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December 22, 2015
G Suite

Gmail Hacks to Boost Your Productivity, Part IV

In our Google Hacks eBook, we’ve delivered 20 great hacks for Gmail users looking to step up their inbox game. Below are four more of these helpful tips and tricks.

Quickly calm the inbox 

Want to calm the harsh glare of unread statuses without removing messages from an inbox? The Mark as Read button, available under the Gmail Labs tab in settings, adds that option to the list of control buttons atop the Gmail interface. Simply mass-select messages and click the button. The chosen conversations are listed as Read but still stick around. It’s like the Preview Pane, but faster.

Navigate mail with ease

In the left column of the inbox is a list of labels, including Sent Mail and Drafts, with an option to view your complete list. Customize your Gmail label list, control whether the labels are shown, hidden, or – in the case of Spam and Drafts – only shown if they contain unread messages. If there is a custom label you’d like handy access to, here’s how to get it visible all the time. Never need to see the Drafts, Trash or All Mail folders? Here’s how to hide them. A cleaner inbox interface is just a click away.

Can the spam!

Very recently, Google added a new option to the list of possible mail responses like Reply, Reply All and Forward: Block. With the Block option, the email address that sent a particular message will be hereafter routed directly to a Spam folder and, like all spam, will be deleted after 30 days. This is different than marking a message as spam, as Gmail tries to analyze what it is about a Spam-marked email that qualifies the message as unwanted and applies that to future incoming emails (a process which may or may not block future messages from the same sender). Block is much more specific: blocked email addresses will never escape a spam filter again. Well, unless a user unblocks the address in his or her Gmail settings. Spammers and harassers have met their match.

Make phone calls from Gmail

Even without a Google Voice account, Gmail allows users to make voice over IP (VOIP) phone calls right from their inboxes. Any properly formatted phone number that appears in the body of Gmail message is clickable, and clicking will prompt Google Chat (or Google Hangouts, if installed) to make an outbound phone call via Gmail to that number, right from a computer or mobile device. Users can also manually dial a phone number from within Gmail via Google Chat (or Hangouts).

Next week, I’ll present the final four hacks. You can also download all 20 Gmail hacks for free today.

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