Author: Colin Bryce
Colin Bryce from Cobry hosted our Gmail training this week. The email software is one of the core apps of G Suite, a set of business tools designed to help teams work more effectively together. With a strong emphasis on taking the workload away from you through good design, smart tools, and user-controlled settings, the ultimate aim in Gmail is to reach “inbox zero” – no emails sitting in your inbox. There are numerous features and settings that are designed to help you achieve this goal.
Mail Management Features
There’s several key features that help you organise your emails making them easier to digest and action.
- Labels – a more advanced form of folder that acts more like a tag – allowing you to add multiple labels to a single email and adding a label without removing it from your inbox
- Filters – rules you can set that automatically carry out actions on emails as they arrive in your inbox – eg: label, delete, forward.
- Stars – a way of setting the priority of emails – this plays a key role in priority inbox
- Archive – an alternative to deleting that removes emails from your “Inbox” but stores them in the “All Mail” label allowing them to be easily searched later without having to delete them
- Conversation View – emails with the same subject line are grouped together in a chronological way – just the same as in instant messaging threads
- Priority Inbox – this is Google’s recommended inbox setup for maximum productivity – it’s organised in three sections: “Important and Unread”; “Starred” and “Everything Else”, getting you to the most important items first
- Advanced Search – Gmail’s search capabilities – as you’d expect from Google – are very powerful meaning you’ll almost always be able to find an email that you’re looking for
As well as the features that are automatically available from when you start using a new account, there are also some settings that you can switch on to help boost productivity:
- Canned Responses – allowing you to save email templates – if you ever send emails regularly that have similar or identical content – this will save you lots of time
- Send & Archive – when you reply to an email you can use this button to automatically archive it too, removing it from your inbox
- Signature – create your own unique signature with custom formatted text, images and animated GIFs
- Out-of-office – allows you to set a custom auto-reply for all emails that you receive when you aren’t available
- Delegated Inbox – give another user access to your inbox with the ability to open, send and manage emails
- Multiple Inboxes – add multiple accounts to your inbox so you can check your emails from different accounts within one inbox
- Send Mail As – allows you to change the “From” address so you can send emails from multiple different addresses from a single inbox
- Undo Send – have you wanted to pull an email back once you clicked ‘send’? In Gmail you can set a time period where you can stop an email from sending and bring it back into draft form after hitting the send button.
One of the great strengths of using cloud-based is the ecosystem of third-party apps that build up around the core tools. The Chrome Webstore provides thousands of apps, extensions and themes (often free!) that you can add to Gmail, other G Suite apps and Chrome browser.
Here’s three of our favourites:
- Boomerang – gives you better control of when you send emails and reminds you if you don’t get a reply after a certain period of time
- Hubspot Sales – provides email information allowing you to improve your sales (or even credit control) process including: seeing when emails you send are opened, viewing information about a contact (company, social profiles, recent posts) and scheduling emails to send at a later time or date
- Giphy – and just for fun, browse and send a huge collection of GIFs directly within Gmail
We recommend you take some time to explore the various features and settings that Gmail has to offer as we find people often benefit greatly in the long run.
If you want to learn more about G Suite free free to get in touch with Colin and the Cobry team: