Gmail is a powerful productivity tool, so long as you take control of your inbox, rather than letting it control you. Below we outline some hidden features, settings, and tools to help you fine-tune your Gmail experience and maximize your productivity. “Inbox Zero” has never been closer to reality.
Build One Inbox to Rule Them All
Many of us maintain multiple email accounts for multiple purposes, which can require us to juggle the eccentricities of signing into multiple Gmail accounts or, if some of our extra addresses belong to Yahoo or Microsoft or any other non-Gmail provider, we must log in and log out of multiple sites to check our mail. There is a more elegant, web-based option, however: forward all your extra email accounts into a single Gmail account. You can manage all the mail from a single inbox with a single login. Gmail will display the account to which the email was originally addressed just below the From address at the top of the message, so you always know how any given message found its way to you.
Manage Multiple Mail Identities
If you’re forwarding another email account to your Gmail inbox, you can change the From address on any message to appear as if you’re sending mail from those forwarded accounts. Even better, you can set your inbox to automatically send replies as the account that originally received a message, so you can keep your “real” email address a secret (or, at least, separate from your alternate email accounts). You can even maintain separate Gmail signatures for each address.
Stay at Inbox Zero with Send and Archive
When you compose a message in Gmail, the draft sits in your inbox until you click Send. After that, the message is archived until the recipient replies. When you reply to a message in Google mail, however, the conversation sits in your inbox until you manually archive it. Why wait; if you’ve responded, the message should clear out until you hear back. By enabling the Send and Archive on Reply, you get a new button you can use to archive a conversation as soon as you respond to it. That way, your inbox stays free of conversations you’ve already dealt with.
Power Through Your Email with Auto-Advance
Once you’ve archived or deleted an open message in Gmail, you’re routed back to the Inbox to take another action. Wouldn’t it be nice if, instead, archiving or deleting a message also opened the next message in your inbox? With the Auto-Advance Gmail Labs tool, you can. Combine this tool with the Send & Archive on Reply button and you can plow through your Gmail Inbox in record time. Auto-Advance even works when you Mute a Gmail conversation.
To learn more about Gmail hacks to help maximize productivity, check out our eBook! In this eBook you'll learn how to manage multiple mail identities, tips for tweaking your inbox density, and more. Check it out today.