Google Mail, or Gmail as it is popularly known as, is perhaps the most used email service in the world today. Almost everybody who uses email has a Gmail account. Some may have more than one mail account with Google for different purposes. Compared to other email services, Gmail has been a lot simple and easier to use, which has made it more preferred than its rivals. But it has gotten more complex over the years since it was launched and is not all that easily manageable by all. That said, Gmail has more to offer to its users than just an email service. If you learn how to manage it efficiently, the service offers a number of valuable services that you can benefit from.

So here are 7 tips that can help you organize your Gmail for better efficiency and productivity.

1. Keep It Simple, Use the Classic Style
One of the impressive features of Gmail includes the themes and styles that you can use for viewing and organizing your inbox. You can set the inbox style to categorize and prioritize your mail that has been read, that is important or that is unread and unimportant. The trick is to choose the type of inbox based on the features but not on the appearance. Avoid choosing an inbox type blindly as that can make it difficult for you to prioritize and categorize your emails as you want. Use the classic inbox to better organize your emails as per priority and the type.

Gmail automatically categorizes your mailbox into three sections namely Primary, Promotions and Social. To further prioritize the mail you get by selecting the type of inbox you want, click on the Settings menu and select the Inbox tab. In that, use the drop down menu to set the type of inbox you want to use.

2. Have too much unread email?
Usually, the number of unread email in an average Gmail user’s inbox runs not just into hundreds, but thousands. The only reason you would have so many unread emails is if you had planned to read them later, sometime in the future. Well, if that is your reason, you are not alone. A number of people tend to keep emails in their inbox with the intention of reading it at a later date, only they don’t really get there and the number of unread or unwanted emails keeps increasing.

The solution for this is to find out what you have subscribed to and what you actually will be reading. Once you determine what you are not going to read or are not interested in anymore, you can simply unsubscribe from those sites.

3. Delete unwanted emails
Unsubscribing reduces the number of unwanted emails you get every day. But what do you do with all that mail you have already received? Delete it, of course. Search for a specific email id or name of the sender and select all the emails from that person or id to delete bulk emails. Make sure you don’t select important mail by mistake. This process may seem a little tedious, but is an important one to make sure your inbox is not cluttered with emails you are never going to read.

4. Starring emails you need to access later
One of the features in Gmail is prioritization, which it uses to automatically determine which mail is important and which is not. Thankfully, you can always select what is important and what is not manually to educate the system. However, if you have too many important emails, you will have to search for a specific email using the search tab and then manually sort the mail to find what you want.

The good news is that you can avoid all that by starring the emails that you need to retrieve later. Gmail allows you to give your emails differently colored stars and then moves them to the Starred inbox for easy access. Use this and you will save a lot of time otherwise spent in searching and sorting.

5. Personal Level Indicators
Another interesting feature in Gmail is the personal level indicator, which lets you understand the type of email you have received. The indicators tell you if the mail has been sent exclusively to you, to a group of people or to a mailing list, based on which you can determine whether or not it could be important.

• A single arrow in the yellow marker beside the mail indicates that the message has been sent to a group of people.
• Double arrows in the yellow marker indicate that the message is exclusively to you and
• No arrow indicates it is to a mailing list.

6. Archive
Many people fear the “Archive” feature in Gmail thinking that archiving will make it difficult for them to access or retrieve their emails later. On the contrary, archive in Gmail is an excellent feature that allows you to put away your mail safely in Google’s cloud drive. Not only will your mail be safe, it can also be accessed easily whenever you want. This is a great feature that allows you to de-clutter your inbox.

7. Create and Use Labels
Gmail allows you to label your emails however you want. You can use this feature to create a labeling system to identify the emails you have received and decide how to treat the emails based on the color. This enables you to make quicker decisions about which emails to check and respond to immediately and which to save for a later date.

Hope you found these tips useful.
Featured image: © Image courtesy of Cairo (CC BY 2.0) on Flickr

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