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Tips for Getting Organized with Gmail

Staying on top of your email can be a hassle. Especially so, now that you've got all these G+ notifications popping outta your ears! So here are some ready-mades that don't take too much time to do (because I've already done them) to help you organize. You don't have to use all of these tricks, but they work for me.

1) Go to your settings and change your theme to black or a darker color. It's much easier on the eyes.

2) Go to Settings / Labs and enable at least these four Lab functions:
Multiple Inboxes
Quick Links
Canned Responses

Also, in your main settings, be sure to arrange stars to your liking.

3) To the left, below the standard categories Gmail provides (and the labels I have made) are my Quick Links. Quick Links are saved searches in my Gmail.

Info: has:blue-info
Queries: has:purple-question
Pending: has:orange-guillemet
Economy: has:green-star
Unread: l:^u
PDF: filename:pdf
Word: filename:(.doc OR .docx)
Power Point: filename:ppt OR pptx
Attachments: has:attachment
Photos: filename:(jpg OR jpeg OR png)

These are similar to saved searches in G+. Some of these above are standard, such as the search filename:pdf which gives me all emails with pdf files attached. Some others require a little fixing. Note the quick link called Unread The search criteria is the following: l:^u

Other of my quick links use extra stars (order of preference chosen in the main settings page). Why use stars over labels? Well, labels apply to a whole conversation. Stars on the other hand can apply to specific emails within a conversation.

Any particular post with an important piece of info, such as a name or thing to remember, gets a blue info star. The quick link (has:blue-info) makes for easy access to these. The term has:blue-info actually comes up in the search box, so that I can add additional search info to it, such as "from:bob" to get those emails marked with that star from that person.

4) Multiple Inboxes are much better for me than Google's arbitrary determination of what is important for me. The image shows five (5) separate inboxes to the right of my main inbox. They are three posts wide a piece, so that I see the top emails in each category. This allows me to get to them fast. Multiple inboxes use filters to determine what falls into those boxes. You can make then go to both your main inbox and to a secondary inbox. Here I have four (4) inboxes that have specifically labeled posts. Some emails within them are stared, some not. The last inbox is a pending inbox. It is also a quick link called "pending" and has has:orange-guillemet as a search criteria. When I am done taking care of these, I remove the star, and it ceases to appear in that inbox and in quick link search.

5) Canned Responses allow you to write an email, and then save it as a standardized response. This is a great time saver. Do you get a lot of email that needs standardized responses? Send the typical canned response. Do you need to have more than one standardized signature? Make a canned response for each signature, and click on the one needed at the end of your emails!

6) Other recommended time saver Labs:
Send in Background
Message Translation
Quote selected text
Undo Send

A link to further tips for Gmail:

#Gmail #Tips
Mike Morris's profile photoJacob Dix's profile photoGiovanni Barbisan's profile photoLee Smallwood's profile photo
Anyone else have tips or tricks?
Yeah.. Don't have notifications sent to Gmail and eliminate that hassle in the first place.
I've been thinking about this +Dirk Talamasca. I tested it today and I could not send myself a notification to my gmail. If I could, I could then make a filter to label all my own G+ posts, skip the inbox. Making them searchable, etc. But alas, I can't notify myself via gmail. If I could, I'd turn the thing back on!
I can think of better ways to find my old posts but let's try to run with your method. What if you add only yourself to a circle and send a post to that circle?
I tried that. But I'll try it again to be sure. Test post coming up.
Thanks all for the shares, comments and pluses. These should help speed up people's day to day.
Ping +Jaana Nyström in case this was of interest. I know you've had discussions about G+ vs. Gmail before.
Nice - tried multiple inboxes a while back and quit using them and forgot about them -- but since then have come up with a good system for using multiple stars to categorize mail as it comes in and keep my inbox empty, and then saved searches to see the buckets.

But multiple inboxes is great for seeing those buckets all at once, and putting them on the right side is perfect.

Really its great..! Thanks for sharing... :-)
I really appreciate this post. Thank you.
Just glad I can be of help all.
They are there in labs. Then in general settings you can fix their order, etc
+Jacob Dix I too could not find multiple stars in my labs. I searched and then manually looked through the labs, both came up empty.
Hmmm, I wonder! Multiple stars graduated a while back without me noticing. Skip the labs, go straight to your main settings screen for stars.

