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10 Must-Know Gmail Hacks To Supercharge Your Productivity

10 Must-Know Gmail Hacks To Supercharge Your Productivity

Gmail is a great option for individuals needing a powerful personal email. However, with the ability to attach Gmail to your domain, it has become a powerful email option for businesses as well. While Gmail alone may be great, there are a couple of ways you can supercharge your usage to make sure that you are getting the most out of your account. Today, we will take a look at 10 must-know Gmail hacks that will surely supercharge your productivity, either at home or in the office.

1. Undo a Past Email

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    Ever find that you typed up an email in a hurry, and sent it off only to notice right when you hit the send button that there were a couple of mistakes? Maybe you sent it to the wrong recipient. This is a common problem, and Gmail has a small settings hack that can prevent these mishaps from being permanent. Settings > Labs > Undo Button > Enable will allow you to click the “Undo” button once Gmail says “Your message has been sent” at the very top of the screen. Just hope that they don’t read it before you click undo! Another common tip I learned is to write out your full email, subject, add attachments and all, before adding in the recipient. Do that last and this will lessen the chance of sending to the wrong person.

    2. Make Use of Boomerang

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      Boomerang makes it easy to have emails sent back to you as well as to schedule to send emails of your account. This is a great way to prepare and send off a mass of emails in a snap. The latter can be useful, for instance, when you see an email that is important in your inbox but may not be something that you need to attend to until later in the day or week. This moves the conversation out of your way and allows you to focus on other things. Yesware and Streak and two other common email scheduling apps you can check out.

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      3. Clear out Your Inbox

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        Extending on the subject of email clutter, a great hack that can allow you to increase the productivity of your Gmail inbox is to clear out unnecessary emails. This is done by deleting those that you’ll never make use of again and archiving those that you may find that you will need to refer to at another date. If you have ongoing conversations currently in your email, keep those in the inbox. Otherwise, have them archived. From there, you can tag your archived messages to have them easily retrievable. Having tagged archives, in the end, is more productive than having a swamp of useless emails.

        4. Can Your Responses

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          This is a productive hack because it allows you to send off responses in just a snap by adding in common phrases, sentences, or even email bodies that you regularly find yourself using. Simply add Canned Responses from Gmail Labs and when you want to send off a canned response, go to the bottom, select canned responses and choose the appropriate phrase.

          5. Customize Your Address

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            One lesser-known fact about Gmail is that when someone sends an email to you, it doesn’t matter what periods or plus symbols are added to your name, they are sent to the same original email address. This is best illustrated in the photo above. You may feel that this doesn’t matter, the chances are low that someone will accidentally add a period or plus sign to my name when emailing me.

            However, that’s not the point. This hack is useful in allowing you to curtail emails you receive based on the address you give out. Going to a website where sign-up requiring your email, but you could care less about what they have to send you, you can use “username+junk@gmail.com”. Going to a corporate meet-and-greet and want an easy place to access emails from individuals you meet? Give everyone you meet the email “username+meetandgreet@gmail.com”. However, this alone isn’t what is productive. What is productive is creating a filter for each email address you give out, allowing messages to be sent to the folders for easier retrieval and organization.

            6. Schedule Your Email Checks

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              It can seem productive to always be on top of your email, checking it various times a day. However, the truth is, you are wasting more time than ever. Instead, schedule to check your email two -three times a day, during low activity times. Getting your head out of your inbox allows you to get more things done rather than balancing and tending to conversations that could be endless. This allows your emails you send to be more productive, to the point, and informative.

              7. Manage an Unsubscribe List

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                Through the program called Unroll.me, you are able to keep track of the email newsletters and subscriptions that are filling up your inbox. Through this program, you receive a “Rollup” that acts as a newsletter in and of itself, showing in one email all of the subscription emails you receive. Along with being able to view what needs to be viewed and get it out of the way, Unroll.me is also a great program to easily get rid of the junk subscriptions you may have but found too difficult to get rid of.

                8. Look into KeyRocket

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                  Keyboard shortcuts are a great way for you to access a specific feature or perform a specific task in only a couple of key strokes. KeyRocket for Gmail allows you to do the keyboard shortcuts available through Gmail by presenting how they are activated whenever you do a certain act. For example, if you are about to go view a previous folder, KeyRocket pops-up a reminder showing you how that task is possible through Alt+Left Arrow. Overtime, KeyRocket teaches you how to use Gmail productively.

                  9. Become Selective and Exclusive

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                    You may feel that you should respond to every email that you receive personally from an individual, either asking you to contribute to a project you weren’t previously involved in or to receive something else in return. However, in keeping with productivity, choose wisely who you respond to. For example, a blogger should look at the reputation and notoriety of a specific website before entertaining the thought of contributing. This, in the end, reduces the number of conversations you find yourself flooded in. This is a hack that many individuals find themselves constantly using.

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                    10. Create Some Recipes

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                      IFTTT stands for If this then that. It is an user-friendly algorithm website that allows individuals to connect two different services to create an automated task. Using a trigger, most likely in your case Gmail, you can cause an action to occur if you trigger does something. For example, if your trigger is when Gmail receives a photo in an email, you can have that photo automatically saved in Dropbox. The opportunities are endless, and you have free reign to make recipes yourself or enjoy some of the pre-made ones.

                      With these tips, you will be able to use your time wisely, get things done and become more productive in the process. Let us know in the comments below if you use any of these tips or services in your own Gmail.

                      Featured photo credit: Mashable via i1.ytimg.com

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                      Last Updated on July 21, 2021

                      The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

                      The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

                      No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

                      Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

                      Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

                      A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

                      Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

                      In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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                      From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

                      A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

                      For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

                      This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

                      The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

                      That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

                      Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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                      The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

                      Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

                      But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

                      The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

                      The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

                      A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

                      For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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                      But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

                      If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

                      For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

                      These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

                      For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

                      How to Make a Reminder Works for You

                      Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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                      Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

                      Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

                      My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

                      Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

                      I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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                      Reference

                      [1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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