Most people don’t realize how incredibly time-consuming it is to organize a Gmail inbox. You can literally sit for hours just sifting through emails, figuring out ways to coordinating them before you can even start your working day. The worst part is that you may never realize what a waste of time this is. Learn about the tools you have available to optimize this process and enhance your productivity.
Emails are a valuable tool, not just for business. Everyone uses them but, just like happens with all the things we use daily, they must be kept organized. Failing to have an organized email inbox can create a snowball effect that will negatively impact your work and the work of your team.
The problem is that people are so accustomed to this, that they don’t even realize they’re wasting a lot of time doing this. It becomes like a natural thing that cannot be avoided. Well, the truth is that we have many ways to gain control over a Gmail inbox and keep it organized at all times. The purpose of this post is to show you all possible alternatives so you can have more peace of mind every morning before starting your daily activities.
Exploring the basics of Gmail´s inbox
Now, in order to have a fully organized inbox in Gmail, its crucial to know all about the basics of emails and its importance for both people and companies all around the world. For businesses and more specifically for areas like customer service or sales, emails are crucial tools to assure the right development of customer-related processes.
Emails are the evolution of a mailbox and have been present ever since the internet was created. Its a great form of interaction between team members and clients, providers, other departments within the company. We can safely say that emails constitute a big part of the way a business communicates in general, that’s why it’s so important to keep your inbox organized.
Gmail inbox´s anatomy
Think of your inbox as a room in your house that is a total mess. Items all over the place and not a clue of where to start organizing everything. A complex and weird mixture of regular, important, not so important, useless, unused for a while and essential elements with no correlation or order whatsoever. Just like a messy room.
Naturally, the first thing to do is getting rid of all the unnecessary elements that act as a visual block. Getting rid of all the unnecessary newsletters will help you save time each day when you’re reviewing emails, and it will help you to free space on your inbox too.
In addition to this, another good practice before we can start organizing our Gmail inbox is making proper adjustments in the way you organize all of your incoming emails. If you go the gear icon, on the upper left side of your Gmail inbox, and click on it, you can choose from different tabs. Go to the dropdown menu on the inbox type tab, and choose from the menu.
- Default: This is the usual mess you’re likely to see every day.
- Important First: An algorithm is the one responsible for identifying the critical emails from the rest. You can recognize them because they have a yellow marker. If you wish to understand how Google algorithms, go here.
- Unread First: This will make the unread emails to be placed above the rest of the emails in the inbox.
- Starred First: If you like using stars to establish priorities in emails, this is for you. All of the starred emails will be shown first, then the rest of the emails.
- Priority Inbox: Based on your actions Google can tell which are the email addresses that you interact more frequently and places them on top.
After you let go all the unnecessary newsletters and prioritize how your emails arrive, then it’s time to get down to business. This means to have a clear understanding of all the available tools you have to organize your inbox, and use them. These tools include Tabs, Labels, Folders, Filters, and Gmail Labs, so let’s get started:
They’re a simple way to categorize your messages. For instance, you can create work-related labels like Providers, Clients, etc. That way, all the incoming emails from specific people will get the label Clients or Providers. There’s the chance to put labels indicating further steps on a particular process, like a follow-up, stand-by or Pay.
Remember that Gmail is all about labels, so they can maximize your inbox and make it more dynamic. You can add more than one label to an email and use colors for better use. Plus they look lovely on any inbox.
Simply go to Create New Label on the left side of the menu bar. If you cannot find it, click on More to be able to see it. After the label is created, go to a message and click on “label” and choose from the list the ones you wish to apply. Don’t forget adding colors; they make everything more intuitive.
- Find the label you want to add color to on the left menu bar
- Click on its small arrow button
- Click on label color
- Choose a color
You know them already, Sent, Junk and Inbox sections of your Gmail are folders. Those are predetermined, but you can create your own and simplify your inbox.
They’re categories in which you can divide your emails. An email from a provider and a newsletter will belong to different groups or tabs. They also help to keep things organized, but it’s essential to know when to get rid of unnecessary tabs.
You don’t need to keep all the five Gmail tabs if you’re not going to use them. Feel free to disable them at any time. Just keep in mind two things:
- The Primary Tab cannot be disabled.
- After disabling a tab, all of its messages will be shown on the first tab. Be careful here and try to remove only the tabs that are not receiving too many emails.
It’s pretty standard for people to be slightly reluctant to the use of tabs. They usually prefer the classic view, because that’s what they’re accustomed to seeing.
Archiving or deleting the unnecessary
Despite people being afraid of doing this, it is true that the less you see, the more productive things can be. Of course, if you’re doing this, be 100% sure that the conversation or topic from the message is over and there’s no need for it in the future.
If the message is something you may need in the future, but not right now, then go and archive it. In addition to this, try not to over archive things, only when it needs to be filed. Use the Trash Can for the rest of them.
Shared Inboxes to assign emails without forwarding
Its a fact that many of the emails that a sales or customer support department gets, need to be assigned immediately to someone else on the team. People can do this the regular way, the email comes in, and then you forward it to the right person or to whoever must process the email. The problem is that this is extremely time-consuming.
A good solution here is to set up shared inboxes, so the process of assigning an incoming email is automatic to be more time-effective. You can rely on Drag for your shared inbox needs. You will receive additional features with this service, here are a few:
- Organize Emails in Trello-like, customizable lists
- Add standalone tasks to your Inbox
- Add notes, checklists, and due dates to Emails
- Sort & filter emails
- Add multiple boards
Find a new way to organize your inbox, take it to the next level. Enhance your productivity and witness a new type on inbox as you’ve never seen before.