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41 Gmail Tips and Tricks for a More Productive 2024

With over 1.8 billion users in 2023, it’s safe to say we all use Gmail. However, many of us deal with common annoyances like search difficulties, cut-off snippets, and an overflowing inbox.

Fortunately, there are workarounds for all these issues and more. You can get started today, making your inbox easier to manage and your email marketing more efficient.

In this blog post, I’m sharing some awesome Gmail tips and tricks that are designed to expedite your work, reduce your email stress, and save hours for you every week.

 

1. Turn on Two-Factor Authentication

Image courtesy of Electronic Frontier Foundation

Two-factor authentication protects data and facilitates a safer emailing experience. If you’ve ever experienced a data breach or had a hacker successfully guess your Gmail password, make sure you’re using Google’s two-factor authentication going forward.

To turn it on, log into your Google Account, then go to the Navigation Panel. Choose Security. In the Signing in to Google menu, select 2-Step Verification.

From there on out, when you log into Gmail, you’ll have to verify with another device, such as your smartphone.

2. Use an Email Signature

It’s super easy and efficient to set up a Gmail signature. Incorporating a signature can increase brand awareness, professionalism, and website/social media traffic if you add links to your products or socials.

Whether you’re an Android or Apple user or use Gmail on your phone or your desktop, you can create engaging, appealing signatures that will make sending each email on your to-do list a part of your marketing outreach.

Be aware that the signature you make in your mobile Gmail versus the desktop version are not the same by default.

3. Change Your Email Previews

Don’t you hate how Gmail cuts off your received emails mid-sentence, leaving you in suspense as to what the sender is messaging you about? End the agony by previewing entire emails without the need to open them.

Log into Gmail, then select Settings and See all settings. You should see a menu at the top that reads Inbox tab. Select it, then choose Reading pane by scrolling to it.

Check the box marked Enable reading pane, choosing the Split Pane display mode. Your options are Below Inbox, Right of Inbox, or No Split.

When you’re pleased, check Save Changes.

4. Turn On Smart Compose

Image courtesy of The New York Times

Do you struggle with writing emails? If so, you can waste dozens of hours per week, which add up to hundreds of hours over the year.

Gmail has a Smart Compose function designed to make email-writing less of a chore. Smart Compose is driven by machine learning and will guide your verbiage with each word you type, helping you complete your thoughts succinctly.

You must be logged into your Google Account to use Smart Compose.

Turn it on by accessing Gmail, clicking the Settings gear, then choosing See all settings.

Next, navigate to General, then choose Smart Compose. Turn Writing suggestions on.

Gmail currently has Smart Compose available in these languages: Portuguese, Italian, French, Spanish, and English.

5. Try Undo Send

Image courtesy of The Keyword

Oh, no! Did you send an email too soon, or is it missing information you wanted to include? Rather than send an immediate follow-up, which can come across as unprofessional, you can undo the email you sent and add to it, change it, or fix it.

Where you see Message sent in the bottom left, select Undo.

You can alter the time Gmail lets you unsend a message by going into Settings, then Undo Send. You should see a cancellation period for sending your emails. The current times available are five, 10, 20, and 30 seconds.

Choose the right one for you and click Save changes.

Read also: Gmail Search Tips: 33 Search Operators For The Smart User

6. Schedule Emails

Image courtesy of Zapier

As part of a business, you often need to schedule emails ahead of time. While you might have an email automation software that takes care of this task, did you know you can also schedule emails in Gmail?

It’s fast and easy to do. When logged into Gmail, select the pencil icon or Compose. Write your email as usual, but don’t click send!

Instead, by the Send button on the left, you should see a downward arrow. When you click it, you can choose to Schedule send, scheduling 100 emails at once.

If you need to change the time you schedule the email, log into Gmail, then choose Scheduled from the left panel. Open the email, change the scheduled time, and click the Schedule send button.

7. Use Gmail Search Operators

We just wrote a detailed guide that includes more than 30 Gmail search operators you should begin using.

