How to Organize Emails in Gmail: A Step-By-Step Guide

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Estimated reading time: 16 minute(s)

You don’t have to check all alerts that pop up on your phone. This is one piece of advice you’re going to come across over and over. But are you really able to resist the temptation?

People are going to reach out to you all day long, and no matter how disciplined you are, you won’t ignore them. But do you need to ignore those alerts? 

Not really because, in doing so, you’ll also miss important emails. The only solution here is learning how to organize emails in Gmail.

You need to achieve the famous inbox zero. You don’t have to be bombarded with email alerts and missing important messages in the process. Here is a step by step email organization guide that will help you organize your Gmail better and save you that productive time.

It Takes a Few Minutes to Unsubscribe

Do you see those junk mails you set aside to read later then don’t read at all? You don’t need to receive them anymore if they’re not helping. Checking your spam folders and see how many messages are comfortably housed there.

You’ll be surprised at how much clutter you have in there that needs clearance. Check those subscriptions you needed at some time, and you don’t need them anymore.

You don’t need to clear everything once and for all because you might realize later that you actually needed them. Start by remembering when and why you subscribed to that newsletter in the first place. If you can’t recall, then it’s a perfect indication that you need to unsubscribe.

Learn How to Organize Emails in Gmail Using Labels and Folders

There is no perfect way to get organized and save time you use checking Gmail. But there is a way to make things easier by using folders and labels to organize your Gmail. Create new folder in Gmail and group similar emails or prioritize with labels.

You already have a glimpse of how folders look like on the left side where you have sent, inbox, spam, and starred messages. Well, you can divide your inbox more using custom labels. Select the messages you need to organize and assign them a predetermined label from Gmail or create a new one.

You can also nest labels within smaller labels the same way you create subfolders. Or you can color-code your labels to differentiate them even further.

Once your label is created, Gmail will add it as a folder among the already available list. Archive the message you need, and it will move to a specific folder, and that’s how you organize your Gmail.

Consider Using the Preview Pane

Remember those disappointing instances when you thought an email was important only to open it and get nothing? You can avoid such time-wasters by adding the preview pane to your Gmail.

How does this work? This is a default view that shows you the sender, subject, and a preview of the email for a few minutes before it runs down. This way, you don’t have to open a message to see what is inside.

Adding the preview pane is pretty straightforward. Go to Settings, select Labs, and choose Preview Pane and enable. Save the changes and start seeing a brief content of your email content and decide whether it’s worth reading or not.

Prioritize Your Emails

Prioritizing emails is one of the ways to organize your emails. You don’t have to scroll those folders for some time before finding what you’re looking for. You can make everything easy to find by putting relevant mails on top. 

The default format organizes your Gmail with the date received. The important layout is where Gmail predicts the emails they deem important and places them on top. You also have starred first, unread first, or priority inbox as your top priorities.

Star or Use Important Markers for Essential Mails

When you receive several emails in your inbox, you can easily miss important ones as you disregard everything as junk. One way to avoid this is to use the star mark for those emails that you deem important and need to read later.

While Gmail is trying to mark the emails they think are important, sometimes they get that wrong. But if you do it yourself, you’re not going to mistake the not so important ones from very important ones. You can start the algorithm, and once you do, Gmail will catch and do it automatically.

When Gmail marks wrong messages, you can remove the Importance Marker and mark the ones that you deem important. Starring also works well here for individual emails in a thread while Important Markers highlight the entire thread. You’ll surely find some time off work to do this and save a lot of time in the future.

Use Lesser Time-Consuming Options to Send Messages

Now that you want to save the time you spend reading emails, how about you also save the time you use sending the mails. Minimizing the number of emails you send will also save your team a great deal of time.

There are those messages that a simple phone call to your secretary will solve. And there is that complicated stuff that needs face to face meetings to explain.

Or you can use email notes for much simpler communication. These notes will appear right next to the thread, and you don’t need to explain to people the specific email you’re talking about. This works well if you need to offer further information or clarify something you missed in the main email without clogging the inbox.

Your Emails Don’t Have to Get in the Way of Your Productivity

Emails are exciting, especially if they relay important messages like getting an important contract, an invitation to an event, a meeting, etc. But they can also be too overwhelming, especially if you have too much junk that doesn’t add value. Learning how to organize emails in Gmail is the only sure way to avoid stress.

Don’t let a full Gmail inbox take over your productivity time. There are several technologies and email management tools to make things better. If you need more tips on using technology to your advantage, we get you covered in this site.

Contributing Author

This article was written by a guest author or freelancer.

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