Utilise the power of Gmail to increase productivity

By : |August 29, 2019 0

Fundamentally, Gmail is an intuitive and easy to use platform. However, a cluttered and over-flooded inbox is a hindrance that can inhibit your daily productivity. If you consider that an average employee spends about a third of their time at the office in sending and receiving emails, this contributes to massive amounts of clutter in inboxes.

In fact, a study conducted by the Radicati Group in 2015 showed that over 205 billion emails were sent and received worldwide each day. This figure is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 3% year on year, reaching over 246 billion by the end of 2019. In fact, according to a Mckinsey report the average employee spends 28 per cent of their work week on email, that is over 11 hours a week!

Thus the problem isn’t just clutter, it is also time. Hours are spent sorting and reading and replying to a mass influx of emails each day. The following tips make your Gmail work faster and help you adopt a more methodological approach to managing emails.

1. Deactivate Chat

Gmail’s Hangouts feature was quite useful when it first came out but there are just so many messaging apps available today that users are spoilt for choice. Hangouts does slow down your Gmail, so, why not just disable it?

2. Disable the Labs Feature

Labs is a feature that allows users to try out experimental functionalities that have not become a native part of Gmail yet. It’s enabled by default and plays a part in making your Gmail slower. To disable it, head to Settings > Labs. You can either disable the features you are not using or disable Labs altogether.

3. Audit connected apps and services

Granting apps and tools access to our Google accounts is something we do frequently. All of these apps compete for your account’s data resources and play a huge role in making Gmail sluggish.

Visit the IssuedAppSubTokens page to manage the list of apps connected to your Google Account. Revoke access to any service you no longer need or have forgotten allowing access to.

4. Do away with Filters you don’t need

While Gmail filters are good at helping you manage emails, they come with a trade-off: they slow down your Gmail to a good extent. This is because, over a period of time, you accumulate an unwieldy collection of filters, most of which you don’t even need.

You need to run a careful analysis of all the filters you have and remove the ones that are no longer relevant. To do this go to Settings and then Filters and review the list of filters.

5. Always use the Default Theme

There is no shortage of glitzy themes on Gmail. Who wouldn’t want to make their inbox look cool? But owing to the additional graphics associated with these themes, your Gmail takes more time to load. Which is why it’s always better to use the default theme.

6. Bring Priority Emails to the Top

Gmail displays emails in chronological order by default. But sifting through a lot of mails just to arrive at that one highly critical and urgent email does not help your productivity.

Try out Gmail’s priority inbox – a feature that filters emails based on what needs your attention the most. Once you activate this, your emails are automatically split into three sections:

1. Important and unread

2. Starred

3. And everything else

7. Bring back the neat Outlook View

It’s quite a hassle to click on every email to view it, and then the back button to view the inbox list. You’d be surprised to know how much time this takes up! You can bring back the classic Outlook view on your Gmail. Enable it from your Settings tab.

8. Have Gmail tell you what’s important

Based on the type of Emails you open, Gmail can tell what’s important to you and what isn’t. Here’s how you can do it:

→ Head to Settings > Inbox→ Select the Use my Past Actions button

This will get Gmail analyzing your past behavior to figure out what type of mails are priority.

Then,

→ Choose the Show Markers and the Override filters buttons→ Set the inbox type to Important first

9. Merge your non-Google accounts

It’s a common thing to have email accounts across services. Everyone has at least one personal and one professional account. That said, the back-and-forth between these IDs can get arduous. But the good news is that Gmail has a way to bring all your emails inside a single window – letting you manage all your conversations holistically, from one place.

The best part is that you can respond using any of your email addresses – keeping the necessary separation intact. To enable this, open the Gmail App on your Android phone or tablet. Tap Menu on the top right and click Add Account.

If you’re looking for more tips on optimizing your Gmail, you can refer to this comprehensive G Suite Productivity Handbook.

By Niraj Ranjan, Co-founder & CEO, Hiver

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