Gmail is a great app for communicating, sending files, and so on, but there are several features in Gmail that can help you stay organized and keep up with things you have to do. If you’re like me, you are constantly bombarded with emails daily, and often those small things you need to do get lost in the slush. So we’re going to take a look at a few features that you can use Gmail for to help you keep up with everything you need to do.
Add to Tasks
The first is adding an item to Tasks. Tasks is essentially a to-do list integrated into Google apps. There is a side panel in most Google apps (click the arrow in the bottom right corner to show the side panel). When you open an email and it has a simple task that you need to complete, click on the three dots menu and then choose “Add to Tasks”. It will automatically send it to your task list with the title of the email as the task, and it will also have a link to the email. If there are more in-depth instructions about what you actually need to do, the email will be available and when you’re looking at the task, you can just click on it directly and it will open that email. You can further customize the Task in the Task menu.
The second thing we can do is add an event to our Google calendar. A lot of times you might get emails about meetings or deadlines or anything like that. Just like with adding a Task, click the three dot menu but instead choose “Create Event”. It will open up your Google Calendar and create a new event. The event will be the title of the email (which you can change), and it’s going to put the body of the email into the information section of the event, so you have everything right there in your Calendar.
Snoozing emails is a relatively new feature that allows you to delay when an email pops up in your inbox. Sometimes I’ll get an email about something that’s happening in two or three weeks, testing schedules or something like that. I don’t need that until later, but it’s going to get lost way down in my feed in the next three weeks. So I can snooze it until that later day. If you hover over the email in your inbox, you’ll see a few new icons pop up on the right side. Click the clock icon, and then you can choose when you want it to show back up in your inbox. Now you don’t have to find a place for it to go, and doesn’t get lost down your feed. It will just pop back into your inbox on that date.
Starring is the next option you have. Starring is just a pretty simple visual way of distinguishing different emails. If you look to the left of the emails in your inbox, you’ll see a hollow star you can click. If you click multiple times, it will do different colors and different symbols, so you can set up your own system of starring to help visually separate from your other regular emails.
Labeling and filtering
The last thing, which is a little bit more complex, is labeling and filtering labels. Creating labels for an email groups emails together to make them easier to find, but the filtering feature allows you to automatically label emails so that it doesn’t go directly to your inbox. Let’s say you get a weekly news email from a website, but you don’t always read it right away. You can click the three dots menu and select “Filter messages like these”, or you can click the pulldown menu arrow on the right side of the search bar. You’ll get options of what criteria you want to use: a specific email address, a certain phrase, a subject line. When you’ve set your criteria, instead of search, you’re going to click “Create Filter”. Then, just check the boxes for the labels you want to add, stars, and so on. What it will do is automatically complete those actions for any email you receive that meets those criteria. Then you don’t have to go through labeling all your emails and starring them. Gmail will do it for you.
So that’s it. Five easy ways that you can use Gmail to stay organized and keep up with everything that you need to do. It should help keep your inbox a little cleaner as well.