What is a search operator, you ask? It’s a free way of searching your Gmail inbox via symbols or words. You can combine search operators to make your Gmail searching more efficient, narrowing results such as:

  • Whether the email has an attachment (and what kind of attachment is included)
  • Whether the email has a YouTube link
  • Email byte size
  • Specific date range
  • Specific sender

8. Turn on Gmail Themes

Image courtesy of CNET

Okay, so maybe this next tip doesn’t help with productivity, per se, but it’s still worth doing. Setting a Gmail theme adds panache and flavor to your emailing experience, also making Gmail easier on the eyes.

Here’s how to do it.

Open Gmail, then choose Settings. You should see an option marked Theme, so select it and choose View all.

Next, you’ll go to the theme window. The current theme will be Default, but you can select from many others for a more appealing background. You can also set the Dark theme by choosing Dark.

If you have a photo you’d like to upload as your background, go into Gmail and select Settings by clicking the gear icon. Next, navigate to Theme, then View all. Check the bottom left of the window and choose My photos.

Upload a photo, then choose Select. You can even customize your background further by selecting features like Blur, Vignette, and Text Background.

Make sure to click Save when you’re finished!

9. Forward Emails as Attachments

Image courtesy of Google Workspace Updates

If your business deals with a large volume of email, you’ll love this next Gmail strategy. You can forward an email or emails as attachments, summarizing messages or sending them to support a point.

Try to keep the file size of your emails at around 25 megabytes. Otherwise, they’ll attach to the email through your Google Drive.

Let’s get forwarding! Open Gmail, then click an email to forward. Choose More, then Forward as attachment. Type the recipients in the To field, write your subject line, compose your email, and choose Send.

You can also respond in Gmail with attached emails. When you choose Reply, navigate to the upper right and click the rectangle icon with an upward-facing arrow (the Pop out icon).

Choose the email, drag it, and choose Send.

10. Auto-Open Your Emails

This feature makes it faster and more efficient to go through your inbox, and who doesn’t want that?

Open your Gmail Settings, then find the Advanced tab. By activating Auto-advance, the next unread message in your inbox will pop up automatically once you delete, mute, or archive your messages.

Read also: 7 Gmail Rules To Slash Your Email Handling Time

11. Make an Alias

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An alias in Google Workspace is for Gmail account admins. You can think of it as an alternative email address that forwards all messages to your main email address automatically.

Only one user can have an alias, and you might not have access to all Google services, such as Google Drive. However, you can make 30 aliases per account for free, although they’re not always private.

A Gmail alias can appear in search terms for other parties you contact.

Here’s how to set one up. Log into your Google Admin console as an account administrator. Next, choose Menu by selecting the three vertical lines in the Admin console, then Directory (the person icon) and Users.

Select a user, then choose Add Alternate Emails to the left of the name. Choose Alternate email and create an alias name, adding a secondary domain as needed. Click Save.

It can be upwards of 24 hours before your alias takes effect.

12. Implement Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts

Why manually implement commands within Gmail when you can use keyboard shortcuts instead? Activate them within Gmail by choosing Settings, then See all settings. In that menu, select Settings again.

Continue scrolling until you see Keyboard shortcuts, then turn Keyboard shortcuts on. Choose Save Changes and configure shortcuts for deleting, archiving, and formatting text.

You can see all available keyword shortcuts anytime in Gmail by pressing Ctrl on PCs and Command on Macs, then typing ?.

13. Try Confidential Mode

Image courtesy of NC State University

If you want to send emails more privately, Gmail has a Confidential Mode that prevents other users from downloading, printing, copying, or forwarding the email contents. Confidential Mode requires a password to access (if you set one) and can be protected for as long as you choose.

Sending confidential emails is as easy as opening Gmail, composing a message, then choosing Confidential Mode in the bottom right. You’ll see it represented by a lock icon with a clock beside it.

You can toggle whether you want an SMS passcode. Anyone who accesses your email will receive a passcode in their text messages, so you must input their phone numbers before you send the email.

Then, choose Save.

14. Switch the Gmail Chat Display

If the chat being on the left side of Gmail makes you bonkers, it doesn’t have to stay there. You can move it to the right side so you’re ready to work!

15. Unsubscribe Within Gmail

Do you hate getting bombarded with emails from businesses you’re not going to give your hard-earned money to?

