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Priority Inbox Abandoning the “classic” look can be scary (we know), but changing over to the Priority Inbox is worth it. Serving as a sort of digital secretary, Priority Inbox automatically identifies what’s important and separates those emails out from the rest of the riffraff. To set up Priority Inbox, go to “settings,” then “inbox,” then change the “inbox type.”
Themes Did you know you could set a scenic mountain or pristine beach as your inbox background? You can also choose from a handful of background themes that recognize your location and change their look--the clouds become overcast, the sky darkens--based on the weather and time of day. To change themes, go to “settings,” then “themes,” then choose from the list of themes.
Skip the Inbox You probably already know how to use labels and filters, but did you know you could set certain emails to automatically skip your inbox and go directly into the appropriate folder? For instance, you can assign any message from, say, your dad to automatically hit your “Dad” folder without your having to lay a finger. It’s especially useful for emails you get in bulk and want to read or refer to later. To skip the inbox, go to “settings,” then “filters,” then “create new filter.” After filling in your filter details, hit “create filter with this search” and mark “skip the inbox.”
Undo Send Hit the “send” button mid-sentence? Accidentally email “Hellz yeeeah” to your boss instead of your best friend? Once the Undo Send feature is enabled, you’ll always have the option to undo the damage. You can even adjust the number of seconds you have (up to 30) to realize and rectify your mistake. To enable Undo Send, go to “settings,” then “general,” then “undo send” and hit “enable.”
Canned Responses Get a lot of email that requires the exact same reply? Turns out you can create standard responses to easily insert into any message. Think “Thank you for your submission, someone will be touch” or “We are sadly sold out of Japanese ice cream balls.” To enable Canned Responses, go to “settings,” then “labs,” then “canned responses,” and hit “enable.” To create and use Canned Responses, hit the “more options” arrow while you’re composing an email. Then click “canned responses.”
Mute If you ever find yourself cc’d on an email chain that really disinterests you, use this handy tool to “mute” the entire conversation. You’ll continue to receive the new messages, but they’ll skip your inbox and go straight to the archive. To mute a conversation, make sure you’re in the desired email thread, then hit the “more” button at the top of the screen and hit “mute.”
Right Side Chat Hate how your chat list hides half of your folders? Move it to the far right with this useful tool. To enable right side chat, go to “settings,” then “labs,” then “right side chat” and hit “enable.”
Search OK, this one might seem pretty obvious, but we use the Gmail search box to find just about every email we’ve ever lost track of (i.e., every email). And remember that within “search” you can hit the right side arrow to distill searches further by things like “who sent” and “when.”
Good grief, do we love email. Our hands cramp at the thought of holding a pen. That said, we sometimes get the sense that all of our electronic communication is making our lives more complicated than necessary. Hello, 5,000 unread messages and mile-long email chains.
This week, we took on the behemoth that is the Gmail inbox and came up with some pretty cool ways to save time and, in turn, sanity.
Courtesy of a majorly useful tutorial from the folks at Google (and yes, we did try the free healthy snacks), we learned you can do everything from “unsend” an email (yep, you read that right) to “mute” a conversation to sort the important mail you need from the junk you don’t.
Here, a few tricks of the trade.
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