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Advanced Gmail hacks

Advanced hacks for experienced users that want to get everything from Gmail.

Alias email addresses for Google Workspace

If you use Google Workspace you can create up to 30 alternative email addresses. These can be used as automation filters as well. Use the email to specify and trigger automations.

  • Add a different email on LinkedIn (to prevent spam from reaching your inbox, or to see where someone found your email if they send you a cold email)
  • Protect your login credentials by adding a ‘separate’ login email, e.g. login@gmail.com that forwards to your ‘real’ email inbox
  • Set up filters based on the ‘to’ email address. In this example, you can set up rules based on the aliases. A rule could be “if someone misspells my name, reply with an email that they change the address.”

How to use alias email addresses 

  • Set up filters based on the ‘to’ email address. In this example, you can set up rules based on the aliases. A rule could be “if someone misspells my name, reply with an email that they change the address.”
  • Receive the emails ‘as normal’ in your primary email inbox, but see where they’ve found your email.
  • Add a different email on your website
  • Add a different email on LinkedIn (to see spam)

Use Gmail offline

If you want to send email even when you’re offline, enable these settings when you’re online. Gmail still has to download all emails locally, so set this up if you think you might need it one day. You can read and compose emails that will be sent when you go online.

Shared inbox with Google Groups

Google Groups is a shared inbox so you can login with multiple colleagues and answer emails. You can use this for a few situations.

Shared ‘forget password’ emails & login

Let’s say you work together in a tool together with your colleague Kim. The problem is that Kim works Monday - Wednesday and you work Thursday and Friday. In other words, there is no overlap between both working schedules.

If one of you forgets the password, you have to call them on their day off and ask to forward the email with the ‘forget password’ link inside. That’s annoying.

Here’s how to solve that:

  1. Set up a Google Groups inbox with “login@yourcompanyname.com
  2. Add Kim and yourself as users to the inbox.
  3. Set up direct forwarding of all emails to both Kim and yourself
  4. Sign up for the tool with “login@yourcompanyname.com”.
  5. When you use ‘forget password’, the email ends up in both Kim’s and your inbox.

Set email events (or reminders) with Gmail nudge

Go to General Settings and select both options. Don’t forget to save changes at the bottom of the page.

Create Google Calendar reminders from emails

For important emails that you have to remember, it’s possible to create an event from an email. The information will be pasted into the event details.

Mute Conversations

If you don’t want the updates from a long email thread, but still want to receive them you can mute the conversation.

Confidentiality Mode

This is a niche feature, but might come in handy one day. When sending sensitive information that you don’t want anyone to print, copy, forward or download use this option.

It’s also possible to let the email expire or add an SMS verification for extra security.

Delegate your email account to someone else

It’s possible to give a colleague access to your inbox. My virtual assistant Soraya has access to my email this way. You don’t share your password, but can simply add them as a ‘user’ to Gmail.

It’s visible in the header of the email that the email was sent out on my behalf - but most people miss this. Read the Google support article on how to add delegates to a Gmail account.

Gmail add-ons, apps & extensions

The App Store for Gmail. Make sure you only use tools that you trust. Here’s a list of extension that are used often and are helpful:

Remove emails that take up a lot of storage space

Find out how much GBs Gmail is taking up in Google Drive by going to your Google Account’s Storage page.

To remove the largest emails search inside gmail for size:

size:5mb has:attachment - All emails with attachments larger than 5 MB

size:10mb has:attachment filename:pdf - Emails with a PDF larger than 10 MB

Start with bigger files to free up space quickly.

Enable hover actions

Enable hover actions - Quickly gain access to archive, delete, mark as read and snooze controls on hover.

Ewoud Uphof

I hope you enjoy reading this free chapter.

Read the full guide by clicking here.

Use project management tools for updates instead of emails

Use a project management tool like Asana to share updates and to see the status of tasks, including dependencies. Personally, I use Notion for all my task management.

