A Complete Guide to Organizing Gmail to Use It Efficiently

A Complete Guide to Organizing Gmail to Use It Efficiently

Gmail remains relevant and important despite the emergence of apps like Slack and Teams, which have reduced our reliance on email. According to a McKinsey report, the average person still spends up to 28% of their work week on emails. Therefore, it is wise to organize Gmail to minimize clutter and enhance productivity.

The volume of emails we receive can be overwhelming, particularly from sources we don’t recall subscribing to. Additionally, important emails can easily get lost among a flood of new ones. Here are some tips for organizing Gmail emails and restoring order to your work life.

1. Organizing Gmail Inbox

Most emails end up in the Inbox, which is why it is so cluttered. To find important emails quickly, change Inbox type to show them at the top.

Step 1: Click on Settings and select All Settings.

Step 2: Go to the Inbox tab and choose the default view next to Inbox type.

A Complete Guide to Organizing Gmail to Use It Efficiently

I suggest trying these alternatives to find the one that fits your needs:

– Default: Shows emails by date and time

– Important first: Gmail uses AI to determine which emails are important to you

– Unread first: Organize Gmail to display unread emails first

– Starred first: Emails that you have starred will be shown first. Use stars to mark important emails/IDs

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– Priority Inbox: Google prioritizes emails that you interact with most and displays relevant emails first

Be sure to explore other available settings as well.

2. Organizing Gmail by Folders/Labels

Gmail uses labels to filter and store emails without cluttering the Inbox. I recommend keeping the number of labels low and not going crazy with them. You can also create nested labels in Gmail, which are like sub-folders.

To create a filter, follow these steps:

1. Open the email you want to create a filter for.

2. Click the Labels icon at the top to view existing labels (it looks like a right arrow).

A Complete Guide to Organizing Gmail to Use It Efficiently

Step 2: Choose from an existing list or create new labels. Manage label settings here.

A Complete Guide to Organizing Gmail to Use It Efficiently

Create a label called Reading Digest for emails from Medium, Quora, or subscribed newsletters. These emails will skip your Inbox and go directly to the label or folder. You can also move emails to labels from this menu if you don’t want to create a new label.

A Complete Guide to Organizing Gmail to Use It Efficiently

You can color code labels by scrolling through the sidebar list and clicking on the three-dot menu icon next to a label to select a color.

3. Organize Gmail by Size

Google provides 15GB of free space for all its apps, including Gmail. Need to clear up space or do some cleaning? Use the “size:bytes” search operator to find and delete emails that are using up space but are no longer needed. For example, to find emails that are larger than 15 MB, you can use “size:15728640”. The command “size:mb” also works.

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A Complete Guide to Organizing Gmail to Use It Efficiently

You can add search parameters to further filter results like:

  • size:mb has:attachment
  • size:10mb has:attachment filename:doc
  • size:10mb larger_than:5m smaller_than:8M

Try different combinations to see what results you get. Gmail also suggests additional search parameters below the search bar, such as date and time, to help you find what you need.

4. Manage Tabs

Gmail has many default active tabs. You may not need all of them.

A Complete Guide to Organizing Gmail to Use It Efficiently

Go back to Settings, and under the Inbox tab, you can find Categories. You can turn on/off these tabs there. You can’t create new tabs or assign a label as a tab. That would have been cool though.

5. Organize Gmail by Sender

To find all emails from a specific sender, you don’t have to open the email.

A Complete Guide to Organizing Gmail to Use It Efficiently

Right-click on the email and select ‘Find emails from Name’ to begin the search. You can view all the emails within seconds.

Google Mail Rocks

Gmail is one of the best email service providers globally. You can customize it to your liking and use hidden features, shortcuts, and search operators to find what you want. I hope these tips helped you organize your inbox better and maybe even reach inbox zero. Fingers crossed.

Next up: Lost your Gmail emails? Here are some ways to recover them and prepare for future calamities. You’ll never lose another email.

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