While you can’t unsubscribe from everyone within Gmail, you can go into the search bar and input unsubscribe. You’ll see unsubscribe links in the results, allowing you to reduce the number of messages coming into your inbox.

For more tips on how to quickly clean up your Gmail inbox, see this article.

Read also: Gmail Signature Guide For Beginners [With Examples]

16. Find Emails by Size

Your Gmail account has 15 gigabytes of storage space, which can go quick if you send and receive a lot of attachments, emails or otherwise.

Once you exceed that amount, you have to either delete your emails or buy more storage space.

Yet the task of deleting emails is so gargantuan to many of us that it’s easier to shell out for the extra space.

It doesn’t have to be!

By typing size: [number]m into Gmail, it will bring up messages that exceed that storage amount.

For example, if you input size: 20MB into Gmail, you’ll see all messages of that file size, so you can then mass-delete them.

17. Quote Selected Text

Image courtesy of Google Chrome

Underscore an important part of a person’s response by highlighting it within Gmail. When you reply, the text you selected will be quoted. This will keep your email responses more tailored.

18. Set Gmail Inbox Type

If you always want to see your unread emails first or messages from a specific person, use Gmail’s Inbox Type feature. To activate it, go into Settings, then find your Inbox tab. Next, in the dropdown, select Inbox Type.

Choose the type of inbox that suits your work style and click Save.

19. Turn Off Gmail Chat

You know how to move Gmail’s Chat from one side to another, but what if you want the Chat gone altogether? That’s simple.

Log into Gmail, then choose Settings. Select the email address you want to adjust the settings for, go to the General menu, and under Chat, turn it off. Click Save.

20. Start a Google Meet Within Gmail

Image courtesy of Technology News

Meetings, meetings, and more meetings! If that’s all your day is filled with, simplify your schedule by starting meetings in Google Meet without having to leave Gmail. Good news – you can also join meetings using this handy feature.

In Gmail, navigate to the Meet area. Next, choose New meeting, then Send invite. You can also use Share via email or Copy meeting invite here.

If you receive a meeting invite to Google Meet, you can select Join now in Gmail. However, check your camera and mic permissions to ensure that others can see and hear you.

Read also: Gmail Cleanup: Unleash the Power of an Organized Inbox

21. Mute Gmail Chains

It’s the worst when you get roped into an email chain that never wants to end, isn’t it? You don’t remember when you got copied, but there you are, dragged into all these replies that barely pertain to you.

Stop the madness by muting Gmail conversations. In Gmail, open the email you want to mute. Then, navigate to the top toolbar and choose More. You will see an option to Mute. Select it, and Gmail will automatically archive the thread.

If any of the recipients add you to a CC or write you directly, the email will go back to your inbox.

22. Access Several Gmail Accounts from One Browser Window

Many companies juggle several email accounts, from a communications account to your sales, marketing, and customer service departments. Don’t keep logging out and into Gmail to stay abreast of all the emails on your radar when you can open all your accounts at once.

Even better, you can do this from a single browser window.

How, you ask? In Gmail, select your profile image. Then, choose Add account. When you do this, you can open any account in a different tab but still within the same window.

23. Use Gmail When Offline

Image courtesy of CNET

Are you logging off for a while but don’t want to miss anything important? Gmail lets you access your emails even without an internet connection. This feature is also handy if you’re traveling or have a power outage but can’t miss your messages.

Access Gmail, then select Settings. In Settings, expand it to All settings, then choose Offline. In that tab, turn on Enable offline mail, then toggle how you’d like to receive your email updates. Click Save when you’re done.

24. Set the Star Color

Image courtesy of PCWorld

Gmail uses stars to denote email importance. The stars are available in various colors, and you can add one to four stars per email.

If you like the idea of a color-coded inbox, create your own email system within Gmail by going into Settings, then General. Next, choose Star option, adding as many star colors or numbers as you want. Drag them into use and choose Save.

25. Format Your Emails

Image courtesy of NC State University

Who says your emails have to forego formatting? Lend your messages more professionalism and skim-ability by incorporating formatting such as numbered lists and bullet points.

This couldn’t be any easier. Open any email or create a blank email. You will see a bar that includes your font, text size, and other text options like bolding, italicizing, and changing the text color.

