Gmail is one of the most popular email services around, but you might not be taking advantage of all of its features. Here are 13 Gmail tips and tricks that you can use when sending your next email.
If you can believe it, Gmail has been around for over 11 years, and it has grown significantly during that time, with added features and better designs. Currently, Gmail is at an all-time high, and the great thing about it is that it has kept the simplicity over the years that initially made Gmail so great, while still adding on necessary features and tweaking the overall design for the better.
However, one thing that many users don’t know about Gmail is that all of those features simply are not being used, and most users could benefit from them, whether it’s saving time by setting up canned responses or disabling new email notifications in order to focus and be more productive after lunch time.
Here are 13 Gmail tips and tricks that you can use in order to get more out of Google’s email service.
Undo Sent Emails
If you accidentally sent an email prematurely before you were ready to send it, there’s a feature in Gmail that you can enable that allows you to undo a sent email within a given period of time.
The feature gives you up to 30 seconds to undo an email after you sent it, which can be great if you forgot to include an attachment or any other important bit of information, that way you don’t look like an idiot when you have to send a second email with further information or attachments.
Simply click the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the web page and select Settings. Under the General tab, find Undo Send and place a checkmark next to Enable Undo Send. Then, select a time period from the drop-down menu, which will be the amount of time you’ll have to undo a sent email.
Add Multiple Accounts on iPhone
If you have multiple Gmail email accounts and want access to all of them on your iPhone, you can add them with ease and have multiple Gmail accounts with you while you’re on the go.
One method is to add your Google account to iOS in Settings and then use the built-in Mail app to access your Gmail accounts.
The second method is the easier way, where you simply download the Gmail app from the App Store and then add your multiple Gmail accounts directly within the app. There are pros and cons to each, and from there, you can decide which one would be best for you.
Stop Gmail from Adding Events to Google Calendar
About a month ago, Google added a capability to Gmail and Google Calendar that allows Gmail to automatically add events it see in your email to your Google Calendar, but you can disable this feature easily.
Essentially, it scans your Gmail email and automatically creates new events based on emails you receive that include dates and times, etc. This means that when you receive confirmations from buying game tickets, make a hotel reservation, or booking a flight, Gmail and Google Calendar will automatically add that event to your calendar.
To disable this feature, go to your Google Calendar and click on the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the screen. Select Settings. Find the setting called Events in Gmail and uncheck Add automatically. Click Continue when the pop-up appears and then scroll back up and click Save toward the upper-left corner of the screen.
Reply & Archive Emails in One Click
If you’re all about efficiency and want to move through your inbox as quickly as possible, there’s one trick that I’d recommend learning.
When replying to an email, Gmail allows you to click one button to send that reply and then archive the email, so essentially two steps done in one click. However, it might not be enabled on your Gmail account, but that’s a quick fix.
Simply click on the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the screen and select Settings. Within the General tab, find Send and Archive. Then select Show “Send & Archive” button in reply. Scroll down to the bottom and click Save changes.
Set Up Canned Responses
Google calls this feature “email for the truly lazy.” Canned responses are pre-written email replies that you can save and send in common emails that you receive. For instance, if you receive a lot of emails that ask the same question, you can come up with a canned response for it to automatically send back, thus saving time on your end.
To enable the ability to set up canned responses, click the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the web page and select Settings. Click on the Labs tab at the top and scroll down and find the feature called Canned Responses. Select Enable to the right of it and then scroll all the way down and click Save changes.
Enable Vacation Mode
If you’ll be on vacation and won’t have access to your Gmail account during that time, don’t leave those who send you emails hanging around waiting for a reply. Instead, you can enable a vacation responder.
Simply click on the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the screen and select Settings. Within the General tab, find Vacation Responder. Then enable it and type in a message that will automatically be sent to anyone that sends you an email. You can then select when you want it enabled. From there, scroll down and click Save changes.
Reply vs Reply All
When you reply to an email, you have the option of replying to only the person who sent the email, or you can reply back to everyone who was copied in on the email.
In Gmail, you can make either one of these options the default choice for whenever you go to reply to an email.
Simply click on the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the screen and select Settings. Within the General tab, find Default reply behavior. Then select either Reply or Reply all. You can then select when you want it enabled. From there, scroll down and click Save changes.
Separate Unread Emails from Everything Else
If you like to be organized, but your Gmail inbox is getting a bit too messy, you can organize it a little bit by separating unread emails from everything else in your inbox, which can clean things up a bit.
Click on the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the screen and select Settings. Within the Inbox tab, go the first setting toward the top, which is Inbox type. Select Unread first within the drop-down menu.
Then, below that there is what’s called Inbox sections. You’ll have Unread and Everything else. Checking out the Options for each of these lets you customize it a bit.
Connect Another Email Account
If you have multiple Gmail accounts that you want to sort of merge into one, you can use your primary Gmail account to fetch any new emails from your other Gmail accounts, as well as send emails from your other Gmail accounts through your primary account.
Just click on the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the screen and select Settings. Then, go to the Accounts and Import tab. From there, you can use POP3 to fetch email from another Gmail account, as well as add an email address to send new mail from without having to log into that account every time.
Take Advantage of Filters
Do you just want email from a specific sender to go straight to the trash? Or do you want attach a label to an email if it mentions something specific? These are what filters are for.
Click on the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the screen and select Settings. Then, go to the Filters tab and begin creating your filters! In my case, I have a filter that applies a special label whenever an email contains the word “unsubscribe” and I also have filters for when I receive specific important emails and make sure that they don’t accidentally go into the spam folder.
There are obviously a lot of different filter options to choose from, but it’s a feature that’s incredibly useful in Gmail.
Give Gmail a Makeover
If you’re not a fan of the default look of the Gmail user interface, you can change it up in the settings.
Click on the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the screen and select Settings. Then, go to the Themes tab and you’ll be shown a handful of different themes that you can choose from in order to give your Gmail account a much-needed makeover.
Personally, I like to keep things simple, so I stick with the default look, but if you want to give Gmail a bit more character, this is how to do it.
Archive or Delete an Email from Android Notifications
If you’re on Android, you can quickly archive or delete emails right from the notification bar, and which option you want depends on what you have set up in the settings.
Under General settings in the Gmail app, there will be a settings called Gmail default action, and you can change this to either Archive or Delete. Choosing one will allow you to either archive or delete an email right from the notification bar on your Android device.
Disable Mobile Notifications
If you need to get some work done with any distractions, you can easily disable new email notifications from popping up on your phone.
On iPhone, open the Gmail app and tap on the menu bar in the upper-left corner to bring up the sidebar. Then tap on the gear icon and select None under Notifications.
Once you’re done with work and want your notifications back, simply just back into this settings menu and tap on All New Mail to begin receiving alerts again.