Everyone has a Gmail account. We’re all used to archiving, labeling, and marking bad senders as spam, but you probably still spend a lot of time in your inbox, especially if your work uses Gmail.
Gmail is the most used email service on the planet and there are a number of reasons for that. It brings a simple yet appealing interface, there are plethora of extensions that improve Gmail’s functionality and it packs in a lot of features. In fact, Gmail packs in a lot more than what meets the eye.
Some cool Gmail tricks that you should know about:
Narrow Your Search
Typing in any of these operators will get you a more refined search.
- To find messages matching keyword A or keyword B, type “OR” in all caps, for example: from:jennifer OR from:lopez.
- Find specific types of files with “filename:” for example: filename:jpg.
- Search messages within a certain period with “after:” and “before:” for example: after:2014/04/30 before:2014/05/06.
- Check More
Enable Preview Pane
Preview pane is a much loved feature in Outlook but not many people know that the feature is available in Gmail as well. Preview Pane brings an additional pane to your Inbox, so that you can view your emails right in the inbox. This is certainly handy because if you want to shuffle through multiple emails in Gmail, you will have to open an email, go back and then open the next one. Well, that changes with Preview Pane.
To enable the Preview Pane, head to Gmail settings by hitting the setting cog icon on the top right and clicking on “Settings“.
Here, go to the “Labs” tab and scroll down below to find or search for the “Preview Pane” option. Just select “Enable” and click on “Save Changes“.
Then, Gmail will reload and you will find a new icon next to the Settings icon. You can click on its drop-down menu button to choose from “Vertical Split” or “Horizontal Split“.
I’ll recommend you to use the vertical split option because that lets you see all the emails you’d normally see, while also letting you check all your emails.
Enable Undo Send & Set Cancellation Period
There are times when we are typing an email and accidentally hit the send button. While that’s fine for informal emails, it’s bad if it happens when you are sending an important formal mail. Thankfully, Gmail includes a very cool “Undo Send” feature, which as you might have guessed, lets you revoke sent messages.
To enable Undo Send, head to Gmail Settings and in the General tab, find the “Undo Send” option and enable it. Here, you can also set the time period for cancellation. You can set it to 5, 10, 20 or 3 seconds.
Once done, save the changes and send a test email. Alongside the sending message alert on top, you will find an “Undo” button, which you can click on to stop the message.
The Undo Send feature is also available in the iOS Gmail app. However, you don’t need to enable it or set anything up. When you send an email from the Gmail app on an iPhone or iPad, you see an undo option at the bottom. On the other hand, the Gmail app on Android surprisingly still does not feature the undo option but you can enable the “Confirm before sending” option in “General Settings”.
Create Disposable Email Aliases for Sign Ups
While you can set up email aliases to sign up to different services and websites, there’s an even simpler way to create disposable email addresses and make sure emails from sign ups land up in spam. Well, it’s easy, if your email id is “firstname.lastname@example.org“, you can just use “email@example.com” as your disposable email address. Gmail does not consider any text after “+” as email addresses, so when you get an email on firstname.lastname@example.org, it’ll land up in email@example.com.
So, when you’ve signed up to a service you don’t want to receive emails from, you can set up a filter that makes sure emails to the disposable address automatically get archived.
All you need to do, is hit the drop-down button in the Gmail search bar. In the advanced search page, type in the firstname.lastname@example.org address in the “To” section and then, click on the “Create filter with this search” option.
In the next page, you can choose the option to “Skip the Inbox (Archive it)” or “Delete it” and click on “Create filter“. That is it, now whenever you receive an email on the disposable address, it will be automatically deleted or archived.
Forward Multiple Emails
Gmail, by default, does not let you forward multiple emails, which is a shame because there are times when you have to forward several emails to a person. Well, as you might have guessed, there are ways to forward multiple emails in Gmail. You can check out our detailed article on how to forward multiple emails in Gmail to know about the best ways to do it.
Use Different Colored Stars
I’m sure you are aware of the ability to star emails in Gmail but chances are, you do not know the fact that there are more stars other than the yellow star. Yes, that’s right! To enable more stars in Gmail, you can head to Gmail Settings. Here, scroll down in the “General” tab to find the “Stars” section. Then, you can just drag and drop different stars to the “In Use” section to enable them. When you are done, just hit the “Save Changes” button at the bottom.
Now, you can click on the star icon next to emails multiple times to get the different stars. You can use different colored stars to mark emails as important, urgent or something you are done with. For instance, you can use the red star for urgent emails, yellow star for important emails and green stars for emails you are done with, but want them in the “Starred” section.
Essential Keyboard Shortcuts
First things first: if you don’t have keyboard shortcuts enabled, head to Settings, and under the General tab, turn keyboard shortcuts to “on.” Once you have these enabled, just type one letter or a combination of letters to simplify everyday tasks. The ones you need to know are:
- j to go to older messages
- k to go to newer messages
- e to archive
- shift + # to trash
- / to type in the search bar
- a to reply all
- r to reply individually
Send Emails From Different Addresses
Send mail from multiple accounts by heading to Settings and selecting Account and Import tab. In the “Send mail as” section, click on the Add another email address you own button, where you can add and verify all your external addresses. When you compose a message within Gmail, you’ll then be able to select which email address you want to use from drop-down menu.