Inbox Zero: Gmail Tips + Tricks
One of the things that stresses me out most in this world is looking at someone else’s phone screen and seeing a crazy, red number over their email app.
If you know me, you know that I am one of those ridiculous, type-A personalities, and that completely applies to my inbox as well. As best as I can, I like to have no red number badges hovering over any of my apps, but I especially like to keep a clean and tidy inbox.
Here are my favorite tips and tricks for maintaining a clear and happy inbox:
*disclaimer, I use Gmail for my email service and app.
1. Sign up for Unroll.me. Go do it now. It’s amazing. Unroll.me is an email service that shows you all of your subscription emails. Newsletters, advertisements, blogs, you name it--Unroll.me will find it. It presents you with all of your subscriptions and gives 3 options for emails from this addres: 1) Keep emails in your inbox as normal, 2) Roll them up into one daily digest type of email, or 3) Unsubscribe from emails from this address. It’s so fantastic! Every morning I find a “rolled-up” email of any subscriptions that may have come in in the last 24 hours. I can quickly scroll through my roll-up and click through to anything that I actually want to see. And, when Unroll.me finds new subscriptions in my inbox, they give me the option to classify them.
2. Use Gmail labels. And color code them! Instead of leaving emails unread I will use Labels to categorize them. My most used Label is my purple “To-Do” label, reminding me that I have to take action on something in this email thread. The Label is a great visual reminder of actions or categories without having to leave the email unread.
3. Use the Star feature. Gmail has a simple option to “star” an email, which is essentially it’s own label. I specifically use the Star feature to mark things that I am waiting on. For example, you can see below that I have starred 3 purchases that I am waiting on and one returned item. Once those items arrive, or my refund is given, I will un-star the email and archive it or delete it.
4. ARCHIVE. Seriously, why leave anything in your actual inbox? Put. Things. Away. The only emails that I leave in my inbox are things that I am still working on or need to do. Otherwise, all emails get archived or deleted. And because of my handy label system, even if I’ve archived emails I can easily find them through the label category.