In today’s fast-paced digital world, email has become one of the primary modes of communication. However, with the sheer volume of messages we receive, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and lose track of important emails. This article will provide a step-by-step guide on organizing Gmail and reaching inbox zero. Following our system ensures you never miss a follow-up and stay on top of your email game.
Creating Labels When you look at your inbox, emails generally fall into one of three categories: follow-up, awaiting a response, and need to read. The first step in organizing your Gmail is to set up labels that categorize your emails.
To create a label, click on the plus button on the left side of your inbox. The first label that you should create is “follow-up.” Use brackets in your label name to ensure that Gmail keeps it at the top of the list, even if everything becomes alphabetized. Then, create the “awaiting response” label and “to read.”
Colourize Your Labels: Make your labels stand out, and you can colourize them. To do this, move your cursor to the label’s right and click on the three dots. Select “Label Color” and choose a colour for each label. For example, you can use orange for “awaiting a response,” yellow for “follow-up,” and light blue for “to read.”
Customize Your Multiple Inboxes To make your Gmail even more organized, and you can customize your multiple inboxes. Click on the gear icon to bring up all of the settings available in Gmail. Scroll down to “Multiple Inboxes” and click on it. Then click on “Customize.” Here, you can break up your Gmail inbox into five distinct sections.
The first section that you should create is “awaiting a response.” To name your section, click on the dropdown menu next to “Section 1.” Select “Search Query” and type “label: awaiting response” in the search box. Then click on “Save Changes.”
The second section that you should create is “follow-up.” To name your section, click on the dropdown menu next to “Section 2.” Select “Search Query” and type “label: follow-up” in the search box. Then click on “Save Changes.”
The third section that you should create is “to read.” To name your section, click on the dropdown menu next to “Section 3.” Select “Search Query” and type “label: to read” in the search box. Then click on “Save Changes.“
Archive Your Emails Now that you have set up your labels and multiple inboxes, it’s time to start organizing your emails. Go through your inbox and label each email based on its category. Once you have labelled your emails, archive them. Archiving an email removes it from your inbox and stores it in your “All Mail” folder. To archive an email, check the box next to it and click the archive button.
Snooze Your Emails Sometimes, you may receive an email you can’t respond to immediately, but you don’t want it to get lost in your inbox. In this case, you can sleep the email. Snoozing an email removes it from your inbox, bringing it back to the top later than your set. To snooze an email, hover over it and click the clock icon. Select the date and time you want the email to return to your inbox.
Using keyboard shortcuts can help you navigate your Gmail inbox more efficiently.
Some of the most valuable shortcuts include:
Archive: To archive, a message, press the “e” key. This will remove the message from your inbox and place it in your All Mail folder.
Mark as unread: If you want to mark a message as unread, press the “Shift” and “u” keys together. This is helpful if you want to come back to a message later.
Reply: Press the “r” key to reply to a message. If you want to reply to all recipients, press “a”. And if you want to forward a message, press “f”.
Search: The search function in Gmail is incredibly powerful. Press the “/” key to activate the search box, and then type in your search terms. You can search by sender, subject, keyword, date, and more.
Move between messages: Use the “j” and “k” keys to move between messages in your inbox. “J” will move you down to the following message, while “k” will move you to the previous one.
Compose a new message: Press the “c” key to compose a new message. This will open up a new message window.
Undo: If you accidentally archive, delete, or send a message, you can quickly undo the action by pressing the “z” key.
These are just a few of the many shortcuts available in Gmail. By using these shortcuts, you can save yourself a lot of time and effort when dealing with your inbox.
set up filters
Another helpful feature in Gmail is the ability to set up filters. Filters allow you to apply labels to messages based on specific criteria automatically. For example, you could set up a filter that automatically applies the “follow-up” label to any message that contains the word “meeting”. This can help you stay organized and ensure important messages aren’t lost in the shuffle.
To create a filter, click on the gear icon in the top right corner of your Gmail window and select “Settings”. Then, click on the “Filters and Blocked Addresses” tab. You can create a new filter from there by clicking on the “Create a new filter” link.
You’ll then be presented with a variety of criteria that you can use to create your filter. You can filter messages by sender, recipient, subject, and keywords. Once you’ve set your criteria, you can choose what action you want to take. For example, you could apply a label, archive the message, mark it as read or forward it to another address.
Another tip for staying organized in Gmail is using the “Multiple Inboxes” feature. This feature allows you to split your inbox into multiple sections based on different criteria. For example, you could create a section for messages that are labelled “follow-up” and another section for messages that are labelled “awaiting response”.
To set up Multiple Inboxes, click on the gear icon and select “Settings”. Then, click the “Advanced” tab and scroll down to the “Multiple Inboxes” section. You can customize your multiple inbox sections based on your specific needs.
Gmail is a powerful tool for managing your email. By using shortcuts, filters, and multiple inboxes, you can stay on top of your inbox and make sure that important messages don’t get lost in the shuffle. Try these tips and see how they can help you organize your email more efficiently.