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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Hallbach Paciorek

Tips on Using Google Gmail

Updated: Sep 22, 2022

Have you heard the saying, “You can’t be everything to everyone?” Google has been working hard over the years to change that and they are doing a pretty darn good job of it. I’ve been posting tips all month on social media about using Google Gmail efficiently. Now it’s time to put it all together in one spot.

My number one tip is to learn to use Gmail’s labels feature.

Labels basically work like “folders” within Gmail but with a twist. By using “labels” you can effectively have something in two “folders” at once.

Here’s a great example. When one of my contractors sends me an invoice, I label it as both RECEIPTS and TO-DO. At the end of the month, I go to my TO-DO folder, pull up the invoice, pay them and X out the TO-DO label at the top, leaving them in the RECEIPTS folder. Now, they are all ready for my accountant/taxes at the end of the year.

If I have a large project I’m working on, I do the same thing. I have a label for the CLIENT NAME and then I keep all the appropriate emails there that I may need to refer back to. But if there’s something I need to do, I also add it to the TO-DO label. And, if I want to be super efficient, I use the app for Asana within Gmail to also add the email to my tasks in Asana. Did I just blow your mind? It’s so great to have all these things within easy reach right within your Gmail account.

The next tip is to tell you to take advantage of the “Send Later” feature.

You can access the Send Later feature by clicking the white done arrow at the bottom of your email next to Send. This feature is especially useful if, like me, you like to work ahead but really aren’t ready to send that email just yet. Sometimes, I even use this feature to email MYSELF to do something important that needs done at a later date. (Along with adding reminders to my phone, etc. as I’m getting old and need reminders everywhere.) It’s much easier than setting up a draft and going back later to send it as you can eliminate that step entirely.

App Integrations in Gmail

Another way to make your Gmail work for you is to connect it to apps you use on a frequent basis. For instance, on the sidebar, you can easily access your Google Calendar, Keep and Tasks apps. But, you can also add other apps you like to use. I know many people like to have their daily To-Do list right there in their Gmail and depending on what you use for that, it might be an easy thing to accomplish. If you click on the + at the bottom of that column, you can see what apps are available to integrate. Personally, I like to use the Tasks list to keep track of any online ordering I do by adding the confirmation email to that list and then checking it off when I receive the item. If I can remember to use it, Asana is also very helpful as an add-on.

Signatures in Gmail

My final tip today is to use a branded signature. Having your own branded signature is a really great way to make sure the people you are emailing have easy access to all the ways they can contact you. While you can certainly design something right within the Gmail construct, I have found it much easier to use an outside app called WiseStamp. With WiseStamp I am able to really get the feel of my branding brought right into my email while allowing the reader the ease of clicking to find me wherever it’s easiest for them. I even have a calendar link in there if someone wants to set an appointment with me. My signature is set up on their paid plan but the free plan will be sufficient for most people.

Do you have other tips on using the features in Gmail? I’d love to hear about them as I’m always looking to improve efficiency.

Rebecca Paciorek is an Online Business Manager specializing in assisting in the growth of your business through traditional and digital means.

*I often recommend products and services that I use or that have been recommended to me by people we trust. In many cases these recommendations are accompanied by an affiliate link, which provides me with a referral commission should you click through and make a purchase.

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