Gmail is one of the best free and paid email service providers across the globe. As of now it’s more than 1 billion active users worldwide. It provides a variety of tools and features to its users so they (users) can customize their Gmail accounts as per their needs. But it’s been seen that a majority of users don’t use features provided by Gmail due to lack of awareness. Nowadays we use emails for formal and informal communication. And also we get a ton of newsletter, promotional and social media notifications on our email addresses. Unwanted newsletter, promotional and social media notifications sometimes (actually most of the times) push important mails, those need immediate attention, down (I became victim of it many a times). If you got tired of plenty of mails that you even don’t want to see in your inbox or in other words if you want to organize your Gmail account in such a way that you never miss an important email then read this post carefully in which I’ll show you 15+ Best Gmail tips. I promise you after reading this post, you’ll have a well-organised email account.
15+ Best Gmail Tips and Tricks to Handle Your Emails Perfectly
1. Add More Tabs to Your Gmail Address
Generally, a Gmail inbox, by default, has three tabs: Primary, Social, and Promotions. But you can add more tabs to your Gmail address. Here, we’re going to add more tabs in Gmail and later on we’ll send all notification and newsletter mails to those tabs so only important mails stay in our primary inbox tab. This Gmail address trick is very beneficial to organize our inbox. So lets add new tabs in Gmail!
First, from the homepage, click on the gear settings icon and then select “Configure Inbox” (see screenshot above). Next a pop up box will appear on your computer screen. Select all tabs and hit save button. Now you can see more tabs in your Gmail inbox.
These tabs will help us organize our mails systematically. Move to next tip to send your emails to different tabs.
2. Trash Unwanted Email Notifications Automatically
Promotional mails, Youtube, and social media notifications usually keep our inbox crowed. Social media notifications like who liked your pic, who accepted your friend request, who sent you a new message, and the like are totally useless because you can check them when you get login to your social media accounts. Similarly, Youtube sends you notifications whenever someone (subscribed by you) uploads a new video and in my opinion that are too unnecessary because I can see them in my Youtube notification panel. I don’t think you need them, do you? If not then first of all, unsubscribe to all emails that you never read. Almost all newsletters allow you unsubscribe or limit emails. You can find “Unsubscribe” link under email to do that. Secondly, with Gmail filter feature you can send rest of the unwanted email notifications directly to trash folder. Follow the next steps to send social media and promotional emails directly to trash folder.
In above screenshot you can see that I’ve received some email notifications from Youtube. In my case, I don’t need them because I’ve Youtube app in my smartphone and can see them in my Youtube app notification panel. So why should I let them crowd my inbox. I’m going to unsubscribe Youtube notifications; and also going to create a filter to delete all emails in Gmail (existing and future) pertaining to Youtube notifications particularly new video upload notifications. You can see some common words “upload a video“(I’ve underlined in above screenshot) in all Youtube notifications pertaining to new videos. So using these words and Youtube email, we can create a filter that will help us send future and existing videos directly to trash folder. Let me show you how to do that.
Click on settings gear icon and then select settings. Thereafter, click on “Filters and Blocked Addresses” then “Create a new filter”. Now enter mail address of the sender like I’ve entered Youtube email address and then add common words like I’ve added “Uploaded a video” (you’ve also other search options to use for more specific filtration). Now hit “Create filter with this search” to delete all emails in Gmail; related to the filter.
Click on checkbox next to “Delete it” then tick box next to “Also apply filter to matching conversation (to delete existing messages also)”. Subsequently click on create filter.
That’s it. You’ll notice that all filtered messages have been deleted. Now all future messages pertaining to the filter will automatically get deleted and they’ll not appear in your inbox.
You can create more filters like for example I often receive friends suggestions from Facebook and all such mails arrive with subject “Sunil, you have more friends …” so here I can create a filter using Facebook email address and words like “You have more friends” to delete all existing and future notifications.
Note: You will receive other notifications as usual; only mails with mentioned words will be deleted. You can create multiple filters to keep your inbox clean. Above Gmail trick certainly can help you.
