Like most working people, a large part of your day is probably taken up with managing your emails. But whether you’re filtering through your inbox, composing an important message, or organizing your mail into folders, your time could be better spent doing more important tasks.
30 Gmail Tips and Tricks
To help you maximize your email productivity, we’ve put together a list of 30 Gmail tips and tricks that will help you get the most out of your account, and save you valuable time in the process.
1. Gmail search
Gmail has over 20 search operators you can use to find messages or create filters. You can even combine search operators to create a super-specific search inquiry.
The most basic search inquiries include:
- Locating an email from a specific sender by typing in “from:”
- Locating an email to a specific recipient by typing in “to:”
- Finding an email that was received after a specific date, by typing in “after:” followed by the date
To narrow down your search, you can combine search inquiries. For example, to find an email that was received from a specific recipient within the last two months that included an attachment, click the drop-down arrow to the right of the search box:
Then use the advanced search criteria to narrow down your search:
You can also set up filters so that the search criteria is saved for future searches.
2. Conversation view
If you like to keep all emails in a thread together, you can turn on “Conversation View.”
To do this, go to Settings > Conversation View > select Conversation view on:
3. Undo send
Since 2015, Gmail has allowed users to recall a message sent in error up to 30 seconds after they click Send.
When you send a message in Gmail, you’ll see a pop-up message appear.
Simply click Undo, and you’ll retrieve your email. Make sure not to click view message, click away from the message, or wait longer than the allocated time.
To change the time frame in which you can recall your messages, go to Settings, scroll to Undo Send, and choose your cancellation period using the drop-down list.
4. Schedule send
Like to work late in the evening? Have clients in different time zones? On holiday?
This is where Right Inbox’s email scheduling feature comes to the rescue. Schedule your emails to be delivered at just the right time for recipients.
Instantly align with schedules of remote contacts with time zone support.
5. Confidential mode
Gmail lets you compose an email which will automatically be deleted later on. These might be emails that you don’t want the recipient to save, copy, download, or forward.
Once you’ve composed your email, click the clock icon at the bottom right-hand corner of the message, and then set an expiry date.
You can also choose to set a passcode that the recipient will receive via SMS (if you click the SMS passcode box) or email (if you click the No SMS passcode box).
6. Smart compose
Smart compose lets users enable predictive words and phrases to appear when they start typing an email. It also learns how you usually write an email so that you always sound like you.
Go to Settings and scroll to Smart compose. Enable by clicking on Writing suggestions on.
7. Send money
Gmail now lets users send money via email. But be aware: to use this feature, both you and the recipient have to be set up with Google Pay.
To send money, compose your email, and click the $ button.
Now enter the amount of money you wish to send, and a note if you like. Click Attach Money.
8. Canned responses
Canned responses allow users to set up their own email templates in their inbox.
To set this up, go to Settings > Advanced Settings > Canned responses. Click Enable.
9. Check spelling
To check your spelling, navigate to the 3 dots at the bottom right of your email composer and click Check spelling.
10. Preview messages
Gmail’s preview pane is a useful way of looking at the first snippet of your emails before you open them.
11. Mute conversations
If you’re involved in an email thread that’s getting noisy, you can choose to mute the conversation.
Go into the conversation and click on the 3 dots at the top. In the drop-down, click Mute.
12. Sync with your calendar
Your Google calendar is automatically synced with your Gmail account and will appear in the right-hand side of your screen when you click the calendar icon.
13. Remove unwanted tabs
Gmail automatically comes with Primary, Social, and Promotions tabs already displayed, but you can choose to remove or add different tabs.
Go to Settings > Inbox > Categories to make changes.
14. Use color-coded stars
You can use Gmail’s colored stars to organize the emails within your inbox. In Settings, scroll to Stars, and drag the color stars from Not in use to In use so that you can start applying them to emails as you send and receive them.
15. Add emails to your tasks
If you have a task list in Gmail, you can add emails to it so that you can respond at a later date. You’ll also be reminded of them on a regular basis.
To set this up, select an email or emails from your inbox, go to More, and select Add to Tasks.
To check in with your task list, click the Tasks icon on the right-hand side on your inbox.
16. Use send and archive
To reply to an email and archive it at the same time, you need to enable Send and Archive.
