7 Free Time Saving Tools for Gmail

Like you, I have a gmail account. Also, like you, I’m being consumed by the inbox monster. Below are 7 tips that I’ve employed via Alexis Kleinman at the Huffington Post. They have made me more productive, less stressed and happier. I hope they do the same for you.

1. The dots in your Gmail address don’t matter

You can email JohnDoe@Gmail.com, [email protected] or J.o.h.n.D.o.e.@Gmail.com and they would all go to the same place. The periods in your email address are actually totally meaningless.

2. You can hit the snooze button on your Gmail (@equalman Favorite)

Using the free Gmail app Boomerang, you can open an email and set it to return to your inbox in a set amount of time.

boomerang screenshot

Another great feature of Boomerang is that it allows you to schedule an e-mail to send at a specific time. This is great for salespeople as you can schedule to send your email on a day and time when it is most likely to be read. It’s also great you are the boss and are working on e-mail late at night or on the weekend and you don’t want your team to feel as if they are always “on the clock.” Write an email late Saturday night and have it send at 9:15 am Monday morning.

3. Find out if your Gmail address has been spread and by whom

If you add a “+” sign and then any words into your Gmail address, it still works. For example, if you were to subscribe to a shopping site and your email address is JohnDoe@Gmail.com, you could use the email address JohnDoe+Shopping@Gmail.com to sign up. You’ll still get your emails and you’ll be able to filter them more easily by which address emails are sent to. Plus, if you get any emails from another site to JohnDoe+Shopping@Gmail.com, you’ll know who gave your email address out.

4. You can get desktop notifications for emails

If you’re an obsessive email checker, Gmail can pop up with little notifications on your desktop when you get an email. You can set it to notify you when you get any email, or just when you get emails that are labeled “important.” Just click the gear icon in your inbox, go to Settings, and scroll down to Desktop Notifications.

notification email screenshot

5. You can delete the entire contents of your inbox

Ready for some spring cleaning? It’s pretty easy to erase all of your emails. In your inbox, you’ll see the number of emails you’re viewing. For me, it says “1-25 of 19,752.” Click on that to “show more messages.” From there, click the little checkbox on the top left and select “All.” From there, Gmail will ask if you really mean to select all of the messages in your inbox.

select all screenshot

After you’ve chosen literally every single message in your inbox, just click the trashcan to delete the messages.

6. You can un-send emails

There’s nothing worse than sending an email and immediately realizing that it had a typo in it or you sent it to the wrong person. Thankfully, there’s a way to avoid that shame. Gmail has a “lab” that gives you a few seconds between the moment you hit the send button and the moment it actually sends and allows you to stop an email from sending. All you have to do is click on the gear in your inbox, then hit “settings.” Once you’re there, go to “labs.” If you scroll down, you’ll find the lab called “undo send.” Click “enable,” then scroll down and hit “save changes.”

undo send screenshot

7. You can use all different kinds of stars and symbols to keep your email organized

There’s more than just a yellow star at your disposal. If you click the gear symbol and then go to “general,” you can scroll down and see “stars.” There you’ll see 6 different colored stars and 6 other symbols. You can choose to use 1, 4 or all of the different symbols to categorize your emails. Make sure to “save changes” when you’re finished.

stars list

You can also move the stars around and reorder them. If, say, blue is your favorite color, you can just use blue stars. If you put multiple stars in your arsenal, you just have to click on the star in your inbox repeatedly to make it change colors.

Photos by Shutterstock

About the Author: Erik Qualman

Often called a Digital Dale Carnegie and The Tony Robbins of Tech, Erik Qualman is a #1 Best Selling Author and Motivational Keynote Speaker that has spoken in 44 countries.

His Socialnomics work has been featured on 60 Minutes to the Wall Street Journal and used by the National Guard to NASA. His book Digital Leader propelled him to be voted the 2nd Most Likeable Author in the World behind Harry Potter's J.K. Rowling. Qualman is a sitting professor at Harvard & MIT's edX labs.

His latest book What Happens in Vegas Stays on YouTube is a Pulitzer Prize nominated work.
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