3. Let Only Important Emails in Your Gmail Primary Inbox
Gmail will automatically send future emails to concerned tabs (as we’ve added new tabs to our inbox); however, some mails like social media and other similar login alerts will appear in your primary inbox. You can send such update notifications to “Updates” tab. For that purpose you can take help of Gmail filter that allows you move, delete, and archive emails. You just have create a new filter to do that. In Gmail address trick 2, we’ve have created filters to delete emails but now we’ll use filters to send specific type of mails to different tabs. Let me show you how to do that.
In above screenshot, some login alert emails have arrived in my inbox. Sometimes such login alerts require immediate action therefore I can send them to “Updates” tab to easily identify any unauthorized access to my accounts. You can send all login alerts like alerts from banking and social media emails, to “Updates” tab.
To move them to “Updates” tab simply head to settings and create a new filter. This time only enter mail address from which you’re receiving login alerts and then hit create filter with this search link.
Next select “Categorize as” updates and also check box next to “Also apply filter to ** matching conversations.” After that click on create filter.
That’s it. Now repeat the process to create more similar filters to send emails to different tabs. Send newsletters to “Forums” tab by creating filters.
Hey congratulations! We almost have achieved our goal.
4. Block Spam Mails in Gmail
Gmail treats spam emails so badly. All you’ve to do is just tell it, “Hey Gmail! I’ve received a spam mail.” Just kidding. All you have to do is just report a mail as spam to stop spam emails in Gmail. Although, Gmail automatically sends suspicious spam mails to spam folder but some cunning spammers get success to send spam emails to your primary inbox. That’s why, Gmail asks its users to let it know which is a spam email. It blocks emails that you report as spam and also updates its database so other Gmail addresses don’t receive mails from the sender. This way Gmail users help it become robust day by day. To report a spam email, open a mail, that looks like a spam, and from the top right corner of the email page, click on the arrow to open drop down list and then select report spam.
A few days ago, I received a mail from Maria (certainly not the real name) titled, “Yes you have won!” Wow! It excited me that finally I got Nobel Peace Prize but when I opened the email I got a spam email (Sigh). You might be receiving similar emails so simply hit report spam button for such emails no matter how compelling they’re. If you really have participated in something where you’re expecting a reward then please pay attention, friend.
This Gmail trick will help you stay away from spam.
5. Enable Gmail Preview Pane
One feature that I miss in Gmail is preview panel, that lets you read email without going back because you get email list in the sidebar, like I’ve on my Windows Live account. If you’re missing that feature too then don’t feel bad because you’ve that one all you’ve to do is just enable that. Gmail offers third party Preview Pane feature under its Labs section. You can enable it to get preview panel on your Gmail address. To get preview panel on your account, head to settings and enable Preview Pane feature under Labs tab. Don’t forget to hit save changes button.
After enabling the feature, go back to your inbox and see the magic. Now you’ve preview panel option above tabs sections. You’ll see three options there: No Split, Vertical Split, and Horizontal Split. I like vertical split because that helps me read emails easily.
6. Enable Gmail Priority Inbox
If you’re not satisfied from the look and feel of your Gmail inbox then try Priority Inbox. Priority inbox lets you divide your inbox into four sections of your choice. Though it allows you create four sections but I suggest you create only two. In first section, only keep important messages and in second show everything else. To enable priority inbox, head to settings and then select Inbox tab. Set first option as ‘Important’ and last as ‘Everything else’. Let second and third options empty.
After enabling this feature, your emails will be divided into two sections and important emails will be shown above.
7. Add More Stars to Gmail
Gmail offers you more features than you think. Probably, you’ve seen only yellow star in email rating but I want to let you know that you can make your inbox more colorful by adding more stars in Gmail. These stars are to help you add different stars to different emails so you can recognize your emails easily. To add more rating stars in Gmail address, go to settings and drag and drop stars to assign them to your emails (you can find rating stars under General tab). You can assign one star to one person’s email and another (color star) to another person’s email this way you can easily identify mails belong to same person. Just click on star rating icon multiple times to change its color.
8. Change Gmail Button Labels
Some of us may not understand icon meaning appearing above the tabs sections. For those, Gmail has added an option to change button labels style as text so they can know what does a button do.
To change button labels as text or vice versa, go to settings and select General tab and then scroll down and find Button labels. Once you find that select radio button next to Text. Subsequently hit save changes button.
