10 Gmail Tips and Tricks to Master the Art of Email

| Updated on February 13, 2024

Gmail is truly a blessing when it is about managing emails. Although it’s not perfect and occasionally goes down. But still, you get a lot without paying a penny. Google pays attention to all your needs and that’s why Gmail got so advanced.

Using Gmail can be overwhelming at times, not for the number of features it offers but for the number of emails we receive every day and the time we spend scrolling through and answering those emails.

Nothing to worry as I have tried and tested all the Google mail settings and have come up with some most valuable ones that are going to make a difference in the way you email. 

Let’s roll:

Schedule an Email

Gmail knows you work ahead of time and maybe that’s why it introduced the ‘Schedule’ feature. Boss asked you to send the reports at 6 p.m. but you have your plans ready. What are you going to do now? Scheduling your email lets you decide when an email gets sent. You can always stay on top of deadlines by using this feature of Gmail. Nobody is going to know if you were up and working that time or appointed Gmail as a proxy for you. 

You have always clicked on the ‘Send’ button directly without thinking that the tiny downward arrow next to send button can be so useful for you. 

You just have to compose an email using the option given above inbox, click on the downward arrow button and then click on the option ‘Schedule Send’. Select the desired time and ta-da! Now, you can relax.

Composing Messages

I know that you do it every day and you even feel vexed when you have to answer with repetitive replies. Gmail’s Smart Compose feature is there to help you out. Gmail starts understanding what sort of replies do you send to particular emails and whenever you begin typing a reply or an email; it will finish the line for you. We want someone to understand us without uttering a word, and that’s what Gmail tries to do.

But this is possible only if you have enabled the option. To put Gmail’s artificial intelligence at work, go to the settings department and in the General tab, you will find an option as ‘Smart Compose’. Make sure that ‘Writing suggestions on’ is selected and now let Gmail speak your language.

Undo the Mistake

We all have been through the panic of hitting the send button so quick and within the moment realizing Oh No! Gmail is ready to handle all your mistakes and gives you a chance to correct it. ‘Undo Send’ feature of your Gmail account lets you rectify your mistake within 30 seconds of sending it. Gmail already gives you 5 seconds to undo the email without your acknowledgement but now you know that you can set it to 30 seconds. You just have to be extra quick to press the undo button before the time runs out. 

Simply navigate to the ‘Settings’ section of Gmail and there you will find the option ‘Undo Send’ where you can set the cancellation period using the drop-down menu i.e. how long you want to undo a sent message. Don’t forget to save the changes.

Send & Archive

If you prefer archiving messages as soon as you are done replying to them, this is the option that is going to save your time. You don’t need to select every email and then archive it. Gmail offer this option ‘Send+Archive’; you only need to activate it. It will not replace the send button but will add the archive icon to it.

In the ‘General’ tab of ‘Settings’ section, there is an option for ‘Send and Archive’, you need to select the circle that says ‘Show Send and Archive button in reply’ and click on the ‘Save Changes’ button given at the bottom.

Snooze it

Some emails can be really taxing and just looking at them can raise your stress levels. Gmail doesn’t want this to happen to you; it lets you Snooze the emails that you don’t want to see and they will only reappear when you want them to be. You can snooze an email for a day, a week or a year; it will only reappear when you are ready to respond. In case you need the email sooner, you can find all the Snoozed emails on the left side of the inbox in its designated label.

Open the Gmail inbox and select the email you want to snooze; on the far right, you will see a ‘Clock’ icon, click on that and select the time for which you want it to disappear. 

Set the Self-Destruct Timer

Sending confidential information over emails is considered always risky and you never know when it gets misused. If you are involved in exchanging sensitive data, Gmail’s self-destruct feature can be the saviour. This feature will not let the recipient forward, copy, print, or download the email and it will get automatically deleted from the recipient mailbox after the expiry time limit that you have set. You can set the expiry period from 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months to 5 years

If that is not enough for you, you can even lock down the email with a passcode so that it is only read by the one who is supposed to and only after entering the passcode sent by Gmail via text message.

To use this option, you just have to create an email normally, and using the timer icon on the bottom toolbar, select the expiry time before pressing the send button. To enable the password, click on the option ‘SMS Passcode’ and Gmail will send the passcode to the recipient.

Keyboard Shortcuts

Gmail lets you use shortcuts to make it easier for you to navigate through your email account. Press ‘C’ and the email compose screen will appear, but only if you have enabled the keyboard shortcuts for your Gmail account. Gmail’s customizable shortcuts are all you need to make your life easier. 

Go to the ‘Settings’ section and under the ‘Advanced’ tab, you will find an option for ‘Custom Keyboard Shortcuts’, select the circle that says ‘Enable’.  

Now, move to the ‘General’ tab of the ‘Settings’ section; for the option ‘Keyboard Shortcuts’ select ‘Keyboard shortcuts on’.

Preview Emails in a Pane

Did you know that you can view your emails alongside your inbox? Normally the inbox takes up the entire space of your screen and you have to move your cursor to and forth to view and exit an email. But with this email trick, you can click the email and see it in another pane of the Window. 

To use this option, go to Settings > Inbox > Reading Pane > Enable Reading Pane. After you have enabled the reading pane; save the changes. 

The inbox will reload and at the top-right corner of the screen, you will see a drop-down menu from where you can select out of ‘No Split’, ‘Vertical Split’ or ‘Horizontal Split’ and in the image you can see the ‘Vertical Split’.

Use Templates

Earlier known as ‘Canned Responses’, templates have been made available to save your time. Why type the same line over and over again when you can enable templates for the same purpose. Official emails or even some of personal emails require repeated, redundant, and repetitive responses and that can surely get on your nerves. 

Go to the ‘Advanced’ tab of ‘Settings’ section and select ‘Enable’ to turn on the ‘Templates’. Gmail will reload after you have saved the changes. 

Create an email and type a canned response. Using the ellipsis menu in the lower-right corner of the message, select ‘Templates’. You can save the message that you have just typed as a new template under a new template name. Whenever you have to use the same response, you can simply select the template that you have created for the same. 

Adorn your Gmail with Stars

Gmail is not just restricted to that Yellow star that you often use. Stars show how important an email is to you; if it needs to be read later, needs follow-up, etc. Clicking the star will highlight the email making it easier to find later under the Starred label. 

To use the Stars, go to ‘Settings’ and under the ‘General’ tab, select to choose 1 star, 4 stars or all stars. You can look for a particular starred email by entering ‘has: blue star’ or ‘has: green-check’ in the search box.

With all these tips and tricks, Gmail is undoubtedly the best email service provider only when you know how to use Gmail in the most efficient manner.

Kanika Singh

Webmail and Internet Expert

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