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How to Use Gmail Search to Clean up Your Email Archive

How to Use Gmail Search to Clean up Your Email Archive

Clean up Gmail

    I am not a fan of deleting emails from my Gmail.

    The reason is simple: I love Gmail search and I often use it to find past conversations and bring up old contacts. I receive and read my email using Thunderbird, but I use the Gmail web interface to find all the past correspondence (which can be accessed from any computer — provided I remember my login details).

    However, in some cases there’s absolutely no point in saving some of your emails — you’ll never get back to them. So why clutter your email archive?

    The Basics: Deleting Emails in Gmail

    In case you don’t know how to delete all emails filtered by your search, here’s a quick how-to:

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    1. Select “All”
    2. Then click “Select all XXXX conversations in Search results
    3. Delete

    Delete all emails

      Tip #1: Delete Automated Updates

      Search: [from:noreply* OR from:do-not-reply* OR from:donotreply* OR from:notification*]

      This way you’ll filter out all the automated updates that come from bots (such as social media friend requests (noreply-xxx@plus.google.com), calendar reminders (noreply@zohocalendar.com), etc.). Chances are, you’ll need those updates only once in a lifetime.

      Automated emails

        Bonus Tip: Don’t create a filter to delete those emails, as this will delete all the future updates as well. Instead, create a calendar reminder to do the regular clean up at least quarterly.

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        Tip #2: Delete All Blog Comment Notifications

        Search: [from:wordpress* OR from:disqus]

        If you are a blogger who hasn’t disabled comments, you’re probably getting email notifications each time a comment is pending approval or waiting for your reply. While these are probably useful for a “one-time notification”, there’s no reason to keep them in your inbox/archive.

        Delete All Blog Comment Notifications

          Tip #3: Clean Up Email Subscriptions

          Search option one: [unsubscribe]

          Search option two: [from:news* OR from:digest* OR from:auto* OR from:reports* OR from:*mailer*]

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          Not all emails here are likely to be worth deleting (I usually refer back to my most important email subscriptions if I forget a link or need a citation for a blog post, for example). But this search is a great starting point. Now you can go through search results and check any email you don’t think you need to keep. Simply click on “Filter messages like this” and create a filter to delete all of them.

          Filter messages like this

            You can also unsubscribe while you are there to prevent future emails. I mean, it’s a good thing to clean up your email subscriptions as well while you are there…right?

            Bonus Tip: And there’s an app for that! Unroll.me is a great online tool that lets you sign in (using Gmail authentication) and then scans your email inbox for possible subscriptions. You can unsubscribe from any of the emails right from within the tool interface:

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            unroll.me

              Emails I Never Delete

              Like I said, I love my Gmail inbox for archiving all of my correspondence for me and keeping it in “the cloud”. No matter how often I move from computer to computer or change email clients, I can always rest assured that my email archive is intact.

              As a result, I don’t like deleting too much of my email — especially the following types:

              • Personal correspondence with my contacts (obviously);
              • Invoices and payment confirmations;
              • Brand-name tracking updates (from Google Alerts, for example). These could be turned into the great source of brand-growth analysis. Besides, they can be used to later bring up your brand promoters.

              To make sure I never accidentally delete important emails when doing regular clean up, I create a “Always mark it as important” filter.

              Filter important emails

                Do you have any tips for cleaning up your email inbox? Please let me know in the comments!

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                Last Updated on May 25, 2020

                10 Best Task List Apps to Boost Productivity in 2020

                10 Best Task List Apps to Boost Productivity in 2020

                Organizational drag is anything that eats up time and keeps people from getting things done in time. Companies that wish to boost productivity do so by creating more efficient processes.

                This also applies to individuals, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. Whether you work alone or as part of a team, it is important to use the right tools to boost productivity, and having an accessible and easily manageable task list can go a long way.

                Here is a list of the top ten productivity apps that you can use to achieve more.

                1. ToDoist

                  ToDoist is an awesome to-do task list app that is used by over 10 million people. To use the app, you just have to write down all the activities that you plan to do. The software will then interpret these activities and categorize the tasks accordingly.

                  For instance, if you create a task to go for lunch at noon with a friend, the app will automatically categorize this task as a meeting and will send you a reminder at the right time.

                  However, this app is more than a personal activity planner. You can use it to plan activities for the entire team. It is also good for planning entire projects, discussing details about the project, and monitoring the deadlines.

                  The basic functionality is free, but you can unlock premium features for $36 or $60 a year for full access.

                  Available on iOS and Android

                  2. monday.com

                    This productivity app lets you manage your workflows and tasks. It is a great tool for creating a task list and helping you have a clear view of your work and the status of each task.

