At this point in time it’s safe to assume that most people have a Gmail account — and if you don’t, what are you waiting for?
One issue that could be causing your hesitation to sign up for a Google account is how the company tracks your every move. The good news is there are some settings that you can change to take some of your privacy back. Tap or click here to find out how.
If you already have a Gmail account, there are some handy tricks you can do with it that you might not know about. There are many tools and features that can help your workflow become more flow and less work. Keep reading for seven of our favorite Gmail features for you to try.
1. Create and manage labels
Labeling is a great way to organize your emails. Labels can be applied multiple times to any email and color-coded for recognition. They can house other labels and are a great way to cross-reference emails that may fit into multiple categories.
Only you will see the label you create, so don’t worry about it showing up on the recipient’s end. Once you create a label, you can search for it in the search bar and find emails under the label name.
You can create a label two different ways. To label a specific email:
- Click on the email you wish to label
- Click on the Label icon in the bar above
- If you want to nest the label in a folder, check the box below and select or create the appropriate folder
- If a label has already been created, you can check the box of the label you want
- You can assign as many labels to an email as you like by checking the boxes beside label names
To create a label from your Inbox:
- Go to the drop-down menu to the left of your Inbox
- Scroll down beneath the list under Inbox and the other folders listed
- Click More at the bottom and continue to scroll down
- Click Create new label next to the plus sign
- Enter the label name and select whether or not to house it in a folder
2. Add an image to your signature
Email signatures are an easy way to personalize every email you send. You can include your name, contact information, professional position or association and even links.
In addition to text, you can also add images to your Gmail signature. If you have a business logo, headshot, or just a photo you love, you can add it to your email signature to be sent out automatically with every message.
To add an image to your signature:
- Log into your Gmail account
- Click the gear icon in the top right corner to access settings
- Select the button that says See all settings
- Scroll down to Signature
- Click the button that says Create new
- Create your custom signature
- Click the image icon to upload or drag a picture into your email signature
3. Undo send
Every now and then we may pop off a message and immediately regret it. Whether you misspelled your manager’s name or have second thoughts about the angry rant you just sent to your spouse, there is a solution if you act fast!
Gmail accounts allow you to Undo send, which means you can stop the message you just sent from going to the recipient. All Gmail accounts have this feature, but you can choose the setting for how long the recall period will be.
To set the time frame, go to the gear icon as above and scroll to Undo send. Click the drop-down menu to set the cancellation period, which can be in the range from 5-30 seconds. If you have not set this time period manually, the default is 5 seconds. After you set the cancellation period on a computer, it should sync to your Gmail app as on your mobile device as well.
Once you have your cancellation period set, you will have that amount of time to stop your message from going out. To use this feature, just look at the bottom of your screen after you have hit the send button. A pop-up button will appear saying Undo. Click the button and the email will not be sent, allowing you to edit or delete the message.
4. Keyboard shortcuts
There are many standard and custom keyboard shortcuts you can access in your Gmail account. Some of them are automatic and ready to use, and some you have to set up yourself. So take a look at which ones you think you will use most to see if they need to be turned on.
To turn on keyboard shortcuts, go to the gear icon and click See all settings. Scroll down to the Keyboard shortcuts section. Click the circle next to keyboard shortcuts to enable and use them. For a list of all shortcuts you can use, click the blue Learn more link in the Keyboard shortcuts section. Then save your settings at the bottom of the screen.
Want to create your own keyboard shortcuts? Go to Settings and click the link marked Advanced at the top of the screen. From there you will be prompted to make your own custom shortcuts.
5. Import from other email accounts
If you have multiple email accounts and want to check them all on one account, you can do so by importing mail and contacts from Yahoo, Bing, Outlook and others right to your Gmail. Importing can be a great way to start phasing out old email addresses and have fewer accounts to check.
Go to Settings and click the Accounts and Import link from the list at the top of the screen. Scroll down to Import mail and contacts and click Import from another address. Enter the email address you wish to import from into the space provided in the pop-up window. Finally, log into that email address to confirm access to import.
Only messages will transfer over, not folders or labels, so you will have to reorganize any messaged imported from other accounts once they are in your Gmail.
6. Use the to-do list
Gmail provides a way to keep track of things you need to get done with the Tasks app. You can create a to-do list, organize tasks and check off items once they are accomplished. It’s a fun, easy way to organize your to-do list and eliminate those paper checklists that can pile up!
To set up Tasks, log in to your Gmail account and go to the far right control panel. Click the Tasks icon, which looks like a blue circle with a white and yellow checkmark.
Once you click the icon, you will be prompted to create and organize your to-do list. Once you have your tasks set up, you can edit, move and reorganize items on your list and, of course, check them off when you’ve completed them.
7. Change the look of the inbox layout
You can easily change the look of your inbox under the Settings icon. To do this, you do not have to click the See all settings button. The options are right there under Quick Settings when you click the gear.
You can select how your messages are grouped and whether you want them to be listed in a compact, comfortable or standard format. You can also choose to have starred messages appear first or unread messages, as well as other customizable options.
One of the fun features is choosing the background look of your inbox. Gmail provides several colors and templates to try out, or you can upload an image from your own library. Customizing your inbox can personalize it to your taste and help to meet your messaging needs.
Hopefully, these tips and tricks encourage you to try new features available to you with your Gmail account. Whether these tools will aid you in your professional pursuits or make your personal emails more fun, there are so many ways to organize your emails and keep track of your schedule. We hope you’ll give some of these ideas a try!