7 Tips to Boost Your Productivity in Gmail
Email is a fundamental tool for communication whether it be for personal use or professional, and while there are a wide variety of email clients out there, Gmail has a dominant share of the market and is always improving.
Whether you're new to Gmail or have been using it for a while, our following tips are sure to help boost your productivity when it comes to emailing from Google's premier webmail client.
1. Split your inbox
If you've used other email clients in the past such as Outlook, Apple Mail or Office 365 then you would be familiar with having your inbox split with your received emails and a preview pane.
Many people don't know this, but it's possible to enable the preview pane within Gmail too which will stop you going back and forth between opening emails and essentially boost your productivity.
To enable the preview pane, navigate to the Cog Icon in the top right of Gmail and select Settings. Head across to the Advanced tab, then scroll down and enable Preview Pane.
Gmail will refresh and you'll now see a new icon next to the cog icon. Here you can select whether to have no preview pane, a horizontal split or a vertical split which is sure to make emailing much easier.
2. Undo sent emails
Have you ever sent an email, only to realise just moments after that you forgot to send an attachment, typed the wrong name or simply made an error? Don't worry, it happens to the best of us and can actually be prevented!
In what is now a default setting in Gmail's 2018 redesign, you can now adjust how long you want to be able to undo your email send.
To do this, head to your Cog Icon then Settings. Under the General tab, scroll down and you will see an Undo Send option. You can change this to 5, 10, 20 or 30 seconds and after hitting send an Undo option will appear and stay on your screen for that length of time.
3. Send large files with Google Drive
We're all aware that email was never intended for the sending of large files between users, however nowadays it can be tough to keep files down to a certain file size and having to host them yourself then email a link can become tedious and time consuming.
Thanks to the integration of Google Drive, Gmail users can send files of up to a whopping 10GB via the use of links in email with just a few clicks. Simply compose a new email, then from the bottom toolbar, select the Google Drive icon. A window will open up where you have the option to insert files from the following:
- My Drive
- Files shared with me
- Recent files
- Upload your own
Simply select any of those options, then choose whether to insert it as a link or attachment and your recipient will be able to access that file instantly.
4. Bypass Gmail's character restriction limit for your email signature
If you've tried to install a professional email signature in Gmail before then you may have experienced an error saying Sorry, the signature for XXXX is too long. Please try a shorter signature. The reason for this is that Gmail enforces a character restriction limit of roughly 10,000 characters and whilst this seems like a lot, it does include HTML code.
Trying to reduce your email signature below Gmail's limit can become tedious as there's no "official limit", but there is a way around this. By using the Email Signature Rescue web extension, you can simply insert your HTML code into the extension which will insert your signature directly into your composed email.
The extension is free and available on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Safari and can be downloaded here. Once installed, simply open the extension up, create a signature and insert your HTML code and your email signature will automatically insert when you're composing an email.
The Email Signature Rescue web extension also offers a number of other features with the most notable being auto-update functionality. If you're an Email Signature Rescue member, your email signature will be assigned a key which can be inserted into the web extension. Doing this will sync your signature with our software and any changes made will automatically update in Gmail instantly.
If you're not currently an Email Signature Rescue member and are interested in creating professional email signatures whether it be for yourself or for your company, you can get started below. As a member you will have access to robust software with more than 20 professionally coded templates, as well as many more features including auto-update functionality in our web apps.Become an Email Signature Rescue Member
5. Smart Compose in the New Gmail
Back in April 2018, Gmail revealed their new redesign which boasts a range of new features. One of these new features is Smart Compose which essentially is a predictive text feature and is available to you right now when composing an email.
To use Smart Compose, first make sure you're using Gmail's new re-designed mode and aren't using Gmail Classic, then simply start typing an email. As you're typing certain sentences, Gmail will suggest words to finish it off for you. To use the suggested text, simply press tab or if you find that it's not quite hitting the mark then just keep typing as you normally would.
While the Smart Compose feature may not be as powerful as they showed in their feature unveil video earlier in the year, they have promised that it will improve with time thanks to AI. As you use the feature, it will pick up on certain words and the way you type sentences in order to learn and help you be more productive with typing future emails.
6. Save time with canned responses
One of the most under-utilised time savers in Gmail is using canned responses. A canned response is essentially an email template and will stop you from typing out common responses over and over again.
Canned responses aren't enabled in Gmail by default so before you can use them, you will need to switch them on. You can do this by going to the Cog Icon and selecting Settings, then going to the Advanced tab and enabling Canned Responses (Templates).
To create a canned response, compose an email and enter the text that you would like to use for that response. Once complete, click the More icon from the bottom right, hover over Canned Responses... and select New Canned Response.
You will be prompted to enter a name for the canned response and will be able to use it going forwards by simply selecting going back into Canned Responses and clicking insert.
If you're an advanced email user, it's also possible to set up Canned Responses with your email filters so that a specific response is automatically sent depending on who the email is from, or what the email says.
7. Take notes with Google Keep
A lot of the time when I'm replying to emails, I find that I need to quickly jot down a note, and whilst I usually have a notepad next to me, it's extremely cumbersome to write down URL's and I don't have the ability to add an image to the note if I need to.
Google has a notes feature integrated with Gmail called Google Keep which has recently made emailing and taking notes a lot easier! It can be accessed from the right sidebar of your Gmail web client by clicking the yellow light bulb icon, and allows you to write notes or lists with links, images, drawings, audio and more.
Keep also has an app available for Android devices and iOS, as well as a web extension and web app. Any notes you take from the app in Gmail will automatically be available in all other apps. This is perfect for taking notes via email, then taking them straight into a meeting and being able to discuss them with your client in person.