Gmail is arguably the most popular email service provider and there is hardly any serious competition for it.
Many people who had Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail have shifted to Gmail.
It offers many user-friendly features and it has grown into an essential tool for all types of account-holders.
Apart from the business email IDs that are part of the requirement at the workplace, the personal ID is invariably associated with Gmail.
But how many people fully understand all the features and utilize Gmail to its full potential? They may be in a minority.
Here are tips you can put to use to organize your Gmail Inbox and avoid wasting time trying to search for a particular email.
And now that Google has made an announcement that it is withdrawing its support to Google Inbox by early 2019, the earlier you become familiar with these steps the better it would be for you.
Some Important Things to Know While Using Gmail
Many activities in the virtual world are easy to understand when explained through the real-world parallels.
In the case of emails, you must realize that there are labels assigned to certain messages, much like the folders you would use while dealing with physical papers.
You would look at the subject or the title and the contents and place those dealing with the same or similar subjects in one folder to be dealt with later.
In Gmail, you can use labels to do the same task.
Labels in Gmail
The items appearing on the left of your screen like Inbox, Draft, Spam or Trash are all labels.
Now you can create your own labels and assign them different colors.
This helps you club all emails on a particular subject or relate a particular project in one place and read them later.
Thus, you obtain better clarity and a lot of time and effort is saved in moving back and forth trying to locate emails in the Inbox.
Categories in Gmail
You may already be familiar with the categories or tabs under which all incoming emails are routed by Gmail:
- Primary: Where the important emails you would want to read first and reply when needed
- Social: Emails from social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and so on.
- Promotions: The messages in this tab are not necessarily considered Spam but can come close to it because these are emails seeking your attention to buy a product or a service.
- Then you have two more tabs: Updates and Forums.
Creating New Labels
Now on to the ways you can organize these selections:
- On the left menu list, click on “more” to go down that list.
- On “Manage Labels,” click on “Create new label.”
- A dialogue box will open; you can type the name you wish to assign to a label where it says “Please enter a new label name.”
- Now there may be a need to keep the emails falling within this label under a broad topic; that is why you find another choice saying “Nest label under.” If you have such a nest or label already, it would appear on the left. You need to drag that and put it in this box.
- Finally, click “Create.”
How to Assign a Label to an Email & Color Code It
- When an email is delivered to the Primary Inbox and you access it, you may wish to assign it the label for reading later. Select the email by ticking on the square box on the left of it.
- You will find a label or tag icon on top; clicking on it opens a drop-down menu.
- The labels you have already created would be there. Click on the right one and you are done.
But if the email you have received is the first one on a subject you would want a create a new label, the choice is there in the same drop-down menu and you can follow the steps as outlined above to create the label and send the email to it.
You can then give a separate color to each of these labels; when you move the cursor over to the labels you have created on the left, you will find a tiny downward arrow next to each label
On clicking on the arrow, you will find an additional menu in which the first one would be the Label color. Choose the color you want for each of the labels and you are good to go.
A Few Clever Ways to Retain Inbox Features
Now, despite learning these features and functions, some tasks that Google Inbox has are difficult to replicate in Gmail.
Many of these can still be done through the support of additional apps available on your app store.
Below are a few “hacks” you can use to retain the best features from Google Inbox, even after the app is discontinued.
Use the “Email This” Extension for Saving Links
When you are reading an interesting article or a news story and wish to read it later in detail, you can use a tool called Email This.
This browser extension allows you to click on a URL and send the complete article to your Gmail Inbox.
What’s more, it will get rid of any advertisements and only send you the images and text.
You can use the labeling technique plus the “club similar emails” command to Gmail to achieve better results.
Get the “Reminder” Function
This was a very useful and effective feature with Inbox. To get it on Gmail, you will require the support of Google Calendar or Google Tasks.
You can set the reminders on your calendar and activate the alert in your Gmail account. You can feel relaxed that you won’t forget any event with this facility.
Get the Google Trips App to Manage Travel-Related Emails
Yet another popular feature provided by Google Inbox is to do a personal assistant’s job of collecting different emails on your next trip and put it up as a summary where you could locate your schedules, tickets and reservations.
Gmail does not have that. So, you will need to download the Google Trips app to do the same tasks. You will have to give it the necessary permission to access your emails.
For the diehard Inbox by Google fan, it is tough to live without it. But these are some ways you can manage with your existing Gmail account.
More may emerge as people start experimenting.