A few tips and tricks to make you a Gmail PRO ;o)

1. Labels:

Ever wondered why you cannot make folders in Gmail? Well, as with all things Google, there’s something better in Gmail too. Labels take the role of folders. The advantage is that you can tag the same mail to multiple labels! (Gmail Help: Labels )

2. Filters:

Filters as the name suggests, help you in adding rules to the various mails that you receive. So suppose there’s this wordpress mail that you receive whenever someone comments on your blog. What you can do is create a  filter by specifying that the filter should be applied to all mails having the From address as ‘WordPress’ and these mails should be tagged with the Label ‘wordpress’.

Filters also help you to block unwanted emails. I used to get a lot of mails from this one site which sends job offers. No matter how hard I tried to unsubscribe from their list the mails just wouldn’t stop. So what I did was to create a filter with their From address and specified that it should directly be sent to the Bin(deleted). (Gmail Help: Filters )

3. Archiving:

Archiving is like sending all your mails from your inbox to another folder. Why crowd your inbox with all the read mails? I prefer having an inbox containing only my unread mails. I archive all the rest. You can see your archived mails by clicking on ‘All Mail’ option in the sidebar. (Gmail Help: Archiving )

4. Star important mails:

So there seems to be this mail that you just read and think might be useful for future needs. Let the mail stand out from the rest. Star it.  You will notice a small star symbol next to all your mails. Click on the respective star to make it stand out.

5. Gmail Search :

Since its a Google product, search is something you shouldn’t shy away from trying. A few search tricks for Gmail are :

a. ‘in:’ so you want to search mails only in your inbox. ‘in:inbox’ should do the trick.
b. ‘is:’  when you need to see all the unread mails use ‘is:unread’. For read mails, ‘is:read’.
c. ‘label:’ I have a label named ‘iSimplyBlog’. What I do is I simply put ‘label:isimplyblog’ in the search box to see all mails tagged with the label ‘iSimplyBlog’. This is the same as clicking directly on the label name in the sidebar.

I had around 1500 unread mails(no kidding) in my inbox. Thanks to these tricks I could clear them all in some 20 mins!! What I did was to first create filters for various mails and tag them to their respective labels. Then I started searching using the search term ‘is:unread label:(appropriate label name here)’ . After all the labelled items were read by me, I started searching for the remaining mails that couldn’t be tagged to any label using the keywords ‘in:inbox is:unread’ .

For a list of special operators and how to put them to the best use, refer this link .

Note that Gmail search doesn’t search for a part of the word but the complete word. So if you type in iSimply it’ll only search for mails with the term iSimply and not iSimplyBlog . I wonder why it’s like that!

OK so the above points were about using your Gmail efficiently. Lets have a look at some other options in Gmail that will make your mailing experience a lot more convenient.

1. One Gmail ID = UNLIMITED Gmail Id’s :

Don’t rub your eyes in disbelief. If you did not know this already, it’s one feature that I have started using a lot (except in places where they prevent you from using the ‘+’ symbol in your email id).

Basically, iSimplyBlog@gmail.com can be used as

iSimplyBlog+me@gmail.com

iSimplyBlog+you@gmail.com etc.

Add the ‘+’ symbol after your Gmail ID. Mails will always land in your inbox ;o)

2. Get mails even if Gmail is blocked:

Gmail’s blocked in your office? Worry not. There’s an option in Gmail that lets you forward a copy of all the mails you receive in your Gmail account to any other mail id. I forward all my mails to my office id. Sweet isn’t it? ;o)

I hope this post has helped you. Your comments are always welcome;o)

A video from the various users of Gmail

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