How to use Gmail effectively – Filters and folders


For every minute spent in organizing, an additional hour is earned’. Now, how true is this saying?  Communication is one thing that calls for a lot of planning, especially when it is official. Whether it is an email in your office or a speech in your meeting, proper planning can help you do the job more efficiently.

There is a weird problem that is being experienced by e-mailers all over the world. Hundreds of emails take on the inboxes, making people too anxious to keep them unread for long time. This very factor results in waste of time. The need for instant response and prompt communication is yet another reason that is forcing people to check their emails instantly.

Hence, there is a need to organize the mails such that the other activities of the day are also taken care of. Here is a brief guide to how emails can be effectively managed by applying proper folder structure and making use of proper plug-ins and filters. I have taken Gmail as an example. But there are other ways you can manage emails with other email clients.

1) Let your keyboard take over

You may think it is weird to learn all the keyboard shortcuts and then use your email. But trust me, they make your work surprisingly faster and more efficient. Turn on your Gmail keyboard shortcut option by visiting the ‘mail settings’ page. Go to keyboard shortcuts and enable the option.

Here are few keyboard shortcuts you can work on.

1. When in the inbox menu, choose the J or K keys to navigate between mails and hit the enter key to read a specific mail.
2. Hit the C button if you want to compose a mail.
3. Hit the G first and then immediately the I key to go to the inbox page.
4. To reply to a mail, hit the R key.
5. To reply all recipients in the mail, hit the A button.
6. To categorize a mail as unread, hit the shift + U key.
7. Hit the E button to archive a mail.
8. Hit the tab + enter key to send a message.
9. If you are pasting a content and want only the text part of it, hit the Ctrl + shift + V keys simultaneously.

2) The zero Inbox magic

Most people get anxious on seeing a full inbox. It would be a great idea if you can categorize your emails into three folders making your workflow easy – Reply, Archive and Waiting. In the Reply folder, store all those emails that need to be responded immediately.

In the waiting folder, store all those emails that you are waiting for a response or the once that you want to process later. The Archive folder will have all the mails that are not so important and those that you want to access later.

This method can be used creatively in making your own folders and categorizing emails accordingly. Apply your own methods to make it more effective.


3) Use the Boomerang plug-in

The Boomerang is a reminder tool that will help you recollect all those clients that have not responded to your emails for a specific period of time.

4) Labeling and Starring

The labeling and starting options in Gmail are two ways of filtering your emails effectively. The starring option lets you distinguish the most important emails while the labeling option is another way of keeping the most important emails aloof.

Today, time is money. Every minute saved is a dollar earned. Thanks to technology, now with just one click you can send important files or just a simple message to your family and friends.

Hope these simple but effective email management ideas help you save more time and money.

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