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: https://plus.google.com/u/0/100152754393360938972/posts/8aQXrBVHaCn

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