The email I use for business is hosted by Google Apps and using Gmail is a day to day thing. Most people love Gmail for its simplicity and I am no exception but behind the simple user interface are some features you are probably not using. Some of the tips given in this post should increase productivity and some will make you like Gmail even more. I receive and sends lots of mails and I love to keep my mails organized, I love to work faster and more efficiently and believe me, emails can really slow you down if proper care is not taken.
Tip #1: Canned Response
If you answer mails that require the same response over and over again, you’re really gonna need this. As a blogger, I receive similar messages on guest posting daily and these mails require the same answer. It made no sense typing the same message like 5-10 times a day so I copied my response to a notepad. Still, I was not really satisfied with this method because I had to format my messages the way I wanted even after pasting the message from a notepad.
Unknown to me, Gmail has a feature that lets you send predefined messages while composing and I accidentally stumbled on it.
Before getting started, there’s one thing we have to do. Go to Settings > Labs by clicking the icon at the top-right corner.
Just enable Canned responses from the list and save the change. Go back to your inbox and try composing a message.
You only need to click the tiny icon on the bottom-right of the message editor to get started. You can create as more than one predefined message you can send as many times as you like.
- Write the predefined message you want to send multiple times on the editor
- Click the bottom-right icon as shown above and mouse over Canned responses
- Select New canned response and give it a title you can easily identify
- To use this response anytime, you just need to click that same icon, mouse over Canned responses and then insert it by clicking the title you gave it earlier
Tip #2: HTML Signature
Don’t get excited yet, Gmail doesn’t let you insert raw HTML in your signature but you can add rick text and of course, graphics. If you haven’t checked the signature aspect of Gmail setttings in a very long time, you may not have noticed that you may now use the same toolbar used for composing messages to format your signature.
It’s a great idea to have your social profiles as icons below each message. Here is what my signature looks like:
To do this, Go to Settings > General. Scroll down to signature to enable it. Write your signature, format it the way you want, add images and more.
- To add social profile icons, find cool icons on iconarchive.com or any other icon website you use
- Click the insert image icon on the toolbar
- Paste the image url and wait till it shows
- Highlight the image by clicking on it on the editor
- Hit the Add Link button on the toolbar and write your desired link
- You can repeat the step for all your social profiles
Tip #3: Unread Messages First
I try as much as possible not ti have a single unread message in my inbox and the best way to do that is to organize my inbox in a way that prioritizes unread messages. Sometimes, I may decide to mark a message as unread and probably reply later… coming back the next day, the message may already be on the second page and I don’t like scrolling through pages trying to find messages I haven’t replied.
This is relatively easy compared with the rest. You only need to mouse over inbox and hit the tiny arrow button beside it . Select unread first to see how organized this will make your inbox look.
There are lots more but I’m assuming you should know them already. There are lots more you can find if you take some time to tour the settings and check out some of those cool lab features.