Email is a fact of life and while it helps us get our work done, it can also unfortunately cause productivity issues - if you let it. More businesses (as well as schools and governments) are migrating to Google Apps which includes gmail. Though the basics of Gmail are fairly simple, there are plenty of features to help improve overall efficiency.

1. Task Management

The key to productivity is managing your time well. Google Tasks provide a simple way of keeping track of pesky to-dos. Just click on the “Mail” drop down menu on the upper left hand side and select Tasks. After writing up your list, you can even email it to friends, coworkers, and family, giving them a little nudge in the right direction.

2. Search by Size

Advanced users of Gmail may find themselves approaching their storage limit. To help with this problem, Backupify developed FreeSpace which lets users delete large attachments. You can also search in Gmail for attachments by size. Just type in size:10m to find attachments larger than 10 MB.

3. If This Then That

You’ll want to give If This Then That (IFTT) a try if you’re interested in using Gmail in collaboration with your other favorite applications. The service uses formulas to accomplish automated tasks. For example, you can send all of your messages marked as Favorite to Evernote, or create a copy of all of your email attachments in Drive as they come in.

4. Selecting Multiple Emails

Instead of becoming annoyed with clicking many emails at a time, you can click the check mark of your top item, click shift, and then check the last item you want to select. This will automatically check everything in-between the two items. This trick is especially helpful for moving or deleting many items at once.

5. Advanced Search

As the top search engine, Google also has amazing email search capabilities, making it very simple to find information quickly. To take full advantage of Google’s search, click the arrow on the right side of the search box (at the top of your email) to get to the advanced search feature. In addition to searching metadata such as the To, From, and Subject fields, you can select emails that have attachments and exclude or include emails based on keywords.

6. Import Contacts

Make good use of Gmail’s Contacts feature by importing a list of your favorite contacts. What you need is a CSV and a few minutes. Just click on the Contacts Tab, click Import, click Browse and select your CSV, and then click Import again.

7. Send an email… later

There’s a really useful tool called Boomerang that allows you to send an email now, but have it delivered at a later point in time. Check it out here: You can also use it to create follow up reminders in your inbox by archiving an email until a later point in time. You can even choose to be reminded only if the person has not responded to you after a specific amount of time.

What are some of your favorite gmail productivity tips and tricks? Leave us suggestions in the comments section.