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author photoChelsea FaithOctober 25, 2023

5 Gmail Productivity Tips to Supercharge Your Email Workflow


Have your days started to blur into a relentless cycle of typing, sifting through, and replying to emails? If this daily email grind is taking a toll on your well-being, it's time to regain control and improve your productivity with a more streamlined email approach.

In this article, we'll explore 5 Gmail productivity tips that will help you take control of your email workflow and turn that chaotic inbox into a serene and efficient workspace. Here are the productivity tips every Gmail user needs to know about:

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Supercharge Your Gmail Productivity with Tatem

For those who have experienced the never-ending email grind, Tatem offers a practical and user-friendly solution to help regain control over your Gmail inbox. Here's how:

Speed That Defies Lag

Lag in email management can be infuriating and time-consuming. Tatem speeds up Gmail by delivering lightning-fast speed with interactions taking less than 50 milliseconds and real-time synchronization. This translates to substantial time savings – up to 3 hours per week, which you can now redirect towards more meaningful tasks.

Prioritization Simplified with a Split Inbox

Tatem splits and prioritizes your emails, ensuring that what matters most takes center stage. With the split inbox feature, you can wave goodbye to email chaos and the anxiety of overlooking significant emails; no more digging through mountains of messages to unearth your priorities. Clean your Gmail inbox much quicker with Tatem.

AI Text Editor for Faster Communication

Tatem's AI text editor is designed to make your email writing smoother and more efficient. It brings the familiar ease of text editing from your documents into your email composition. With AI assistance, your emails are not only quicker to write but also more impactful, allowing you to communicate effectively without wasting time on lengthy drafts.

Streamlined User Experience: Get Things Done with Ease

To top it off, the platform ensures you no longer need to wrestle with intricate features. You can effortlessly add emails to lists, swiftly preview your messages, execute multi-select actions, employ bulk commands, and seamlessly undo or redo actions. '

Tatem delivers an email experience that not only works but excels in simplifying your workflow, eliminating complications along the way.

Turn Off Gmail Notifications and Reclaim Your Focus

Email notifications create a sense of urgency that isn't always real. When that alert pops up, it's tough not to dive into your inbox right away.

The truth, though, is that very few emails genuinely demand immediate attention. While some might need quick responses, most can wait; they aren't ticking time bombs that need defusing right now.

Constant notifications break your workflow and concentration. That deep work session you were engaged in? Interrupted. The crucial task you were tackling? Shelved for later. Your focus drifts, and your effectiveness takes an immediate nosedive.

And this isn't just a fleeting lapse in concentration. Studies reveal that it takes a whopping 23 minutes to fully recover your focus after a distraction, meaning each new notification could be compromising your full focus for up to 23 minutes.

Not to mention, email notifications often open the door to more time-consuming demands. What starts as a seemingly innocent interruption can quickly escalate into a time-eating spiral. An email alert, for instance, could quickly lead to an email thread with coworkers, ultimately snowballing into a mini-meeting.

It's like a digital domino effect, with each notification triggering another task, pulling you deeper down the rabbit hole. Your escape plan? You need to turn off those pesky email notifications. Here's how you do it:

  1. In Gmail for Desktop:
  • Click on "Settings" > "See all Settings."
  • Scroll down under "General."
  • Turn off desktop notifications.
  1. On Android Devices:
  • Open the Gmail app.
  • In the top left, tap "Menu" > "Settings."
  • Select your account.
  • Tap "Notifications" and choose "None."

But what if you're concerned about missing an important email? Here's the solution:

To set up priority notifications on the Gmail app:

  1. Open the Gmail app
  2. In the top left, tap "Menu" and then click on "Settings."
  3. Select your account.
  4. Tap "Notifications" and opt for "High priority only."

Bonus tip: Consider using Gmail offline to avoid notifications and distractions from other apps.

Declutter Your Inbox and Regain Control

Poor organization, excessive subscriptions, and disorganized email habits can all contribute to the chaos lurking in your inbox. This is where decluttering your emails comes in.

