Learn how to set up Gmail correctly to get the most out of it.
In this article, I'll walk through my Gmail settings for maximum productivity. It will take you 10 minutes to set everything up and will save you double that every month.
In the first tab, set up the following options:
Labels can be used for automations in Gmail (called filters). These are the labels I use:
I use the "Inbox Zero" method, so I don't use folders. This is a personal preference, feel free to use it. To minimise distractions, I don't use the reading pane split. I want to process 1 email at a time.
I'm skipping Accounts Settings in Gmail for privacy reasons.
Filters are automation rules to trigger actions, e.g. to make emails go in folders or trigger other Gmail automations.
Control most of your inbox without using a mouse or trackpad. Press CMD + ? to see the help screen in Gmail.
Most of the time, I need a document from my email to complete a task. I still get distracted when I see the emails in my inbox. "I'll just reply to 1 email". Before you know it, you've lost 30 minutes doing emails and have not worked on the task yet. To prevent this from happening, I use Inbox when Ready.
I have to click on a button to show my inbox. This way, I can still use the search bar to find the email I know for the task, but I won't get distracted.
The tool is called Inbox when Ready. Note: when you use the free version, a link will be added to all the emails you send out.
With the settings configured this way, you'll save a lot of time to work on the things that matter.