In today’s fast-paced environment, improving efficiencies are viral and important tasks for individuals and businesses alike; the more you can accomplish with less effort and in shorter time, the better for all parties involved. Email, which started in the early to mid 1990s, has been a stalwart during the technology boom. As email has stayed a constant and universal way of communication worldwide, Gmail has found a way to be the leader with their tools to increase efficiencies for their users.
Whether you are a personal user or have a business account (or frankly both) optimizing Gmail Labs can be a major component of decreasing workloads and increasing efficiency; this is especially important for companies that use onboarding.
1. Email Optimization : Labs – Undo Send
There is one thing worse than the daily update and its when you accidentally hit send on an email when you had no intentions of doing so! There may be no greater sense of urgency than the 5-10 seconds after you cc’d a client on your internal email and hit send. Gmail, by default, does not have an Undo Send feature, however, the mail client has been smart enough to add one in the Lab section. The reason this falls into our email optimization is that too many times we are left scrambling to configure how to recover from this issue. Rest assured there is a fix. When you enable Undo Send in the Settings > Labs section, you will notice once emails are immediately sent there is an “undo” feature next to view message. Lifesaver, isn’t it?
2. Email Optimization : Unread First Inbox Type
Google has done a great job of evolving with the times and allowing for customized inboxes. One of the most important is the Unread First Inbox, which allows for all unread messages to be at the top of the inbox. In the settings tab, Google has an Inbox tab that allows for changing the display view of your emails. This is especially important for any business individual with a large influx of emails. When the high priority email is usually in the middle of your inbox, you can now clearly see it near the top.
3. Email Optimization : Applying Labels & Filters
Is there anything worse than the daily and weekly updates that flood your inbox? You usually don’t read them unless something goes wrong but they need to be sent to your inbox “just incase”. Don’t worry as labels and filters are here to save the day. While these two are not dependent on each other, if used correctly, they are perfect matches. Setting up labels is the most important component. Whether they your emails are daily status reports or internal alerts, create the labels (in the settings tab) that will encompass these emails. Next create a Filter to allow those messages to be sent directly to the labels. When creating the filter, either match the “from” or “subject” then choose the “Skip the Inbox” & “Apply Label”. If you know these reports will be there daily, you can also “Mark as Read”. Instead of clicking them as read daily, you can now view all of these emails in one convenient location on the left hand side of your inbox.
4. Email Optimization : Labs – Canned Responses
The Holy Grail of Email Optimization: The Canned Response. Have you ever felt like you were sending the same email over and over again? That’s probably because you are and wasting valuable time each time you are composing these emails. Canned Responses, in the Gmail Lab Settings, allows you to create template emails that will increase your workflow dramatically! Canned responses have no limit to them so users can feel free to add as many as they would like. If you’re in a client facing position and requesting or answering the same questions, this is a very nice trick.
In conclusion, Gmail has done a great job at continuing to be the premier email client for both personal and business users. The major keys in establishing themselves at the top are the email optimization processes that are being continually developed via Google Labs. Additionally, Gmail signatures, unread message icons, multiple inboxes and custom keyboard shortcuts are features that can assist in streamlining your email processes.