If you use webmail for your daily working needs, chances are you’ve done the wise thing and opted for Gmail – arguably the most useful email service on the internet. Aside from combining your inbox and sent mail into a narrative thread, Gmail’s integration with many of Google’s other handy services make it a can’t-live-without organizing tool for hundreds of millions of users.
Gmail is a powerful tool, though, and to really use it to its full potential requires moving past the surface features and under the bonnet. For a start, if you’re still using your mouse to get around, hit Shift + ? to discover a wealth of convenience – a list of all your keyboard shortcuts, and the option to activate new ones. You can shave seconds off each action by memorizing a handful of combos.
You can also speed up your process by getting organized. Switching your labels so that they only appear when you have unread messages under them, and creating new folders to rank the importance of pending mail tasks according to the famous Eisenhower Decision Matrix, can help you prioritize your time and sidestep potential distractions. And if your work is pretty repetitive, you’ll be grateful to hear you can even set up ‘canned responses’: pre-written replies using a text you write for yourself (“Thanks for your interest…”, “I’ll get back to you”) but which can be accessed with a couple of clicks when replying to a common email type.
By now, maybe you consider yourself a power user, with nary a Gmail function left unused. However, there is still one more level to conquer: the Add-on. Frustrated/inventive developers have discovered that, however malleable Gmail may seem to be, it could always use a few more functions, and they’ve developed a range of tools you can plug into your Gmail account to give it a bit more oomph.
From enabling offline use of the email service (Gmail Offline) to giving you insight into your correspondents’ very souls (well, their personalities at least – try Crystal Knows), Add-ons fill the Gmail gaps you hardly knew were there. To find out about a few more such apps – and for the low-down on those handy power tips and more – be sure to check out this new infographic and boost up your Gmail use today.