While Gmail is the quintessential email solution you might use, prospecting is the primary task for your business. Since these two are inevitably tied together, it only makes sense to take time to implement simple flourishes to your email workflow.

Here are at least five Gmail tricks to tie your Gmail use to prospecting, for business, and for productivity:

Use labels, Filters and Inbox rules

According to a McKinsey Global Institute Report (July 2012), the average worker spends a whopping 28% of the time managing email, on an average – that’s equivalent to 14 hours on an inbox out of a 50-hour workweek.  John Burke on SproutSocial.com reports – referring to the above McKinsey report that an average user gets about 147 emails per day and users delete at least half of them.

We suspect that users tend to leave the rest of the emails unattended for processing later.

Filters, labels, and inbox rules are your ticket to Inbox Zero: filter out emails you don’t need using criteria such as sender names, attachments, or emails based on certain keywords. Apply labels to regular conversations with colleagues, friends, family, customers, and others. Further, unsubscribe to newsletters and notifications you aren’t interested in.

Avoid using folders

To start with, don’t create multiple folders for people, projects, and tasks because it tends to clutter your inbox more than it could help you get more efficient. Instead, use a single folder – apart from your Inbox – such as “archives” and dump everything into your “archives” to arrive at Inbox zero.  Gmail search function is often faster in helping you retrieve emails than trying to find the right folder and then the email conversation you seek.

Undo Email

An average email user sends out more than 40 emails a day. Throw that enormous task into a typical workday and you are likely to produce emails with errors, deviant tones, and possible words that could kill your chances of scoring with customers (if you are sending out prospecting emails or follow-ups, for instance).

Google’s undo email feature is a gift you’ll most certainly come to appreciate. It allows you to retract an email and save you the trouble of sending a series of emails with apologies, rectifications, and clarifications, which could all be sent in a single email.

Use Gmail Shortcuts

Most people often ignore keyboard shortcuts. They are, however, a great way to save precious time while working with your emails. Google’s support pages already have tons of shortcuts ready for you. We agree that getting used to short cuts demands some memory, practice, and frequent use. Once you achieve this, however, keyboard shortcuts can ease up your email use and brings efficiency to regular tasks.

Keyboard shortcuts are always a faster approach than using mouse or track pad.

There’s a time for everything, including emails

There are certain times during the day when your emails just won’t make sense to send. Assuming your recipients are on the same time zone, there’s no point in sending email at midnight when it’s only bound to be read the next morning. Further, if you are sending out emails to clients/customers, prospects, or vendors, you are likely to send out more emails than just one.

That’s why scheduling your emails is the best thing that happened to Gmail yet. Using Right Inbox, you could use your downtime (any of those times during the day you don’t work, take a break, or feel like getting away from your actual work) to create emails so that you can schedule them to go out later.

What are some of your favorite tips for using Gmail? Please do share them with us here in the comments section below.

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