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4 Gmail hacks to take control of your inbox

Text: Danica van der Veen; Photography: Peopleimages.com

July 20, 2015

Technology is the perfect business partnerWhen you get to work, do you avoid opening your email in fear of the growing stack of digital envelopes which are practically falling out of your mailbox? Don’t worry, we do too.

Your Gmail inbox can be an incredibly daunting place, but truth is: that stack of emails is not going away anytime soon… And cue the panic attack. Breathe! Because we have 4 secret hacks that are guaranteed to make Gmail a more manageable, and less overwhelming, place.

1 Learn to fake the timestamp
Are you a night owl when it comes to emails? No judgement (we often partake in a late-night catch-up sesh ourselves). Generally the people who receive your mails won’t notice, but trust us, eventually someone will. And you don’t want to come into work one morning and have your boss asking why you were working at 3am… It doesn’t look very professional. The solution: Boomerang. This Gmail app allows you to schedule your emails to be sent at anytime you want – ie: it’ll look like you’re sending something at 8am on Monday, when actually you sent it at midnight on Sunday. This brilliant app also allows you to “boomerang” emails cluttering your inbox which are currently relevant to you. If you choose to “boomerang” an email, it’ll leave your inbox for now (yes, just one click!) and return on a date which you specify! As if that wasn’t enough, the app also sends you reminders when an email you’ve sent hasn’t been responded to, so you never forget to follow up again!

2 No more “cold” emailing
We know that you spend a good 30 minutes stalking an important stranger’s LinkedIn profile before sending them an email. Hey, you don’t know them so triple checking the spelling of their name or looking for a mutual connection is totally acceptable! Well cold emailing has just gotten a lot easier thanks to Rapportive, your new networking best friend. With this Gmail extension your messages will always be well-informed. It pulls up LinkedIn profiles right inside of Gmail so you can view someone’s profile alongside the email you’re typing, or even next to one you have received. You’ll be surprised at how much your productivity will increase when you have quick access to accurate info.

3 Take it back
Ever sent one of these fatal (or at least cringe-worthy) emails? An unfinished email; a message with the latest office gossip to the wrong person; a mail asking your superior a really dumb question which Google could have answered in seconds; a hasty (rude?) reply that you should have thought through; a personal joke which was meant for the original sender but you accidentally clicked “reply all”? Yip, we’ve all been there. All you wanted to do was travel back in time to stop yourself right? Well now you can! Take back your mistake with Gmail’s new “Undo Send” feature. We kid you not. To enable it click the cog in the top right corner of Gmail and select settings, scroll down to “Undo Send”, check the box and save your settings. After you sent a mail a magic yellow bar will appear for 30 seconds at the top of your inbox asking if you want to unsend it. Sorted!

4 Take loads of shortcuts
This is probably the only situation in which taking shortcuts is the better option. We’re talking about keyboard shortcuts. We promise that once you nail these not only will your life be SO much easier, but you’ll impress the entire office with how quickly you get through your mails. To enable shortcuts click the cog in the right corner, open settings and scroll down to “Keyboard Shortcuts”, turn them on and save! Be prepared to fly through your mails as you will almost never have to move your hands from your keyboard. Want to mark something as important? Press “+”. Draft a new email? Press “c”. Mark an email as unread? Hit “shift” and “u”. It’s really that simple.

Looking for more career advice? Here’s 5 great tips for creating a killer CV and 3 decor tips for upgrading your workspace

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4 Gmail hacks to take control of your inbox

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