Go to Settings > Send and Archive > Show “Send & Archive” button in reply.
17. Give someone access to your email account
Sometimes you need to give another person access to your email account. To do so, go to Settings > Accounts and Import > Grant access to your account.
Click Leave conversation as unread when opened by others to ensure that you can easily identify which messages you haven’t read yet.
18. Use multiple Gmail accounts at the same time
If you have more than one Gmail account, you can log into multiple accounts at the same time.
To do this, log into your first email account, and click on your profile icon in the top right-hand corner.
Type in your second email address and password. You’ll now see the second email account appear in a new tab. Continue this process until you’ve entered all the other Gmail addresses you own.
19.Use Google Hangouts within Gmail
Google Hangouts let you and your Gmail contacts chat from within Gmail.
To use it, click the Hangouts icon in the bottom left of your inbox, and choose the contact you want to connect with. A dialog box will appear on the bottom right-hand side of your inbox.
20. Make a phone call from Gmail
To do this, you’ll need to register your mobile number with Gmail. To register, enter your number. You’ll then receive a verification code via SMS. You’ll also need a microphone and speakers.
Once you’re registered to make calls, go to the telephone icon in the bottom left-hand corner of your inbox.
Choose the contact you wish to call and click on it. You’ll appear to the contact as “No caller ID.”
21. Sort Your Emails Before You Even Open Them
While most of us are familiar with hovering over emails to archive them, delete them, mark them as unread, not many know there is a right-click menu.
Right-click on the email for even more options.
22. Get Rid of Horizontal Scrollbars
It can be pretty annoying when someone sends an email that has a horizontal scroll bar. This happens when an image is too wide or hidden within the email.
Don’t be that person. Head over to your settings to make sure your logo doesn’t do this.
23. Use Advanced Filters
Some users don’t use filters to maximize productivity. There are many ways you can tame your inbox with advanced filters. Read our guide here.
24. Use Shortcuts
Shortcuts are essential to being more productive with your inbox. Check out some of these shortcuts that you can learn quickly and start using today.
25. Access Gmail via Outlook or Yahoo Mail
Yes, this is possible. If you don’t want to use the Gmail interface for any reason, you can see your Gmail messages in Yahoo and Outlook.
For Yahoo Mail, click the Settings icon. Then choose More Settings followed by Mailboxes. Choose Mailbox, and then add Gmail.
If you are an Outlook.com user, you need to go to the Gear icon. Then choose View all followed by Mail, and then finally Sync Email.
26. Keep Tabs on Which Apps Have Access to Your Account
It’s always important to see what apps you still have connected to your Gmail. Periodically go back and check them.
Simply head over to myaccount.google.com. Then click Security. Find “Apps with account access,” and you’ll be able to clean up any apps that you no longer use and keep your account safe.
27. Keep Your Inbox Less Cluttered by Using Block Instead of Spam
Do you ever get bored of marking emails from the same sender as Spam? If so, click on the main menu and then just block the sender. All future emails from them will get sent straight to spam.
Advanced Gmail Tips
28. Recurring Emails in Gmail
While Gmail offers a fair amount of functionality, it doesn’t yet allow you to send recurring emails. But when you use a tool like Right Inbox, it’s all taken care of. A recurring email tool is something that most email users wouldn’t ever think about. But for people who are sending the same emails day after day, it can be a huge time-saver.
Schedule emails to be sent out automatically at a time and frequency of your choosing. Set frequency, specific days, time of day, start date, end date and even time zone. Use for monthly invoices, weekly meeting agendas, quarterly expense reports etc.
29. Managing Multiple Signatures
Create fitting signatures for every email context you find yourself in. Get more email replies and leads with the perfect sign-off for every context.
You can use different signatures for your emails. For example, you can set a signature default for new emails you compose or reply to. You can also choose a different signature with each email you send. Write your email, then insert the perfect Gmail signature with one click.
30. Email Templates in Gmail
Turn your most effective emails in templates you can insert and optimize with one click. Optimize and personalize your Gmail email template to fit every contact’s unique context.
If you find yourself regularly sending the same types of emails, like expense reminders, or having to send the same reply to multiple emails, you’ll also save time by pulling up a template rather than drafting each one from scratch. Using email templates also brings consistency to your email communication.