Beside those options, you can incorporate formatting by choosing the numbered list, bulleted list, or quotes.

For more Gmail rules to make your life easier, read this article.

Read also: Gmail Contact Groups: A Simple Guide to Easy Group Emails

26. Use Email Attachments

Image courtesy of Goldy Arora

How many times do you mean to send an attachment, but you get so caught up in the verbiage of your email that you simply forget?

Fortunately, if you use the words “included” or “attached” in your body copy, such as saying, “I’ve attached the file,” Gmail will remind you that you haven’t included an attachment before you hit send.

Click the paperclip icon to attach a file to your email or drag it from a folder on your computer. Your files can’t exceed 25 MB unless you want to use Google Drive.

27. Archive Your Emails

Gmail allows you to archive any message in your inbox by clicking the Archive icon, which is a downward-facing arrow. The toolbar keeps track of your archived messages in their own separate folder.

28. Send and Archive Your Messages

Once you’ve begun archiving emails in Gmail, keep the momentum going by automatically archiving messages after you’ve sent them.

In Gmail, navigate to your Settings, then choose Send and Archive. Select the Show “Send and Archive” button in reply.

As the name suggests, checking this activates the archive button. You can send any email as normal, or use Send and Archive.

29. Categorize Incoming Emails

Image courtesy of Computerworld

Another great function for staying on top of your emails is the categorization option Gmail offers for any emails you receive.

This isn’t an automatic feature; you must create a Gmail filter to take care of this task.

To do that, open your Gmail and select Show search options near the search bar. Type your requirements, then select Create Filter. Make the filter rules and choose Create Filter.

You can also create Gmail filters based on specific messages. Check the email, choose More (represented by three vertical dots), then select Filter messages like these. Input the criteria and choose Create filter.

Read also: Gmail Out-of-Office Messages Made Easy [With Templates]

30. Snooze Gmail Notifications

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Don’t you hate when you’re in the zone, then ding? An email comes through and ruins it. You check your inbox, then maybe social media or your text messages, and before you know it, 40 minutes are gone.

Snooze those notifications so you can focus by logging into Gmail, clicking the email, then selecting Snooze, which features a clock icon. You can snooze the email for as long as needed. You can even snooze several messages by checking them all at once.

31. Create a Gmail Delegate

You can delegate Gmail accounts if you want them to have access to your Gmail. In effect, a delegate is a shared email account.

After establishing a delegate, you can now hide or show their name when sending emails, use more labels to track messages, archive your messages, and create rules or filters for automatic email sorting.

Delegates have control over your Gmail account the same way you do. They can open any message, respond, create filters, change signatures, schedule emails, change Gmail settings and appearance, block accounts, and delete messages.

Each Gmail account can have 10 delegates in total. If yours is an organization, Gmail lets you add 1,000 delegates max, with 40 able to get into the Gmail account concurrently.

Create a delegate by opening Gmail on your computer, as you don’t have access to this feature on the mobile version. Select Settings, then See all settings. Next, choose Accounts and Import, then the Accounts tab.

Under Grant access to your account, choose Add another account, inputting the delegate’s email address.

Choose Next Step, then Send email to grant access. The delegate must confirm, with a week to assume the new responsibility.

32. Block Email Senders

Sometimes, snoozing or sending an email to spam won’t do the trick. You want to block an email account within Gmail.

There’s only way one way to do it. Open Gmail, select the offending message, then choose More on the upper right. You will see an option to Block. Click it, and you will not receive any further messages from that person.

33. Mark Open Emails as Unread

Better email management is possible through this handy Gmail tip, especially if you read a message but won’t have time to do what’s required in the email until later.

In Gmail, click the three dots, then choose Mark as unread. The email will pop up in your inbox again like you never read it.

34. Make a New Gmail Label

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Gmail labels are the key to better organization. You’ll already start with some basic, Gmail-generated labels when you open your inbox, but you can add more anytime.

Log into Gmail, then scroll and select the option More. Next, choose Create new label, concocting a name for the label. Choose Create, and voila.

35. Select All Messages in Your Inbox

Image courtesy of Email Overload Solutions

If you’re ready for a change and want to dump your email contents, you can select every message in your inbox by label. Check the box and click the Select all conversations in [Label] link to wipe everything.

