Gmail Productivity Hacks You Should Be Using


GSuite’s Gmail is so much more than email for your business and I notice that many of the clients I see using the product aren’t aware of what it’s actually capable of as far as increasing efficiency goes. I tend to do a bit of a mini-training session for them and I’ve included all the best points from that in this post.

Pause Your Inbox

Productivity is all about the best use of the time available right? So let’s get rid of the biggest distraction, the amount of email that lands in your inbox every minute of the day!

This is my secret weapon when it comes to getting stuff done. Because I can’t NOT read an email when it lands enticingly in my inbox, I pause my inbox entirely until I’ve finished what I’m working on.

This means you can still be in your emails, can search, can send, everything works as usual, except incoming mail. When you’re ready, batch process what’s arrived and head back to your main focus.

Tools like Boomerang For Gmail or Inbox When Ready both allow you to set a time limit for the pause as well as auto-responders and more. Highly recommended!

Postpone Emails That Don’t Need Your Attention

If you get an email you don’t want or need to deal with then hit the Snooze button and select the time you would like it to reappear in your inbox Keeps the focus on what you need to deal with first – so good! In fact, I need this button in real life. To use:

  1. In Gmail point to an email.
  2. On the right, click Snooze button that looks like a little clock.
  3. Under Snooze until, choose a time. The email automatically snoozes and moves out of your inbox. You will get a reminder about the snoozed email after the specified time.
  4. (Optional) To see all snoozed email, click Snoozed in the left sidebar.

Get Follow-Up Reminders

Gmail has your back and will give you a nudge (literally, that’s what the feature is called) when you may have forgotten to reply to an email.

Click on Settings > General > Tick on both the “reply to” and “follow up” settings.

Make It Look Like Outlook

If you’ve always used Outlook then you might find it tricky to get used to the layout in Gmail. What I recommend in this case is to turn on the preview pane – that’ll get you back whizzing around the inbox in a familiar way.

Click Settings > Advanced > Enable Preview Pane.

Remove Gmails Tabs Layout

I love that Gmail categorises my mail into Primary Promos, Social etc but not everyone’s a fan.

You can turn off tabs by clicking on Settings > Inbox > and then untick the category labels.

Use Templates

Also known as Canned Responses, you can create multiple templates and avoid having to copy and paste email content repeatedly.

Firstly, go the Settings > Advanced > and enable Templates

To create a template draft and email and then click the three dots in the bottom-right. Click > Template > Save draft as template > save as a new template

To use the template just compose a new email, click on those same three dots and select the template you want to use.

Use Filters

One of the most underrated efficiency tools of the lot, this little baby is your own in-house automatic Virtual Assistant, sorting, forwarding and filing your email for you, as it lands in your inbox.

It’s so good, I am going to dedicate a separate post on it – stay tuned.

Disable Chat

When was the last time you used Hangouts chat? It slows down your inbox so turn it off. Click Settings > Chat > Chat off


Forget Typing

Ok, so this isn’t a Gmail tip but it’s such a cool feature I wanted to share it as well.

Google Docs has an impressively accurate voice to text feature so for those of us that didn’t pass our fifth form Pitmans Typing exam with flying colours, turn on Voice Typing and speak your way to document greatness.

It’s very good at interpreting, even with the Kiwi accent, and saves a lot of time when you’re brainstorming or want to take notes of a meeting – genius!

Be aware this only works in the Chrome browser.

In a Google Doc go to Tools > Voice Typing and then hit the Click to Speak button that appears.

Have you got other tricks you use in Gmail that I haven’t mentioned here? Let me know about them in the comments.