Email overload carries a heavy toll like:

  • Wasted time: Imagine the minutes slipping away as you sift through emails that add zero value to your life. It's a costly endeavor, and over a week, it piles up to a substantial chunk of time.
  • Reduced focus: Each non-essential email that slides into your inbox disrupts your flow and chips away at your concentration.
  • Stress and overwhelm: When your email inbox becomes a chaotic mess of unimportant and unread messages, it can make you feel like you're buried under a huge pile of work. This email stress can seep into the rest of your day, making it quite challenging.

Below are a few Gmail tips and tricks to reach inbox zero, regain control and make your primary inbox more manageable:

Unsubscribe from Unwanted Emails

It's tempting to point fingers at spammers for inbox clutter, but the reality is that many of these distractions stem from newsletters you initially subscribed to, but now find bothersome. These emails create chaos in your inbox, making it harder to spot the important messages.

The solution: clear out your inbox of newsletters, promotional emails, and anything that no longer adds value. Here's how:

  1. On your computer, open Gmail.
  2. Open an email from the sender you wish to unsubscribe from.
  3. Next to the sender's name, click "Unsubscribe" or "Change preferences." If these options aren't visible, consider blocking the sender or marking their emails as spam.

To block a Gmail email address:

When you block a sender, their incoming messages will automatically redirect to your Spam folder.

  1. Open Gmail
  2. Open the message.
  3. In the top right, click More
  4. Click Block.

Archive the Old and Unnecessary

Next, let's address those emails you're unlikely to ever need but can't bear to delete. Instead of keeping them in your primary inbox tab, use the archive feature. Archiving emails removes them from your main view but keeps them accessible through search or in your "All Mail" folder. It's like moving old paperwork to the back of a filing cabinet -- you know where it is, but it's not in your way.

To do this successfully, you need first to select your archive or delete settings:

  1. On your Android device, open the Gmail app.
  2. In the top left corner, tap "Menu."
  3. Select "Settings" > "General settings" > "Gmail default action."
  4. Choose "Archive" or "Delete." Remember that deleted messages are permanently removed from the Trash after 30 days.

After selecting Archive in the setting above, you can archive your messages:

  • After opening a message, tap Archive
  • From your inbox, you can swipe the message to the left or right.

Use Gmail Filters

Filters automate the process of categorizing and sorting your emails. For instance, you can instruct your inbox to automatically move emails from a specific sender or with a particular subject line into a designated folder -- like a priority inbox.

To set up a filter in Gmail:

  1. Click the downward arrow in the Gmail search box.
  2. In the "has the words" field, type "unsubscribe" or any other terms you prefer.
  3. Click the "Create filter" button.
  4. Choose the option to "Skip the inbox (Archive it)."
  5. Click the "Create filter" button.

Use Stars

Stars serve as visual cues to highlight important emails. You can use them to mark emails that require immediate attention, follow-up, or further consideration.

Here's how to star an email in Gmail:

  1. On your computer, open Gmail.
  2. In your inbox, find the email you want to star and navigate to the left of the message.
  3. Click the "Star" icon. If the email is already open, click "More," and then select "Add Star."
  4. If you have multiple stars, click the star icon repeatedly until you see the one that suits your purpose.

Use Labels

Think of labels as smart tags that streamline your email sorting. You can assign multiple tags to a single email, allowing it to belong to different "virtual folders" without creating duplicates. This feature makes it easy to find and get through emails quickly, no matter how many labels you use.

To make this easier to understand, imagine you're juggling multiple work projects, each with its own set of related emails. In Gmail, you can create a label for each project, making it simple to organize and access the emails related to each one. Plus, if an email is related to multiple projects, you can apply multiple labels to it.

To create a Gmail label, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Gmail on your computer.
  2. On the left, scroll down and click "More."
  3. Click "Create new label."
  4. Name your label.
  5. Select "Create."

Enable Gmail Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are quick key combinations that help you breeze through tasks without relying on your mouse. Whether you want to format emails, organize your Gmail inbox, or zip through messages, these shortcuts are the key to a smoother Gmail experience.

Each shortcut you master shaves a precious few seconds off your email actions. A few seconds might not sound like much, but over the course of a day, they can add up to significant time savings. You can use this time to reclaim your work-life balance, tackle that important task, or simply breathe easy knowing your inbox is organized.

