It is just a series of questions you need to set up while opening the account (or update later on).

                            Additional tip: You’d need to remember the answers. So choose something you have negligible chance of forgetting or getting it wrong.

                            The Bottom Line

                            If you spend considerable amount of time on Gmail, theses hacks are sure to boost your productivity and better your email using experience.

                            Start adjusting your Gmail settings and make use of all these hacks for maximum productivity!

                            Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

                            More by this author

                            Harsh Binani

                            Harsh has helped a lot of multi-national corporations and startups to leverage technology for greater productivity.

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                            Last Updated on April 25, 2019

                            How to Write a Career Change Resume (With Examples)

                            How to Write a Career Change Resume (With Examples)

                            Shifting careers, tiny or big, can be paralyzing. Whether your desire for a career change is self-driven or involuntary, you can manage the panic and fear by understanding ‘why’ you are making the change.

                            Your ability to clearly and confidently articulate your transferable skills makes it easier for employers to understand how you are best suited for the job or industry.

                            A well written career change resume that shows you have read the job description and markets your transferable skills can increase your success for a career change.

                            3 Steps to Prepare Your Mind Before Working on the Resume

                            Step 1: Know Your ‘Why’

                            Career changes can be an unnerving experience. However, you can lessen the stress by making informed decisions through research.

                            One of the best ways to do this is by conducting informational interviews.[1] Invest time to gather information from diverse sources. Speaking to people in the career or industry that you’re pursuing will help you get clarity and check your assumptions.

                            Here are some questions to help you get clear on your career change:

                            • What’s your ideal work environment?
                            • What’s most important to you right now?
                            • What type of people do you like to work with?
                            • What are the work skills that you enjoy doing the most?
                            • What do you like to do so much that you lose track of time?
                            • Whose career inspires you? What is it about his/her career that you admire?
                            • What do you dislike about your current role and work environment?

                            Step 2: Get Clear on What Your Transferable Skills Are[2]

                            The data gathered from your research and informational interviews will give you a clear picture of the career change that you want. There will likely be a gap between your current experience and the experience required for your desired job. This is your chance to tell your personal story and make it easy for recruiters to understand the logic behind your career change.

                            Make a list and describe your existing skills and experience. Ask yourself:

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                            What experience do you have that is relevant to the new job or industry?

                            Include any experience e.g., work, community, volunteer, or helping a neighbour. The key here is ANY relevant experience. Don’t be afraid to list any tasks that may seem minor to you right now. Remember this is about showcasing the fact that you have experience in the new area of work.

                            What will the hiring manager care about and how can you demonstrate this?

                            Based on your research you’ll have an idea of what you’ll be doing in the new job or industry. Be specific and show how your existing experience and skills make you the best candidate for the job. Hiring managers will likely scan your resume in less than 7 seconds. Make it easy for them to see the connection between your skills and the skills that are needed.

                            Clearly identifying your transferable skills and explaining the rationale for your career change shows the employer that you are making a serious and informed decision about your transition.

                            Step 3: Read the Job Posting

                            Each job application will be different even if they are for similar roles. Companies use different language to describe how they conduct business. For example, some companies use words like ‘systems’ while other companies use ‘processes’.

                            When you review the job description, pay attention to the sections that describe WHAT you’ll be doing and the qualifications/skills. Take note of the type of language and words that the employer uses. You’ll want to use similar language in your resume to show that your experience meets their needs.

                            5 Key Sections on Your Career Change Resume (Example)

                            The content of the examples presented below are tailored for a high school educator who wants to change careers to become a client engagement manager, however, you can easily use the same structure for your career change resume.

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                            Don’t forget to write a well crafted cover letter for your career change to match your updated resume. Your career change cover letter will provide the context and personal story that you’re not able to show in a resume.

                            1. Contact Information and Header

                            Create your own letterhead that includes your contact information. Remember to hyperlink your email and LinkedIn profile. Again, make it easy for the recruiter to contact you and learn more about you.

                            Example:

                            Jill Young

                            Toronto, ON | [email protected] | 416.222.2222 | LinkedIn Profile

                            2. Qualification Highlights or Summary

                            This is the first section that recruiters will see to determine if you meet the qualifications for the job. Use the language from the job posting combined with your transferable skills to show that you are qualified for the role.

                            Keep this section concise and use 3 to 4 bullets. Be specific and focus on the qualifications needed for the specific job that you’re applying to. This section should be tailored for each job application. What makes you qualified for the role?

                            Example:

                            Qualifications Summary

                            • Experienced managing multiple stakeholder interests by building a strong network of relationships to support a variety of programs
                            • Experienced at resolving problems in a timely and diplomatic manner
                            • Ability to work with diverse groups and ensure collaboration while meeting tight timelines

                            3. Work Experience

                            Only present experiences that are relevant to the job posting. Focus on your specific transferable skills and how they apply to the new role.

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                            How this section is structured will depend on your experience and the type of career change you are making.

                            For example, if you are changing industries you may want to list your roles before the company name. However, if you want to highlight some of the big companies you’ve worked with then you may want to list the company name first. Just make sure that you are consistent throughout your resume.

                            Be clear and concise. Use 1 to 4 bullets to highlight your relevant work experiences for each job you list on your resume. Ensure that the information demonstrates your qualifications for the new job. Remember to align all the dates on your resume to the right margin.

                            Example:

                            Work Experience

                            Theater Production Manager (2018 – present)

                            YourLocalTheater

                            • Collaborated with diverse groups of people to ensure a successful production while meeting tight timelines

                            4. Education

                            List your formal education in this section. For example, the name of the degrees you received and the school who issued it. To eliminate biases, I would recommend removing the year you graduated.

                            Example:

                            Education

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                            • Bachelor of Education, University of Western Ontario
                            • Bachelor of Theater Studies with Honors, University of British Columbia

                            5. Other Activities or Interests

                            When you took an inventory of your transferable skills, what experiences were relevant to your new career path (that may not fit in the other resume sections?).

                            Example:

                            Other Activities

                            • Mentor, Pathways to Education
                            • Volunteer lead for coordinating all community festival vendors

                            Bonus Tips

                            Remember these core resume tips to help you effectively showcase your transferable skills:

                            • CAR (Context Action Result) method. Remember that each bullet on your resume needs to state the situation, the action you took and the result of your experience.
                            • Font. Use modern Sans Serif fonts like Tahoma, Verdana, or Arial.
                            • White space. Ensure that there is enough white space on your resume by adjusting your margins to a minimum of 1.5 cm. Your resume should be no more than two pages long.
                            • Tailor your resume for each job posting. Pay attention to the language and key words used on the job posting and adjust your resume accordingly. Make the application process easy on yourself by creating your own resume template. Highlight sections that you need to tailor for each job application.
                            • Get someone else to review your resume. Ideally you’d want to have someone with industry or hiring experience to provide you with insights to hone your resume. However, you also want to have someone proofread your resume for grammar and spelling errors.

                            The Bottom Line

                            It’s essential that you know why you want to change careers. Setting this foundation not only helps you with your resume, but can also help you to change your cover letter, adjust your LinkedIn profile, network during your job search, and during interviews.

                            Ensure that all the content on your resume is relevant for the specific job you’re applying to.

                            Remember to focus on the job posting and your transferable skills. You have a wealth of experience to draw from – don’t discount any of it! It’s time to showcase and brand yourself in the direction you’re moving towards!

                            More Resources to Help You Change Career Swiftly

                            Featured photo credit: Parker Byrd via unsplash.com

                            Reference

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