Let’s face it, email is a necessary evil. But over the years, I’ve come up with a system to help me track all the requests and information bombarding my Gmail inbox. Google has some less-than-obvious hacks that can help you manage your email better. Below are four of my most used Gmail hacks that you can use to save time and tame your inbox.
1. Canned Responses
If you use Gmail for business, Canned Responses is an invaluable hack. Create and save email templates for your most common emails and/or replies so instead of writing out the same information over and over again, you simply use a canned response, personalize and send. You’ll have to enable this feature by going to your Settings and click on the Lab tab. From there scroll down to Canned Response and select “enable”. Then, simply write the email you’ll want to send over and over again and save it as Canned Response.
2. Undo Send
Ever hit “send” only to instantly regret it? Of course you have. So if you haven’t enabled Undo Send yet, now’s the time. Undo Send is another Gmail Labs favorite and does exactly what it says – allows you to recall messages within a few seconds of hitting send. You’ll need to enable this feature as well in the Labs setting where you find Canned Responses.
3. Filter Hacks
There are lots of ways to use Gmail filters to tame your inbox. For example, if you’re out of pocket without access to emails, you can set a filter to automatically forward your emails from a specific contact, like a client, to another member of your team so nothing falls through the cracks. Another great filter hack is to automatically send a Canned Response like, thanks for reaching out, we’ll get right back to you, to all emails with a specific subject line, like from a “Contact Us” page. One I use a lot is to filter emails from specific brands that I love as “Never send it to Spam” so I’m sure to always see it. Another I use a lot is automatically labeling emails from each of my clients accordingly to help me search and organize my inbox faster.
4. Advanced Search Hacks
Say you’re not the most organized person but still need to quickly find emails, Gmail has advanced search options to help you find exactly what you’re looking for. For example, if you’re looking for an email with a specific attachment, like a contract, use the search “filename:contract.pdf” to bring up all emails with an attachment with this file name. Not sure what the file name is but know it was a PDF? Simply search “filename:pdf” and Gmail will give you all the emails with a .pdf attachment.
The other advanced search Gmail hack I use a lot is the hyphen. Say you want to find emails with “contract” in the subject line but you don’t want those that also contain “preliminary”. You simply search, “contract –preliminary” and you have exactly what you’re looking for.
No one likes to spend time managing their inboxes but these four email hacks should help you save time and tame your inbox. What are your favorite hacks?