I honestly don't like Keyboard Shortcuts. I never have used them with any product. Can't help that one.
"nestled labels" are folders.
I forget my gmail account password, and gmail even not sending me reset password email on my yahoo recovery email account...
do you have any solution ?
This is my account, but that is another account of my friend that I created in 2009, but know singin issue arise...
gmail gives a notice that you changed your passowrd 9 months ago... +Jacob Dix
If you found new configurations. .. i like know about it ...
moving chat to right hand side using google labs feature is also a good option
Thanks for the advice! I enabled the multiple inbox lab but it is just dividing my inbox into starred, drafts, and everything else all separated by one line. How do I move the inbox options into the right hand side? And how do I rename them??
Canned responses never work for me - do they for others?
Ben, click on the gear/settings icon>settings>multiple inboxes> right side of inbox. voila! Let me know if that wasn't clear and I'll try to explain it again. Good luck!
Thanks for the tips, my Gmail looks and functions even better now!
Despite the fact that I can't find "Additional Stars" lab, I really appreciate your tips, Jacob. Thanks!
Okay, I've enabled multiple inboxes, and I keep refreshing, but I don't see them in my gmail...
I cannot find where to change to a darker theme, any help please?
It looks like "Additional Stars" is already implemented in Gmail... You can enable them in the "General" tab of the Configurations.
To get this look, what exact settings do u have in the "Inbox" as well as the "Multiple Inboxes" tabs of your Settings?
+Sabina M I have the "dark" theme. Multiple inboxes is set to the right of the inbox. I use all five, 4 for labels, 1 for a star. Set at three emails per box so they all fit on my screen, I don't need to scroll. If you dont see the lab, have you entered what should be filtered into each box?

Yes, +Artur Boschi da Silva stars turned out to have graduated. Mentioned in an earlier comment.

+Shailen Tailor themes are the last button in settings, but can also be reached directly from the gear icon.

+Sara Ohara I'd recommend trying canned responses one more time. After enabling the lab, compose an email, click the canned responses button and save it. Give it a name. Then discard the draft. Compose a new email, click on canned responses, pick the one you just saved. The whole email is right there again. If you don't like what you wrote, you can edit the existing canned response, or edit while it's open and save as CR # 2.

This is how I made multiple signatures. You can do them with logos, etc. So it's a real time saver.
Of course using canned responses for signatures means turning off the "formatted signature" feature in the main settings screan. Going the canned responses route also eliminates that little underscore or line previous to a signature. It also means you can put the signature (canned response) wherever you place the cursor. The standardized signature puts it in a standardized place.
Matt B
Thanks for tips =)
Oh so it's not working because I do use a 'formatted signature' - well that's inconvenient but at least now I know why! Thanks Jacob.
Man, I use my Gmail account to manage 3 separate email accounts and your tips have really helped me to organize and manage my inbox. Brilliance! Well done!
+Sara Ohara I don't think the two Labs are in conflict. I just think standardized signatures is limited.

Canned responses can do the exact same signature. But I understand the frustration. When I first tried CR I gave it up because at the time I didn't really need them, and I couldn't get them to work. But still I recommend you try out how it works. Once you get it down it is exellent. Do this: write an email with just your home address and contact info. Save it as a CR called "Home". Erase the text (but don't discard the email) and write your work address. Save that too as a CR called "work".

Then go down a couple space with the cursor, open the CR "Home". It will appear there. Compare the two addresses. Then save the combination as "combo". Or save it as Home, in which case it will ask if this new text should overwite the old.

+Maggie Chiu if you must have files like yahoo uses, nestled labels is pretty much the same, and is standard. Go to settings / labels. You'll see under your labels the ability to add sub-labels. You can build a tree of categories like yahoo if you like. All still searchable.

+Christian Bradley really glad to hear that. I have one other account that forwards emails to this one. Those skip the inbox, get a label, and go to my first multi inbox (blurred title in the image).

By the way, there are settings that allow you to send email AS that other address. Mr. Bradley can answer the company.example@gmail emails from the Bradley email, but the from address will be company.example@gmail.

Try it ;)
I cant find the themes to turn the page to dark rather than white... can you point me in the right direction pls :)
+Alec Brocklehurst From your inbox, click on the gear symbol. You should see "Display Density" and three options, then "Settings", "Themes", and "Help". Do you see Themes there?
Just logged in to my personal account and I see 'themes' there! I'll speak to the admin for my work account! ;)
How can you tell the Multiple inbox to display Label:blabla AND unread? (2 conditions)
Thank a lot!
That's a great question +Christophe Versieux which I didn't know. I tested it, and combinations work! Boolean search in Gmail.

In the Multiple Inbox field, type:

is:Label AND l:^u

For stars and unread it would be:

has:Star-type AND l:^u

Replace Label (or star-type) with your own label name of course. And then the l:^u is for unread. It brings up only those emails with that labeled which are also unread. Great!
Space seems to work as well... Thank a lot for the amazing initial post
+Jacob Dix that is what I have been doing. I have the personal Gmail, then the other 2 business emails forwarded to my Gmail with auto-labeling and I have it set with the option to send emails as those business addresses. It has still felt cluttered but your post really helped. Oh, and pointing me to canned responses was the greatest thing ever! One of my business accounts, I just send the same replies over and over again.
That was a mistake on my part +Kajal Gada. Stars are no longer in Labs. They graduated a while ago and are standard gmail options. Thanks for your interest.
Thanks for the Tip, Jacob Dix
Thanks for the wonderful post. I have a question, How do you add the options on the ride side of the picture?
+James Woodson In Multiple Inboxes settings, click the box that puts them "to the right" ;)
Excellent information - thanks for sharing!
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