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Six Killer Tips for Amazing Gmail Productivity


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Most of us use Gmail. So, here are a few tips that will definitely boost your Gmail productivity (if you haven’t done them already)

Displaying only Unread mails in your Inbox

Your unread mails might be scattered across multiple pages. Here’s a way to display all the unread emails in a single page. Gmail adds a hidden label “unread” when a new mail makes its way into your inbox. In the search box, type “label:unread” or “is:unread” to filter and show only unread mails in your inbox.

Know How Gmail treats dots and pluses in your Gmail ID

Continuing from an earlier post, here’s what you should be knowing about dots and plus symbols in Gmail. Imagine your Gmail ID is my.gmail.id@gmail.com :

  • Gmail doesn’t recognize dots(.) in your ID. So, my.gmail.id@gmail.com is the same as mygmail.id@gmail.com and mygmailid@gmail.com
  • Gmail ignores characters after a plus(+) sign in your ID. So, my.gmail.id+feedburner@gmail.com and my.gmail.id+spammer@gmail.com would work just as good.

The above two points can come quite handy. Say you are registering on a suspicious site. You could very well register using m.y.gmail.i.d@gmail.com or my.gmail.id+spamCHECK@gmail.com. This way, if some spam starts coming in your inbox, you can know the source. Of course, this method cannot be used to completely eliminate spam on your Gmail account, as Kurt Wismer had pointed out.But you sure can categorize your incoming mails.

Centralize all your emails to one single Gmail account

You might be having multiple email/Gmail accounts. Switching between accounts is indeed a pain and an unnecessary waste of time. Centralize all your emails by setting up a forwarder to your most used Gmail address so that you can check all your mails from one single account. Create filters to label them if necessary, to easily distinguish mails.
Furthermore, goto Settings > Accounts and Import > Send mail as and add your other email addresses. Gmail will send a confirmation link to the added email address and you can then send mails using the verified address from a single Gmail login.

Turn on Keyboard Shortcuts

Turning on Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts can increase Gmail productivity many folds. Go to your inbox and hit Shift + / ( ? ) to bring up the shortcut cheat-sheet. You can also know if keyboard shortcuts are enabled or disabled there.

Enable Essential Gmail Lab Features

Click on the Labs Icon on the top right corner of your Inbox and enable apps you think would be helpful. Handy ones like Authentication icon for verified senders, Inbox preview, Inserting images, Right-side chat, Undo Send and Sender Time Zone can really increase your Gmail productivity.

Enable Offline Mode

Finally, enable the “Offline Mode”. Say you’re traveling on a plane and wished you could use the time to draft some replies or read some starred conversations. Gmail’s offline mode can be of great help.
Goto Settings > Offline and enable it. Please note that Google Gears needs to be installed first. Once the offline feature is up, you will see a synchronization icon on the top. You can click it to see the current syncing status. You will now be able to view it even without an internet connection. According to Google’s help group, around 10,000 messages will be downloaded and archived. That’s the next best thing to being online on Gmail, ain’t it?


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