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                    The app is a bit similar to a spreadsheet. However, it looks much nicer, and it allows you to toggle between multiple views. It gives you alerts and notifications, and it allows you to attach files as well as communicate with colleagues.

                    The features of Monday.com include a task board that can be customized to manage due date, hours spent, task status, and much more. Users can upload and attach files, make comments, mention members of their team, and more. It can also be integrated into Google Drive, Slack, GitHub, Jira, Dropbox, and many other platforms.

                    If you have problems setting it up, you can contact the customer via email or phone.

                    Available on iOS and Android

                    3. CloudApp

                      CloudApp is a great app for boosting productivity. It offers highly intuitive communication, which can help you save up to 56 hours a week. Your only problem will be deciding how you can utilize all the extra time.

                      Whether you are talking with a customer, colleague, or client, this app has all the features you need. With GIFs, screenshots, and image annotation, you no longer have to write lengthy emails. Instead, you can show people what you want them to do.

                      The app has over 3 million users. It has proven quite reliable when it comes to helping users to boost productivity. You can opt for the free version or you can opt for a $9 a month upgrade to access premium features.

                      Available on iOS

                      4. Quip

                        If you are working closely with members of your team, Quip is a great app for team activities. The platform combines spreadsheets, documents, slides, and chat. Its main strength is that it comes with a suite of Live Apps. You can use them to increase the functionality of Quip.

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                        Moreover, you will waste less time by being able to streamline the use of various tools. Quip is one of the most adaptable productivity apps in the world.

                        There are options to use connected tools to track time, manage work, and much more. Some of the integrations of Quip are Dropbox, Github, Slack, Salesforce, and much more. The app costs just $30 a month for 5 users.

                        Available on iOS and Android

                        5. Trello

                          Trello is an app that makes managing projects an easy task. This is made possible by the app’s Kanban philosophy. It is a visual and intuitive platform.

                          Users can break huge tasks into small chunks, making it useful for creating a task list. This is made possible by creating cards for each task. The cards can be organized into different columns, which are representative of various stages of the project. Once a task is complete, a card is moved from one column to the next.

                          The app is free but it comes with a premium plan with $9.99 a month.

                          Available on iOS and Android

                          6. Focus Keeper

                            This app is perfect for those who wish to improve their work habits and minimize distractions while maintaining focus on current tasks. Focus Keeper is based on the Pomodoro technique. This method utilizes timeboxing to ensure each task is complete.

                            This is more than a task list app. If you wish to understand how you work best, the app delivers a suite of tools that you can use to set up your workday. It tracks your hours, analyzes, checks interruptions, and much more. Some of the integrations of Focus Keeper are Trello, Asana, Todoist, Basecamp, Outlook, Google Keep, and many others.

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                            The app costs $2.99 a month for those who wish to access premium features. It is accessible on Linux, iOS, Android, web, macOS, and Windows.

                            Available on iOS and Android

                            7. Quire

                              This app is designed as a professional and personal to-do task list manager. The app has a very efficient and optimized design due to the developers’ philosophy on visual task management. It allows you to easily get updates and work with your teammates.

                              The app also allows users to customize and choose templates based on their preferences. It is easy to use, but it helps you get things done. The app is currently free.

                              Available on iOS and Android

                              8. Asana

                                This Kanban-style app is quite popular. It helps you visually organize your tasks. With this app, you can set deadlines, tasks, assignees, and visualize your workflow. It is quite popular and used by many people.

                                The app features a sleek clutter-free design and comes with several integrations. As a result, it can be adapted to a wide range of projects. The app costs $9.99 a month.

                                Available on iOS and Android

                                9. Toggl

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                                  You can use this simple time tracker to help boost your team’s productivity. It works on different devices across several platforms, and it comes with numerous friendly reminders to ensure that you remember to keep it on. It usually sends you a report once you complete a task to help you make improvements next time.

                                  The app is free and those who wish to access premium features pay $9 a month.

                                  Available on iOS and Android

                                  10. Omni Focus

                                    This app is considered the gold standard of the to-do apps. Omni Focus delivers a huge number of features that can be used to sort, prioritize, and plan tasks. It features several ways to categorize tasks such as location, energy needed, and priority.

                                    It is only available on Apple devices and it costs $39.99 for the standard package.

                                    Available on iOS

                                    Summary

                                    All the apps above are great for boosting productivity. However, you will need to pick one that best suits your needs. Try a number of them out before you decide to settle on one.

                                    More Tools for Productivity

                                    Featured photo credit: Bram Naus via unsplash.com

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