9. Gmail Undo Send
Have you ever sent an email to someone mistakenly? And wished to undo. Then this Gmail trick will help do that. You can cancel sending of an email by enabling Undo Send option. Undo Send option gives you up to 30 seconds to unsend email in Gmail that you’ve sent mistakenly.
To unsend a sent email from your account, first, turn on Undo send option. Simply head to settings and select General tab. Click on checkbox next to “Enable Undo Send” and then select cancellation period say 5, 10, 15, or 30 seconds. Hit save changes button to save your changes. Now after sending an email you will see undo link on the top of the page to recall email.
10. Sign Out of Google on All Devices
If you find out a suspicious activity on your Google account or you think your Google account has been accessed from an unauthorized device then you can easily opt sign out of Google on all devices with a simple click. To sign out of Google on all devices, from the homepage, click on Details link that is appearing under last account activity section (see bottom of the page). Upon clicking on the link a pop up box will appear on your computer screen that will show you your all recent account activities along with Sign out all other web sessions option. Simply click on sign out all other web sessions to logout out of Google on all devices.
11. Enable Keyboard Shortcuts for Gmail
Gmail keyboard shortcuts feature can be used to navigate inbox and messages, open new email, format text, and delete or archive emails. This is a handy feature and you must use it. After enabling this feature, you can perform multiple activities quickly by pressing keyboard keys for example you can simply press ‘C‘ to compose new email, ‘/‘ to directly head to search box etc. To enable this feature, go to settings and turn on keyboard shortcuts for Gmail (you’ll find this option under General tab). See all keyboard shortcuts list.
12. Canned Responses for Gmail
If you receive plenty of mails everyday and many of them demand common replies then you can enable Canned Responses to quickly reply to someone. Canned Responses feature allows you add text replies and then you can easily select them when replying to someone. If you deal with a lot of emails daily then this Gmail trick is for you that will make your email handling more easy than before.
First, head to settings and under Labs tab enable Canned Responses. Then refresh your page and open a reply section of an email. Thereafter click on the arrow (that appears after delete button see above screenshots) to open list and move your mouse on Canned responses then add new canned response. That’s it. Next time when you’ve have to reply the same text to someone then simply go to Canned responses and select a response. You can add more responses.
13. Create Some Space on Gmail
Gmail offers 15 gigabyte of free space (shared across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos) to every user which is indeed enough for an individual. However, if somehow you’ve used that space then you can delete large emails from your account to create some space on your account. To do that type “size: **mb” (replace ** with a number say 1, 2, 10, 100 and the like) in the search box to search larger files. Once you find files that occupy too much space on your account, simply save backup of mail data and then delete those files.
Also you can buy 100GB extra storage at the cost of $2 per month.
14. Use Gmail Search Operators
It’d be very annoying to find out an old mail from a never ending email list but Gmail search operators make finding very easy. Using search operators you can search anything on your account for example if you want all mails that have Youtube videos then in the search box type “has:youtube“, similarly if you want to get all emails list sent by one sender then type “from:nameoftheperson” for example ‘from:sunil’. To see all unread emails type “is:unread“. This Gmail trick is very handy to find out anything right from the main page. Take a look on all Gmail search operators.
15. Get All of Your Emails in One Inbox
You can map all of your email accounts to one inbox. This Gmail trick certainly will help you if you’re managing multiple email accounts. Gmail lets you check mail from other accounts right from its dashboard. First you’ve to add your mail accounts to your Gmail then you can get all of your mails in your inbox. To do that, go to settings and select “Accounts and Import” tab. From the tab, click on “Add a mail account” then follow the instructions to add new account. Once you complete the process you’ll start receiving emails of added accounts in your Gmail inbox.
16. Use Gmail for Work
Do you own a business? If yes, then you must use G Suite by Google that lets you register a custom email address that ends with your brand name (not @gmail.com) like we’ve “mail[dot]ilainfo[dot]com”. A custom email address is always good for a brand or business. Therefore you should (actually must) use a custom email for your business communications. A customised email shows that you’re a serious businessman. Also you get extra free storage with custom email address. Try it free for 14 days if you like it then go for it otherwise don’t pay.
I’ve shown you 15+ Gmail tips and tricks to handle your emails perfectly. Do let me know if I missed out an important Gmail trick.
Did you like it? I’m curious to get your feedback!