This saves so much time, as you usually have to delete emails 100 at a time.

Read also: 21 Gmail Integrations To Supercharge Your Email Experience

36. Add Unlimited Aliases

Image courtesy of Quora

Although Gmail limits you on aliases, you can use two methods when making an email address that will let you create as many as you want. Gmail will always send emails to an address if you add a plus sign after that address or a dot in the email address.

For example, if your base email address is brucewayne@gmail.com, you will still receive emails if someone emails brucewayne+batman@gmail.com or bruce.wayne@gmail.com.

37. Send Emails from Another Account

Do you have another email account? Don’t we all? You can send emails from your Gmail inbox to the other account, including email providers outside of Gmail.

Access Settings, then select Accounts and Import. Under Add another email address, choose Send mail as. Include the secondary email account on the list, and you’re ready to start sending more messages.

38. Change the Number of Emails Viewable in Your Gmail Inbox

Have you ever wished you could see the whole shebang of your inbox at once? Or, perhaps you’re interested in limiting the view.

Well, either way, you can. In Gmail’s settings, under General, keep scrolling until you see Maximum page size. Increase the number to the conversations and contacts per page, then save.

39. Use Canned Responses

Image courtesy of HubSpot

Do you ever feel like you’re repeating yourself when you send emails? Rather than rudely tell everyone, “per my last email,” you can send canned responses within Gmail instead.

Access Settings, then Advanced, Templates, and Enable. Don’t panic if your Gmail reloads. It’s supposed to do that.

The next time you write a message, choose Templates in the bottom right of your email and save it. You can then use that canned response when someone asks you a very similar question you’ve answered 100 times this week.

40. Make Calls in Gmail

Ring-ring! It’s your Gmail calling.

Okay, not literally, but if you have a Gmail-registered number, you can use this email platform for calling. You must have speakers to hear the other person, and a microphone so they can hear you.

In your inbox, you should see a phone icon at the bottom left of the Gmail screen. Click the icon, select a contact, and call.

Keep in mind when you call, your name will be displayed as No Caller ID, but hey, you’re calling from Gmail!

41. Use Gmail Nudges

Keeping track of everyone you need to follow up with is tough, especially as your business grows. Fortunately, Gmail will nudge you if it’s been several days since you’ve heard from someone.

The email floats to the top of your inbox so you can prioritize a follow-up. You can also dismiss the nudges.

Read also: Organizing Made Easy: Learn to Export Gmail Contacts

Bonus: Gmail Tips for Android Users

Using Gmail on Android can feel like an entirely different ball of yarn, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are some tips that will help you master Gmail in no time.

Turn off Spaces and Chat

Spaces (group convos)? Nah. Chat? Nuh-uh. You don’t have to allow your inbox to stay clogged up when you can control what you see each time you log into Gmail on Android.

Go into Gmail, then select Settings for your email address. Under General, go into Chat and turn it off.

Use Action Confirmations

Although some view it as hand-holding, Gmail Action Confirmations can save your skin before you send an email without an attachment or with a spelling blunder.

Activate this handy feature in Android by accessing Gmail, then Settings. Next, select General settings and Action Confirmations. Toggle the Action Confirmations your way, then select Save.

Erase your search history

Gmail search history? Not here. Get rid of it by going into Settings, then General Settings. You will see a menu on the top right with three buttons. Choose Clear search history.

Format your emails

Although you don’t get quite as many formatting options on mobile Gmail as you do with the desktop version, you can still spiffy up your messages, so you should!

These options are available in Compose Email, but you can’t normally see them. Make them visible by accessing the Gmail app on Android, then choosing Compose.

Write your email, then tap the parts of the text you wish to format, holding them. Choose Format and bold, italicize, and otherwise format your text.

Read also: Why You Should Try Email Threads (Gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail)

Wrapping Up

Better productivity starts with knowing the right hacks. With the 40+ Gmail tips and tricks in this blog post, you’re ready to take your inbox by storm and keep it under control.

If you’d like to try a marketing automation tool to handle all your email and customer management for free, try EngageBay. Thousands are using it to grow their business already!

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