You send and process emails every day. So you might as well learn how to work faster and more effectively in Gmail. This guide is there to help you with practical tips.
Life Saving tips Gmail
- Set Undo Send to 30 seconds. Forgot that attachment? You have 30 seconds to undo sending the email and adding it.
- Reply all is an easy tip to not forget anyone in an email thread. Make sure you remove people if you don't need to include them
- Send & Archive, let's you archive the email thread when you send a reply. An email is out of the way (and will get back in your inbox when you receive a reply to the thread)
Run through the general settings
A lot has changed in the 2022 update in Gmail. Run through the general settings to see if they work for you. In the general settings, you can find the 'basic settings'. These are personal preferences so change these if you like.
Work Faster in Gmail Settings
Look at these settings to set up working much faster in Gmail. Most of them are personal preference of course. But I want to mention the option to auto-advance to an older email.
When you archive an email, you move to the next email instead of back to your inbox. It's so much faster to process your email.
With auto-advance, once you send or archive an email you go to the next email instead of back to the inbox. This saves a click and also makes it easier to answer email with only using your keyboard (which is also faster). It’s a small feature, but I use this many times every day.
Go to the General Gmail Settings, scroll down and select ‘ Go back to the previous (older) conversation.
Turn off desktop notifications
Scrolling down on the page, is the first option that I recommend you use. Turn off your desktop notifications. No need to answer emails immediately, as I'll show yo how to set up email response blocks in your calendar.
Enable keyboard shortcuts
You'll work a lot faster when working with keyboard shortcuts. The most used for me are:
- E for archiving an email
- R for Reply
- L for label
There are many more. Press SHIFT + ? to get the entire cheat sheet in Gmail.
Find the inbox type that works for you
The inbox settings have the most visual impact on Gmail. Each option is a different way of using Gmail. I'll explain what each inbox type is in the table below the image.
Try out the priority inbox if you receive a lot of email. It’s not perfect, but Gmail is getting better at predicting which emails are important.
My inbox setup
For my personal setup, I follow the "Inbox Zero" method. That means you go to 0 emails each day and process them immediately. If an email includes a task, the task is moved to my to-do system and I have a clear inbox. If this is not for you, that’s OK.
If you don’t use this and have a lot of emails in your inbox, definitely checkout the inbox setup to see what works for you. This setting is impactful because it affects Gmail every day you use it.
Remove formatting with a shortcut
Create Groups to email to multiple people
It’s possible to create a group of people and email them all at once. This is great to quickly email an entire team or group of people.
- Go to Google Contacts
- Select the people you want to add to the email group
- Add a label with a easily identifiable name
- Go to Gmail and add the group name you’ve just created in the TO: field
Schedule emails for the next morning (or later)
Set up templates for emails you sent more often
Turn off unread emails icon
Stop getting distracted by the Unread email icon. Simple, yet effective.