Here's how to enable these shortcuts:

  • Click the gear icon in Gmail's top-right corner.
  • Select 'See all settings.'
  • Click on 'Settings.'
  • Scroll down until you spot the 'Keyboard shortcuts' section.
  • Now, choose 'Keyboard shortcuts on.'
  • Don't forget to seal the deal – hit 'Save Changes' at the bottom of the page.

Some of the most popular Gmail keyboard shortcuts include:

Navigation Shortcuts

  • 'C' for composing a new email.
  • 'R' for reply.
  • 'A' to reply all.
  • 'F' to forward an email.
  • 'E' to archive.

Label Shortcuts

  • 'L' to open the label menu.
  • 'E' to label your emails.
  • 'R' to remove a label.

Conversation Shortcuts

  • 'N' to move to the next email.
  • 'P' to go to the previous one.
  • 'X' to select an email.
  • 'U' to return to the inbox.
  • 'Shift' + 'I' to mark an email as read.
  • 'Shift' + 'U' to mark it as unread.
  • 'Shift' + 'T' to add it to your tasks.

Gmail shortcuts not responding? Here are some tips for troubleshooting unresponsive Gmail keyboard shortcuts. With some troubleshooting, you should be able to get unresponsive Gmail shortcuts back up and running quickly.

Boost Efficiency with Gmail Templates

Sending repetitive emails can be a real time sink. Think about the monotonous task of composing those weekly reports, replying to the same customer inquiries, or providing routine project updates.

Gmail templates save you time and free you from the mundane chore of retyping the same emails. They allow you to track responses and automate follow-ups for smoother and more effective communication. And they're also customizable, so you can add that personal touch while keeping your core content intact.

That said, creating the templates is a breeze, and it'll only require extra time if you're composing them from scratch. You don't need to be a Gmail power user to create templates; here's a quick guide:

Unlock the Templates Feature

You need to first enable email templates in your Gmail settings. Just a few clicks, and you're good to go:

  1. Click on the gear icon in the top right corner of your screen (that's your Settings).
  2. Then, click "See all settings."
  3. Select the "Advanced" tab.
  4. Under "Templates," choose "Enable."
  5. Finally, give the confirmation nod by clicking "Save Changes" at the bottom of the menu.

With email templates enabled, it's time to craft your time-saving messages:

Creating Your Templates

  1. Click the "Compose" button, like you're about to draft a new email. The New Message window will appear.
  2. Start typing your email template.
  3. When you're done, hit the three dots in the bottom-right corner of the compose window.
  4. Hover over "Template" and select "Save draft as template."
  5. Opt for "Save as new template."
  6. Name your template and hit save.

Now that you've got your templates ready, here's how to use them with equal ease:

Sending with Templates

  1. Begin a new email draft by clicking the "Compose" button.
  2. Tap the three dots in the bottom right corner of the compose window.
  3. Hover over "Templates."
  4. Choose the template you need.
  5. Your template will pop up in the compose window, ready for any final edits before you hit "Send."

Establish an Email Routine

Creating a personalized email routine allows you to take the reins of your inbox and bring order to the chaos. This means fewer distractions, less urgency, and, as a result, lower stress levels. You no longer live in anticipation of the next email, which promotes a more relaxed work environment.

So, what kind of email routine should you have?

Scheduled Inbox Check-In

Set specific times to check your emails during the day. Determine two to three windows in your workday when you'll dive into your emails. Outside of these hours, don't peek into your inbox. Set email reminders for important emails.

Prioritize Your Inbox

Once you're in your designated email time slot, begin by scanning your inbox to identify the most crucial messages. Sort your emails by importance and tackle the high-priority ones first.

Batch Process Emails

Instead of addressing each email individually as it arrives, group similar tasks together. For instance, respond to all your meeting requests at one go, and then move on to other categories like project updates or client inquiries.

Use 1 Gmail Inbox

Avoid wasting time by checking multiple inboxes. You can send and view all your emails from the same Gmail account to reduce context switching and streamline your email workflow.