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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 September 17, 2018

                      How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

                      How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

                      Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

                      Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

                      All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

                      Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

                      How bad really is multitasking?

                      It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

                      Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

                      This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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                      We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

                      So what to do about it?

                      Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

                      Now, forget about how to multitask!

                      Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

                      1. Get enough rest

                      When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

                      This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

                      When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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                      2. Plan your day

                      When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

                      When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

                      Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

                      3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

                      I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

                      I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

                      Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

                      4. When at your desk, do work

                      We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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                      Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

                      5. Learn to say no

                      Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

                      Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

                      By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

                      6. Turn off notifications on your computer

                      For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

                      Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

                      7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

                      Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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                      You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

                      The bottom line

                      Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

                      Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

                      Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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