Ever since Google was introduced, the present-day industry giant has introduced innovative services and initiated new rules of the internet game. Google Mail (better known as Gmail) is one of the oldest and most persistent services still in use today and, as it appears, is likely to keep going strong in years to come.
Gmail is one of the most popular email services worldwide, numbering almost 2 billion users. The number has doubled over the past six years, resulting in Gmail users contributing to almost 50% of overall email service usage. Last year (2020),Gmail owned 43% of the email service market share, as opposed to other popular choices such as Yahoo! (26%) and Outlook (6%).
Everything considered, Gmail should be taken seriously, even among the people who use it for private correspondence alone.
Since the rise of email marketing campaigns, many people have been facing a seemingly impossible task — popularly titled “zero inbox.” Well, given the popularity of Gmail, it is only to be expected that the service does offer a number of benefits, right?
Let’s see how you can use Gmail to manage your organization in an efficient and seamless way.
1. Inbox Organization
First of all, the moment you open your inbox to check incoming messages, you should be able to distinguish between important ones and those that can wait at a glance.
For starters, choose which Gmail tabs you want to keep. Gmail tabs can be easily customized and removed, with the exception of the Primary Tab, which is active by default. The rest can be removed, but keep in mind that all incoming messages that would normally go there will start appearing in the Primary Tab unless you customize other options (discussed below).
To disable Gmail tabs, go to Settings and choose Configure Inbox from the dropdown menu. From there, you can select the tabs you want to disable or enable.
2. Filtering Emails
As mentioned above, if you choose to disable optional tabs, all emails will be listed in the Primary Tab. Now, there’s a subtle way to let Gmail “learn” which emails should be listed in your inbox and which can be located elsewhere (spam or blocked emails folder) until you decide to give your attention to them.
Gmail, by definition, is projected to “read” customer behavior, with more or less success. If you help the service by specifying your preferences, the process will become faster and your user experience invaluable.
Filters are a good way to go about the matter. By creating a filter, you’ll directly tell Gmail where to redirect specific emails.
The process is rather easy: click the arrow pointing down in the search bar and select the “create a new filter” option. Filters automatically perform selected actions on incoming emails (e.g., deleting them, labeling them, or forwarding them to a different email address). For best experience, click on the “Also apply filter to matching conversations” checkbox.
Common actions that can be performed using Gmail filters include:
· Skip the inbox (archive emails)
· Mark as read
· Apply a label
· Star the email
· Delete the email
· Forward the email
· Never send the email to spam folder
· Categorize as (for multiple tabs)
· Always mark as important
· Never mark as important
3. Labeling Emails
Labels are another great way to organize your Gmail inbox and are quite easy to customize. Gmail offers a range of functions, including different label colors (text and background) and sub-labels.
There are a fair number of standard labels to get you started. As you get more familiar with the system, start adding your own labels. On the left, scroll down and click “core.” Select “create a new label,” name your label and click “create.” All done! Easy peasy!
4. Archiving Emails to Achieve Goals
Funnily enough, many people forget to archive their emails. The common misconception is that they think they might need these messages, so they don’t want to delete it. That archiving can remove the messages from your inbox and still make them accessible when called upon is the fact that many people overlook.
And with so little clutter, it makes it much easier to look at your active emails in a glance, which can lend a hand in the pursuit of faster ways to achieve goals.
There are many messages people think they may need as a reference in the future, notably invoices, order confirmations and similar. Certainly, you don’t need all these messages cluttering your inbox at all times, so archive them for better inbox visibility and organization.
The solution is simple. Archive the messages you think you’ll need to revisit in the future. In this way, they won’t appear in your inbox, but you will always be accessible.
Do this on a regular basis. Emails tend to pile up fast, so make archiving a habit. Once you select target emails, the archive icon will appear on top of the inbox.
5. Adding Emails to Google Tasks and Automating Emails
As mentioned in the beginning, Google offers a variety of services, all of which integrate with one another. One of these extremely useful combinations includes Google Tasks and Gmail, which is not widely used or known, for some reason.
Here’s what you can do. Select the emails you want to add to a task, click the three dots and choose “add to tasks.” Gmail will automatically add a new task using the subject line of the email, so if you want to rename it, do it immediately.
The Tasks window will appear. You’ll have to close it manually if you don’t want it distracting you (click on the “X” button).
All tasks can be reordered and customized (e.g., you can add notes).
Alternatively, you can automate the emails that you’d normally have to forward manually. The only thing you need to pay attention to is specifying the conditions based on the type of emails you’re planning to automate.
Gmail is a user-friendly service, and there’s much more than meets the eye. That is, after all, what made it so popular in the first place. The greatest thing about the service is that Google actually listens to user feedback (that’s how they have been staying on top for years), so you can expect new features at any time.
Our advice is — keep an eye on the improvements and adjust your zero inbox strategy in line with the features that suit you best.