Google launched Gmail more than 15 years ago, and nowadays it has over 1.2 billion users — which makes it one of the biggest email providers on Earth.
People use it everyday, all the time, and it means a few things:
- it has a massive system;
- it’s probably very messy for a majority of users.
Whether features are native or third-party, there are several solutions you can use to organize Gmail. Just keep in mind that everything was made to help you, so they need you to do your part as well.
Gmail is an incredible tool that many people don’t use as efficiently as they could, so become a boss of your inbox and see your work grow exponentially.
Another thing we deal through email is: tasks. Your tasks are a crucial part of your day, and some people manage them in tools such as Trello and Asana, and it means: new tabs on your browser plus new passwords to remember, and still, in the end of the day, things will come through your email. Let’s get some practical examples:
If you’re closing a deal in your company, you will most probably:
- Send emails to share a contract.
- Send emails to schedule a demo/ call / meeting;
- And also send emails to introduce your product or service;
If you’re helping your customer with a problem, you’ll definitely:
- Receive an email back with a rating for your customer support.
- Send an email with instructions;
- Receive an email with a customer complaint;
It is unavoidable, if you run a business, or work in any company, your email will end up being your hub network for every other tool. So why not keeping your tasks organised there?
In order to keep your mailbox organized, here are some tips we have gathered after years of inbox work with Drag:
Don’t be afraid to start from scratch
Although many softwares do great works to help you out, there are also native tools available to organize your inbox, such as folders, labels, and tabs.
- Labels: labels are basically a simple way to categorize your messages. For example, you can define that all messages coming from specific friends will get the label “Friends”, while others coming from work will get the label “Work”. You can also atribute next steps to your labels’ names, such as “Follow Up” and “Pay”;
- Folders: many folders come in your Gmail already, such as Inbox, Sent, Junk… these are very common, but you can create your own folders and make your email even simpler;
- Tabs: tabs are the categories of your messages, so if it comes from a newsletter, or a friend, they belong in different categories, for instance.
Once you categorize your messages properly, you’re much more capable to keep this organisation in the future.
Delete and Archive
It’s not a secret to anyone. However, people unconsciously get attached to their messages and never let go of them.
Letting emails go is a natural part of the process, so don’t think too much about it and just let go of them. After all, more emails will come, and old emails won’t be used anymore.
In case an email is truly important, there are some things you can do with it:
- add it to a folder;
- archive it, so it will be easily found in the future;
- snooze it.
Schedule specific time for Gmail
Another thing that people get tricked into all the time is the time spent in email. Although it may sound simple to be quick with your messages, many users still spend huge amount of hours daily dealing with their inboxes.
Scheduling times for Gmail is very easy, you simply need to turn off notifications and schedule 15 to 30 minutes time slots during your day — you can start doing it 3 times a day and then going to 2, or even only one. You’ll see the difference it makes.
Gmail + Kanban: a magic couple
You usually see Kanban in tools such as Trello, that were made to organize and visualize your tasks, but as tasks usually come and go via email, wouldn’t it be awesome to have them straight in your inbox?
Gmail as it is can be very hard to visualize. Many tools and extensions exist online in order to make email look easier for you.
Kanban is one of them, and I personally believe it’s one of the best ideas ever tried for email. It turns your inbox into this board with lists, so you can drag and drop them around, creating workflows and organizing messages as tasks, which is very handy.
Basically, every email becomes a card, and you can organise your messages in lists, so they’ll all belong with their similars. In this case, everything pending some approval will be stacked together, so you know you won’t have to worry about them in the moment. Let’s see some other advantages:
Other extensions that are also mailbox best friends
Boomerang allows you to send emails later, so if you remind of something you only need to do in the future, you can do it now and don’t worry about it anymore.
WiseStamp allows people to create and manage email signatures from Gmail and making it visually available on all email platforms – no coding needed.
Grammarly is an extension that helps you not only improve your writing, but also suggests improvements on best manners, word choice and style based on who you’re writing to.
There are many different ways to organize your email, check out which one is better for you and go for it. Another important part to keep in mind is your discipline, so focus on what you’re doing and create habits around it. Before you see it will become an automatic thing for you to do.
Organizing your inbox is very simple, but it might hide some traps sometimes. Which is why you need to be aware of tips that can make things much easier.
Also, by centralising your team’s work in a single place, your processes get quicker. Consequently, your customers get happier and your company sell more. We truly believe that current solutions don’t solve the problem as well as it can be solved. This is why we’re introducing Drag as a disruptive tool, working straight from your Gmail inbox as a collaborative and visual tool.
Let us know if you have other tips and/or extensions to share with our community, your feedback is great for all of us. 🙂
Learn more about the benefits in Shared inboxes. Download Drag’s “The Ultimate Guide to Transform your Business with Shared Inboxes”. We did it to create awareness in companies in what concerns increasing productivity by using online tools. Click on the button below:
Drag is a shared inbox, inside Gmail, for teams to manage emails, tasks, helpdesk and more from one single place. Try Drag for free.