Automatically add events from Gmail

The Google suite works together nicely. Events, reservations, meetings or travel dates can be synced from Gmail into Google Calendar.

  1. In Gmail General settings, turn “Smart features and personalisation in other Google products:” ON
  1. In Google Calendar settings, you can adjust the privacy settings for Events from Gmail

Learn more on the Google support page about Smart features & controls in Google products.

Have less newsletters in your inbox

The inbox clogs up with a lot of newsletters that you’ve signed up for as inspiration. Whether you want the inspiration or not, here’s how to handle them.

Unsubscribe from the newsletters you don’t read anymore

Search for emails from a mailing list with 

"opt-out" OR unsubscribe OR OR smartunsubscribe OR secureunsubscribe OR "viewing the newsletter" OR "edit your preferences" OR "email notifications" OR "update profile" OR "manage your account" OR "group-digests"

and unsubscribe from the ones you don’t want to receive.

Add newsletters to a separate folder in Gmail 

For the newsletter you do want to receive, consider adding them in a separate folder.

Add some +newsletter when you sign up, e.g. elon+newsletter@tesla.com. This works with any Gmail or Google Workspace email address. Everything after "+ is disregarded by Gmail, but not by 'other' databases (like the email client that sends the newsletter to you).

When you sign up with the “+newsletter”, it can be used to set up an automated filter to skip the inbox and add the newsletter to your newsletter folder (label) in Gmail.

Pro tip: use it to spy on competitors or sign up as a ‘new’ account

Use this to sign-up for the newsletter of a competitor or to get that 10% discount again (sorry email agencies).

Each time you sign up, use a ‘different’ email:

ewoud+1@gmail.com, ewoud+2@gmail.com, ewoud+3@gmail.com, etc.

Pro tip 2:: use a date stamp to see how long is between email sequences.

Sign up on September 1st with  ewoud+01092022@gmail.com. Whenever you receive the email, is how many days is in between the sign-up date and the first email.

It's also a great way to see who sold your email address to spammers. If you receive spam on myname+klm@gmail.com, you know KLM was the company that sold the data or had a leak (assuming I've added the name of each company I give my email address).

Create a separate email address for inspiration (and share it)

You probably want to keep an eye on the newsletter of your competitors. It’s annoying to keep asking your coworkers if they’ve seen the email.

If you work as a team and want to share the inspiration of received emails, it’s also possible to set up a shared group.

And if the colleague with all the old examples leaves the company, there is no way to keep an archive.

  1. Set up a Google Group with “newsletter@yourcompanyname.com
  2. Sign up for all newsletters from your competitors
  3. Add a task in your task system at the end of the month to skim all emails for inspiration

Read the Google support article on how to set up a Google Group email.

Use multiple email Signatures

It’s possible to add different email footers. Create an email footer with relevant information.

Tip: you can add UTM links in the hyperlinks to see if people clicked on the footer links.

I recommend using the Hubspot email footer tool to create footers quickly:

Maximum page size: Show 100 conversations per page

Shows more conversations on the page - for a better overview. Personally, I don’t use this feature because I work based on Inbox Zero. However, I’ve heard from marketers I’ve worked with they like the feature to have an easier overview.

Go to General Settings and select both options. Don’t forget to save changes at the bottom of the page.

Sign up for Google Alerts

With Google Alerts you can monitor keywords or topics you find interesting. When a new search result pops up in Google, you will receive an email. It’s beneficial to track (news) updates about competitors, publications that include your brand name or if something pops up with your name attached to it. Or get an update on everything puppies ;-)

If the topic is time-sensitive, for example you want to prevent PR disasters, receive the notifications ‘as-it-happens’. For most marketers, a weekly digest is enough. Look at the settings to see what works for you.

Ewoud Uphof

I hope you enjoy reading this free chapter.

Read the full guide by clicking here.

Ready to automate your operations?

Our automation experts can probably find improvements in your current tool stack, automations or processes. Feel free to contact us for a free audit.

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