Email Management

Master your email game with these Gmail tips for maximum productivity.

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Email Management

It's important that you learn to balance your email game. Email is a great means to an end, but make sure you don't work in your inbox all day (unless you work in customer support). Here are my tips that saved me loads of time and make me master email management.

Processing emails

To get to Inbox Zero I use the Getting Things Done methodology. Read the full article here

What is it?


  1. Archive email
  2. Move to ‘reference’ folder/label
  3. Move to Someday/Maybe folder/label


  1. Less 2 minutes? Do it now
  2. Add to to-do list
  3. Delegate it (forward email with instructions + add to folder ‘waiting for’

Defer it

  1. Add to label ‘Action for Ewoud’
  2. Snooze to date if it has to be delayed


Minimise time in your inbox

The first step is to set up your Gmail for success.

Email can be a distraction if you live in your inbox all day. Minimising distractions and making an impact is more important than being efficient at email management. Schedule 2-3 times a day when you check your email. It's more efficient to batch email this way. Read more about how to time-blocking your work.

Advanced Search Gmail

Google has the best search engine and it's embedded in Gmail. These are the commands to quickly find those emails"

Broad Match search

This is the 'normal' search most people use.


If you know a word that was in the subject line, use subject: (or a person if they're in your Google Contacts)

Helpful if you know you got an email from Elon, but not sure what the topic was.


Was it directed to you or were you in cc?


Combine the commands to create super niche search query


If you're looking for a file, use attachment or even more specific


Use the search queries in filters and labels as well. Here's how to do that.

Using Filters & Labels

Filters are Gmail automation that trigger actions, like skipping the inbox or adding a label. These actions are possible:

Use the + trick in Gmail

Google has a neat trick. Everything after "+ is disregarded by Gmail, but not by 'other' databases.

Use this to sign-up for the newsletter of a competitor or to get that 10% discount again (sorry email agencies)

It's also a great way to see who sold your email address to spammers. If you receive spam on, you know KLM was the company that sold the data or had a leak (assuming I've added the name of each company I give my emailaddress)

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