Skip to Content
Photo 57777292 © Alexey Boldin - Dreamstime.com
How-tos

5 smart Gmail tricks to save you time and keep your emails private

Here’s a challenge for you: Track all the time you spend reading and writing emails. It’s likely a lot more than you’d think. From work to friends to email newsletters, they come at us all day long.

Recently, we shared 7 tips and tricks to get more out of your Gmail account. Add an image to your signature, use handy keyboard shortcuts and even undo sending an email — a feature we use all the time.

We’re back with five new tricks, all about saving you time and keep private info confidential. Did you know you can send an email your recipient can’t print, download, copy or forward? Really! Keep reading to find out how.

1. Set up templates

Do you send many emails with the same basic information? Make your workflow easier by creating a template which can be inserted into any Gmail message.

Go into Settings > See all settings > Advanced link. Scroll down to the section marked Templates and click the circle marked Enable.

Once it’s enabled, you can create up to 50 unique templates. To make a template, click Compose and write your text in the email window. Then go to the bottom and find the three dots at the bottom right-hand corner. When you roll over, a tab will pop up reading More options.

Click on the Templates menu to save your draft as a template. To insert a template you’ve created, go to the More > Templates menu tab again and choose the template you wish to insert into your email.

2. Create a calendar event

Google Calendar is one of the best tools available with your Gmail account. The calendar allows you to color code events, add other people and accounts, add notes and mark locations.

Adding events is simple. On your laptop or computer, go to the Google Apps button, the square of nine gray dots at the upper right-hand corner where you will find Drive, Maps and other apps.

Click the Create button on the upper left-hand corner. A pop-up window will appear for you to add an item to the calendar. Give your event a title, date and time. You can choose a color, add a location and mark it as a Task, among other features. This app syncs to your phone or tablet with the Google Calendar app to always have access to your schedule.

3. Work in confidential mode

Working in confidential mode allows you to send emails with sensitive information with more protections. Emails sent in confidential mode can’t be forwarded, and you can choose whether to require a recipient to use a passcode to read it.

To send an email in confidential mode, click the icon that looks like a lock at the text window’s bottom. You will be prompted to choose an expiration date and whether or not you want to require a passcode. If you want the recipient to enter a code, you must provide their phone number so they receive a text with the SMS passcode they need to enter.

The recipient of an email sent in confidential mode will not be able to print, download, copy or forward it. Be warned, however, that the reader could still take a screenshot and pass on the information in a downloaded image if they wished. Hopefully, your recipients have good intentions, and the use of confidential mode just makes your sensitive messages more protected than sending emails without it.

RELATED: Secure your Google account. Here are five ways to do it

4. Find your unread emails

With so many emails coming in, you may find that some messages slip through the cracks. One way to avoid missing important messages is to find all your unread emails.

To find unread emails, simply go to the search bar at the top of your Gmail account. Type “unread” into the search field and all unread messages will appear in the inbox. Use this same method to search other labels you have created as well.

5. Schedule emails

An email is an immediate form of communication, but you do not have to send the emails you compose as soon as you write them. Scheduling your emails allows you to compose messages on your own time and at your own pace. We like this when we’re getting things done after work hours and want to save our reply for the morning.

To schedule an email, compose your message as usual. Then instead of clicking the blue Send button, click the arrow right next to it. A text link will pop up saying Schedule send. Click the text.

A window will open, prompting you to choose the date and time you want your email to go out. You may use the dates and times suggested by the program or go to the bottom of the list to schedule your own.

Combine email scheduling with template tools and you’ll be so much more efficient.

RELATED: Did you know you can attach an email to another email you’re sending? Handy! Here’s how.

There you have it. Whether these tools aid you in your professional pursuits or just make your personal emails more fun, there are so many ways to organize your emails and keep track of your schedule. Give them a try!

Stop robocalls for good with Kim’s eBook

Robocalls interrupt us constantly and scam Americans out of millions of dollars every year. Learn Kim's best tricks for stopping annoying robocalls in this handy guide.

Get the eBook