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20 Gmail Tips and Tricks for 2022
December 28, 2021
Gmail is more powerful than you know – and it gets more features almost every day. With a few hidden tips for using Gmail, you can turn it into an incredibly robust email system that does just about everything you’d expect from a paid email management app.
From creating email templates to utilizing aliases, you can supersize your productivity by learning to customize Gmail. Want to get a longer “undo send” time window, create branded email layouts, schedule emails, and even send perishable messages? Gmail has stacks of beautiful – but largely unknown – features.
Use this list of 20 eye-popping gmail tips and tricks to streamline your workflows, stay safer, and get a lot more done.
1. Create email templates
Gmail’s email templates feature is a massive time saver that saves you from typing repetitive emails over and over again. You won’t even have to save repeated text in a file somewhere and copy-paste it in.
Here’s how to do it:
Click the Settingsgear icon in the upper-right corner
Click See All Settingsand thenAdvanced
Next to Templates, click Enable
Then when you write an email, click the three stacked dots in the lower-right corner and choose Templates. You can save your current draft as a template or use one you created earlier.
2. Use Gmail add-ons to 10x your productivity
Gmail extensions and add-ons are very powerful. Here are a few of the best:
GMass: Actually a Chrome extension for Google Sheets, this one gives your Gmail account bulk mailing superpowers.
You can find dozens more by searching the Chrome Web Store for the words “Gmail,” “email,” or “mail.”
3. Increase “undo send” time
“Wait, I didn’t mean to send that!” You probably already know you can undo a Gmail message after you send it. But does that undo time window seem a bit too short? No problem! It’s normally set at 5 seconds, but you can boost it to as long as 30 seconds.
Just click the little settings cog in the upper right, then scroll down to Undo Send and adjust the time.
4. Delegate your Gmail.com inbox
Virtual assistants are massive time savers, but you may not want to give them your main login credentials. With Gmail, you don’t have to. Just create a delegate account to let someone read, send, and delete messages – without giving them admin power.
To add a delegate:
Go to Settings, then click the Accounts tab
Scroll down to Grant access to your account
Select Add another account
Enter the email address for the account you want to add
Click Next step and then Send email to grant access
5. Attach files straight from Google Drive
“Hey, where’s that document?” Skip the file-hunting when you send a Gmail by attaching files straight from your email draft. Just start a draft, and at the bottom, click the drive icon. You can find your file from there and cut out extra steps.
6. Schedule emails
Gmail is making a serious play as a personal email marketing platform with its ability to schedule emails. If you want to send newsletters but you’re not quite up to paying for a separate email scheduler, Gmail has got you covered. Just write your email draft, and next to the blue Send button, click the down arrow, then Schedule send.
7. Create branded layouts
You can create beautiful, branded email layouts with Gmail if you’re a Workspace Individual Subscriber. (More on that below in Gmail tip #15.) Start a draft, then at the bottom, click Layouts > Customize styling, and add logos, colors, fonts, links, and footer details. You can also add text, images, and buttons.
Not a Workspace Individual member? No sweat:
Go to Settings and then See all settings
Click the Add-ons tab
Scroll down to Manage
Type in “layout”
Lucidchart is the fan favorite Gmail layout builder. You can select that one or choose another.
8. Cut spam with aliases
Here’s the dilemma: You sign up for an online account with your Gmail address, then – surprise – you receive lots of spam emails. Put a stop to that with Gmail aliases. It works like this: When you sign up for an online account, use your Gmail address, but add a plus-sign and an identifier.
For example, if your address is firstname.lastname@example.org and you’re signing up for a Netflix account, sign up with email@example.com. Any mail generated by that signup will still go to your inbox. But you can send it straight to its own folder with the tip below.
9. Organize with smart filters
Save time by putting incoming emails where they belong before you see them. To do it, create a filter rule:
Open your Gmail inbox
Type your criteria in the search box at the top
Click the filter icon at the right
Choose Create filterat the bottom of the popup
Select what you want Gmail to do with emails that fit your criteria
If you pair this Gmail tip with the one above, you’ll soon have almost zero junk mail, even though you use your Gmail account to sign up for new online accounts.
10. Use labels to find messages
Picture this: you’re hunting for an email on a certain project, but you can’t remember who sent it or when. You try 6 different search queries but your search is fruitless and your neck is getting hot and prickly. We’ve all been there, but with Gmail labels, you can easily find emails related to a certain project or topic.
From an email, click the label icon at the top, then choose a suggested label or create a new one. You can also add colored stars to your Gmails, then find them by clicking the Starred icon in the left menu, above Importantmessages.
11. Put your Gmail signature to work
Your Gmail signature could be selling for you. Gmail can automatically include a short bio, product link, and other useful info to the bottom of every email you send. Go to Settings > See all settings > Signature, and add text, links, images, and other content.
You can write a shorter signature for replies, too, so you don’t jam up long email threads with extra content.
Under Check mail from other accounts, add your secondary email address and login info
13. Use Gmail keyboard shortcuts
Speed up your email workflows by using Gmail keyboard shortcuts. Without clicking, dragging, or typing long commands, you can scroll through messages, compose emails or chat messages, format text, reply, and even create your own keyboard shortcuts for frequent actions.
14. Use confidential mode
Stop people from forwarding your email accidentally with confidential mode. Set expiration dates on messages, revoke access to emails you sent in the past, or password-protect your emails. You have to be a Google Workspace user for this one. (See tip 15 below.) If you are, go to Gmail > User settings > Confidential mode, enable it, and save your changes.
15. Set up Gmail for business
If you only use personal Gmail for your small business, you’re not leveraging the full power of Gmail. With Workspace, you receive more business and collaboration features for all of Google Drive. For instance, you can send branded emails and access CRM integrations and a Workspace admin console.
“Ugh, another email from that useless thread.” You can mute email threads that don’t matter to you without blocking the senders. Once muted, Gmail will automatically archive all past and future emails from that conversation. From the email, click the three vertically stacked dots and select Mute.
17. Use Gmail advanced search
Finding a specific email can feel like finding a needle in a digital haystack. Gmail advanced search fixes that. You can look for emails with different search operators like specific senders, recipients, dates, subjects, body text, labels, attachments, attached file types, or folders. Just open Gmail and click the filter icon on the right side of the search box.
18. Keep tabs on linked apps
It’s easy to grant access to your Gmail account for third-party apps like exercise, sports, or business apps. To manage, remove, or track the apps you’ve granted access to, go to the Security section of your Google account and scroll to Third-party apps with account access.
19. Unsubscribe easier
Almost all bulk email has an unsubscribe link, so if you search your emails for “unsubscribe,” you’ll see all the junk mail you can unsubscribe from currently. To avoid seeing the ones already in your spam folder, select Inbox from the advanced search drop-down menu first.
20. Snooze Gmail to get more done
Sometimes you can’t reply to an email immediately, but you don’t want it falling through the cracks. You can snooze an email by clicking the clock icon on the right side of the email in your inbox. Then just choose a time for Gmail to bring it back to your attention.
Gmail is an incredibly powerful email service with dozens of useful, hidden features. Make the most of your mails by using the helpful Gmail tricks above. These tips go light years beyond mark as read and send and archive, letting you use useful email templates, Gmail extensions, aliases, delegated accounts, layouts, labels, and filters.
About the Author: Tom Gerencer is a contributing writer for HP Tech Takes. Tom is an ASJA journalist, career expert at Zety.com, and a regular contributor to Boys' Life and Scouting magazines. His work is featured in Costco Connection, FastCompany, and many more.
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