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5 Lesser Known Gmail Tips and Hacks

5 Lesser Known Gmail Tips and Hacks

Gmail has been through a lot of changes lately, and you may be left wondering how you can get back in control of your inbox. Here are some little-known Gmail tips and hacks to help you master your email workflow!

1. Create your own alias-based filtering

Gmail doesn’t technically provide aliases unless you’re using Gmail to view and respond to emails sent to your own registered domain email (for example, me@sophielizard.com). But it does allow you to set up aliases using plus signs or dots in your email address.

So “sophielizard@gmail.com” and “sophie.lizard@gmail.com” will both go to the same inbox, as will “sophielizard+contests@gmail.com” and “sophielizard+money@gmail.com”.

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Once you’ve chosen a few aliases, set up filtering within Gmail by going to Settings > Filters.

You could create one that redirects all messages to “sophielizard+contests@gmail.com” to the spam folder but stars all messages to “sophielizard+money@gmail.com”, for example. Or automatically label messages by choosing Settings > Labels and creating a few useful labels for different things, then using filters to label messages to “sophie.lizard@gmail.com” as “Family” and messages to “sophielizard@gmail.com” as “Business”.

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Using filters in Gmail

    Then all you need to do is give the appropriate version of your email address to different people and your messages will be filtered and labelled for you when they arrive.

    2. Save time with keyboard shortcuts

    If you access your Gmail via a laptop or desktop computer with a keyboard (rather than a touchscreen device) you can use keyboard shortcuts to navigate and manage your messages so that you don’t waste time moving your hands from keyboard to mouse to keyboard again. There’s a full list of the many shortcuts here, some of which you have to enable in Gmail’s settings before they’ll work, but the most useful ones to start with are:

    • n for next and p for previous, which will move you through a multi-message conversation in chronological or reverse chronological order.
    • Ctrl + Enter to send the message you’re composing.

    3. Get extra tools from Google Labs

    Within your Gmail settings, there’s a tab marked “Labs”. Click on that tab and you can add a range of tools people have built to work with Gmail.

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    Using Labs in Gmail

      There’s a tool called Canned Responses that lets you save messages you send often and insert them into your Gmail composition with just a couple of clicks. Another, Undo Send, gives you the ability to recall a message up to a few seconds after you hit Send—handy if you spotted a mistake just after sending. There’s even a tool that lets you set your own custom keyboard shortcuts in case the ones Google provides aren’t right for you.

      4. Use Labels in full color

      To speed up your brain’s ability to recognize and select the emails you need, create Labels for your Gmail messages and then set a different color for each label. Once your business emails are labelled in red, your friends and family’s messages in green and your financial transaction receipts in blue, for example, it’ll be much easier to scan your inbox visually and find what you’re looking for.

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      5. Use Tasks to connect your emails and to-do lists

      When you get an email that requires an action from you, and you don’t intend to act on it right away, look up at the menu bar above your emails. If you’re in the reading view, you’ll see a button marked “More”. If you’re in your inbox list view, you’ll need to check the box to the left of the relevant item to make the More button appear.

      Using Google Tasks in Gmail

        When you click that More button, you’ll be offered a drop-down list of options. Select “Add to Tasks” and a Google Tasks to-do list will pop up at the bottom of your screen with the subject line of the email added as a to-do list item. Edit the to-do text and add a due date if you like. The great thing about this way of adding to your to-do list is that each item in your list that’s related to an email in your Gmail will automatically include a link back to the email so that you can easily remind yourself of the task’s details.

        More by this author

        Sophie Lizard

        A writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

        How to Avoid Procrastination and Laziness Once and for All Don't give up 29 Inspirational Wallpapers for Your Desktop 11 Reasons Why You Should Never Get a Full-Time Job 10 Smart Ways to Deal with Rude People 5 Lesser Known Gmail Tips and Hacks

        Trending in Technology

        1 8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast 2 15 Organization Apps to Boost Your Personal Productivity 3 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track in 2019 4 7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Keep You on Track in 2019 5 How to Type Faster: 12 Typing Tips and Techniques

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        Last Updated on September 11, 2019

        8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

        8 Most Effective Games and Apps to Learn to Type Fast

        Computers and cell phones have become an integrated tool in our professional and personal lives that the original methods of using pen and paper may not be so common anymore.

        Although our old-school methods of note taking may not have entirely left us, technology is advancing with no intention of slowing down; iPads are moving into service industries, video calls are taking the place of in-person interviews, and store receipts are making its way into our email inbox – all of which requires the skill of typing.

        Learning a new skill doesn’t have to be boring and never had to be. Thankfully, there are effective games and apps that can help you learn to type fast with swift precision and accuracy.

        Why Typing Fast Matters?

        Learning how to type fast is a game changer. In fact, you can save 21 days per year by typing fast!

        Although shaving several minutes from curating a long email or texting paragraphs in a text message may not seem to be of great significance, the minutes soon do eventually add up and the long list of tasks then evolve into frustration. By the end of the day, time is being wasted, and the work pile is stacked high over your head.

        Why not alleviate some of those frustrations through practice and dedicating your spare time to build muscle memory?

        Learning a simple skillset like speed typing can drastically improve other essential areas in life including time-management and prioritization. Not only does it help you efficiently complete tasks at work and in your personal life, but it also boosts your productivity.

