As putting empty milk jugs on the stoop and rewinding VCR tapes once were, checking your email is an expected part of everyday life for most people. Depending on how many websites you frequent and your current profession, it can be a daunting task given the number of incoming emails that may have accumulated since you last visited your Gmail inbox.
Given its ubiquity, email should be convenient and user-friendly, so keep the following tips in mind next time you check for new email:
Make full use of your keyboard and give the mouse/track pad a break. Gmail offers many default, and even more optional, keyboard shortcuts to make your email experience more efficient. There are shortcuts for composition, spell checking, navigation between folders and more, adding plenty of ways to speed up your process. To see the full list, press shift+? in the inbox.
While by default Gmail organizes messages in chronological order, alternatively, you can set it to four different priorities. “Important first” leaves it to Gmail to analyze your email habits and place the messages most likely to be significant at the top. “Unread first” does just that, putting the unopened messages at the top, following in chronological order. “Starred first” goes by your manually prioritized, starred mail. “Priority inbox” is likely the most comprehensive, sorting your inbox into three categories, “Important and unread”, “Starred” and “Everything else”. To choose what works best for you, use the drop-down menu that appears next to “Inbox” when you hover over it in the left-hand column.
To instead sort by content, Gmail offers the option to split your whole inbox into five sub-inboxes. “Personal” for your correspondence; “Promotions” for any marketing deals and advertising; “Social” for messages concerning social media profiles; “Updates” for financial documentation and mailing lists; and “Forums” for alerts and messages from message boards. To enable categories, access “Configure your Inbox” in the Settings via the gear symbol.
By marking messages with arrows, this setting will denote even more information about an email. A single arrow means it was addressed just to you, two arrows means it was sent to a group including you, and the absence of an arrow denotes a mailing list message. To enable, select Show Indicators under Settings> Personal level indicators.
Via the Settings, you can enable the left navigation to include direct links to your labels. The available options are “Show”, “Hide” and “Show if Unread”, the last of which is likely the most convenient for an over-congested inbox.
Your day-to-day work on the computer should be intuitive and stress-free! To learn more about optimizing your user experience, contact us at (617) 848-9393 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.