As a seasoned Google Certified Trainer I have seen thousands of GMail Inboxes with 1K+ unread messages and clearly no organized approach to managing email. Over the years, I have applied some successful strategies for managing my GMail inbox to achieve what is often referred to as ‘inbox zero.’ The best place to begin is by selecting the right inbox. I use a different inbox type for my teacher/business account than my personal GMail account and in this post, I will outline both, why and how I leverage these tools.The Insiders Guide to Gmail Inboxes | @amollica #edtech #busedu #gmail
Priority Inbox for Work / School Email
- Important & Unread
- Everything Else
The important emails (ones coming directly to me from a specific person (not promos or listservs), arrive at the top of the page and everything else (promos, listservs, etc) go to the bottom. Basically, if it doesn’t need my immediate attention, it’s pushed and grouped at the bottom of the page.
Making Priority Inbox Work
Enable Priority Inbox
By selecting Priority Inbox your email will be ‘instantly’ reorganized. You’ll probably be shocked at some ‘unread’ messages you completely missed by not having it enabled. To enable it, just hover over the word ‘Inbox’ in the top left of your inbox and select Priority from the dropdown list.
Inbox Tabs (Categories) for Personal GMail
In 2012 Google introduced a ‘Tabbed (category) Inbox’ which creates separate tabs as categories in your GMail inbox separating email by the following:
- Primary – messages from people you know
- Social – notifications from Google Plus, YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn etc
- Promotion – Offers, promotions, etc.
- Updates – Bills, payments, orders, package tracking
- Forums – Listservs and conversation groups
Why Tabs for Personal GMail
Most people register for social media, household accounts, shopping, mailing through their personal GMail account so the amount of email can be substantial between all of the activity one person is involved with online. The categories are perfect keeping your important ‘conversations’ on the primary tab and grouping social media in one tab (which I mostly just select all and delete periodically), and easily see through color-coded notifications if an ‘update’ comes in while working through your primary messages.
Enable Tabbed Inbox (now referred to as ‘Default)
You can also ‘train’ both priority and tabbed inbox. If GMail marks a message important you don’t think is important, just remove the ‘importance market’ and future emails matching that will not be flagged important. If using categories, drag emails to the category you would prefer they were in and GMail will ask if you would like to recategorize all future messages that match.
Benefits of Inbox Management
One of the number one benefits of selecting and managing the right inbox is that you’ll be more productive and organized which will contribute to your peace of mind but also help you with your relationships with others. When emails are not acknowledged or ignored it can have a negative impact on your future exchanges or create negative feelings between parties. No one likes to be ignored or deemed unimportant so once you get control of your inbox to remember to reply to emails in a timely manner, even if it is only to ‘acknowledge’ receipts. A simple, ‘thanks, I’ll get back to you’ can make all the difference.
About the blogger: Allison Mollica works with stakeholders to leverage the use of Google tools & cloud technology to support engaging and successful learning environments. For the education sector, Allison is USA Director for AppsEvents, a Google Cloud PD Partner providing Google Educator Certification Bootcamps, G Suite Summits & customized training at schools and organizations. Allison is a Certified Business & Computer Educator, Google Certified Trainer, Administrator, Innovator & Educator. Allison may be reached at allisonmollica.com or on Twitter at @amollica.
This blog post was relaunched on mbea-ma.org with permission from the blogger. You may find the original post HERE.