        8 Most Effective Typing Games and Apps

        Everyone learns at different speeds and uses various methods. While some work better under pressure and tight deadlines, others thrive when given ample amounts of time to learn and soak in the knowledge that is being provided. Despite the number of resources that are available in the hollow corners of the internet, it’s all about finding one source that helps you learn at your fullest potential.

        Whether you’re a keyboard ninja or not, here are some effective typing games and apps that allow you to test your speed, accuracy, and maybe shoot some spaceships along the way.

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        For Beginners

        1. Speed Typing Online

          What’s more fun than to type to the story of Alice in Wonderland or the lyrics to “Hey Jude”? Speed Typing Online is an online typing game that allows you to dive into the creative and familiar world of famous books, fables, songs, and even hone your skills in data entry.

          The bright blue frame holds the text, which then turns green after punching in the accurate keystrokes. After the end of the personal timer, a statistics page appears to show you your typed words per minute, accuracy, correct and incorrect entries, and error rate.

          2. Typing Trainer

            Typing Trainer

            is another online platform suited for beginner typists looking for step-by-step lessons. Learning the keys on a keyboard can confusing especially for those who aren’t as familiar or getting adjusted to typing on a computer keyboard.

            Typing Trainer has a collection of step-by-step tutorials that covers everything from sentence drills, introduction to new keys as the lessons progress, and skills test. The Typing Trainer specifically highlights unique features in each lesson including a warm-up section where the user begin to build muscle memory and learn to type without looking at the keyboard.

            The website is also programed to identify difficulties the user is facing when typing specific words or sentences.

            3. TapTyping – Typing Trainer

              There is the feeling of physically typing on a keyboard and then there’s the feeling of typing on a touch screen mobile device.

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              Since the use of cell phones has become closely integrated into our everyday lives, learning to type on a mobile is much of a skillset as it is to type on a computer. The mobile typing app, TapTyping – Typing Trainer, allows users to practice while on-the-go making it perfect for commuters who want to practice typing during their down time.

              The app allows you to challenge other typists around the world with TapTyping’s global leaderboard and test your skills by taking advanced lessons. There’s always room for improvement and with the app, you’ll be able to find your mistakes by watching a heat map of your finger strokes.

              For professional writers and programmers

              4. The Most Dangerous Writing App

                Suitable for writers facing a creative block or on a tight-deadline, the Most Dangerous Writing App is a website that forces your fingers to type as quickly as your ideas.

                If you stop longer than 5 seconds, everything you had written will slowly disappear from the screen.

                Sessions are timed from 3 minutes to 20 minutes, or can go from 75 to 1667 words. This online app is perfect to brain dump ideas, write a chapter of a manuscript you’ve been stuck on, or help with procrastination.

                If you’re up to the challenge, try the hardcore mode – an alternative option where a single letter appears on the screen at a time. This level prevents you from seeing the entire word, sentences, or even correct any spelling or grammatical mistakes until the timer is complete.

                If you’re wondering, copying and pasting is not an option until each the end of each session.

                5. The Typing Cat

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                  Looking to upgrade your typing skills? Also working as a personal tutor, the Typing Cat has a list of regular typing courses with the option to try other lessons with more complexity such as HTML. Learning to type code is a another valulable skillset worth adding.

                  Even with disregarded interest in the coding world, using the code course enhances your typing skills and allows your fingers to familiarize itself with uncommon word combinations and placement of punctuations on a keyboard.

                  The coding course can be difficult even for typing whizzes, but it’s all a part of muscle memory. According Psychology Today,[1] only a handful of people actually learn how to type by looking at an actual keyboard, while a majority of the population locate specific keys intuitively through muscle memory.

                  Available courses include EcmaScript 6, HTML 5, and CSS 3.

                  Fun typing games

                  6. ZType — Space Invaders Meet Webster

                    Remember playing the iconic 70’s game that allowed you to shoot tiny purple and green aliens from one end of the screen to the other with a two-bullet laser? It’s hard to believe that Space Invaders just turned 40 , but you can still get the same adrenaline rush with ZType, a typing game with the same shooting concept.

                    Ztype works in waves – stages that must be cleared but instead of aliens, you must type out the words before the missiles destroy your ship at the bottom of the screen. Every so often, longer and mor complex words would appear and if the words are not typed in the allotted time, a series of letters will disperse like missles.

                    The game is quick on the fingers and will still have your heart pumping until the very end.

                    7. Epistory – Typing Chronicles

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                      Although this game does cost money to purchase, it is worth the investment if you’re looking for a refreshing and alternative mode to learning how to type fast.

                      Epistory – Typing Chronicles is a role-playing action and adventure game of a young girl riding a fox in a magical and fictional realm; together they combat enemies in the shapes and forms of words.

                      Once you’re starterted, you almost forget you’re playing a typing game. The paper craft art aesthetics of the game has you captivated by the vibrant colors and character’s storyline, while having you build your typing skills.

                      8. Daily Quote Typing

                        Need some inspiration? Say no more.

                        Daily Quote Typing is one of many gammes available on Wordgames.com – a website that offers a variety of typing games ranging from different levels based on your experience.

                        With Daily Quote Typing, users are able to type out inspirational quotes by famous leaders, inventors, and innovators such as Mark Twain and Albert Einstein.

                        Bottom Line

                        At the end of the day, discipline and patience is what teaches to type faster. It comes down to making that commitment to improving not only your typing abilities, but in a lifelong skill that benefits other areas in life.

                        By practicing daily and using effective games and apps, it’s only a matter of time before keystrokes will become second nature and your brain will adapt to learning other skills faster.

                        Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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