Work faster in Gmail

Practical tips to work faster in Gmail on desktop.

Tip 1: Create groups of contacts you email often

It’s possible to create a group of people and email them all at once. This is great to quickly email an entire team or group of people.

  1. Go to Google Contacts
  2. Select the people you want to add to the email group
  3. Add a label with a easily identifiable name
  4. Go to Gmail and add the group name you’ve just created in the TO: field

Tip 2: Use keyboard shortcuts

I use these commands every day:

  • “R” to reply to an open email
  • “E” to archive an email

Control most of your inbox without using a mouse or trackpad. Press “CMD + ?” or “CTRL + ?” to see the help screen in Gmail.

Tip 3: Use Advanced Search Functionality

Beside the simple “From”, “To” and “Subject searches, you can do a lot more with search inside Gmail.

Basic information about the email

  • Subject:training
  • From:elon@tesla.com
  • from:amy OR from:david
  • CC:me -> emails that were sent to you as a CC recipient
  • in:anywhere In all folders -> helpful if you’ve set up filters. This searches everywhere, including spam and archive

Based on attachments

  • Has:attachment - if an attachment exists
  • File:pdf - search for file type
  • Google Drive files: has:drive / has:document / has:spreadsheet / has:presentation

Time based:

  • after:
  • before:
  • older:
  • Newer:
  • Older_than:
  • newer_than:

Read all of them here: https://support.google.com/mail/answer/7190?hl=en

Tip 4: Have less newsletters in your inbox

The inbox clogs up with a lot of newsletters that you’ve signed up for as inspiration. Whether you want the inspiration or not, here’s how to handle them.

Unsubscribe from the newsletters you don’t read anymore

Search for emails from a mailing list with 

"opt-out" OR unsubscribe OR OR smartunsubscribe OR secureunsubscribe OR "viewing the newsletter" OR "edit your preferences" OR "email notifications" OR "update profile" OR "manage your account" OR "group-digests"

and unsubscribe from the ones you don’t want to receive.

Tip 5: Add newsletters to a separate folder in Gmail 

For the newsletter you do want to receive, consider adding them in a separate folder.

Add some +newsletter when you sign up, e.g. elon+newsletter@tesla.com. This works with any Gmail or Google Workspace email address. Everything after "+ is disregarded by Gmail, but not by 'other' databases (like the email client that sends the newsletter to you).

When you sign up with the “+newsletter”, it can be used to set up an automated filter to skip the inbox and add the newsletter to your newsletter folder (label) in Gmail.

Pro tip: use it to spy on competitors or sign up as a ‘new’ account

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

Each time you sign up, use a ‘different’ email:

ewoud+1@gmail.com, ewoud+2@gmail.com, ewoud+3@gmail.com, etc.

Pro tip 2:: use a date stamp to see how long is between email sequences.

Sign up on September 1st with  ewoud+01092022@gmail.com. Whenever you receive the email, is how many days is in between the sign-up date and the first email.

It's also a great way to see who sold your email address to spammers. If you receive spam on myname+klm@gmail.com, 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 email address).

Tip 6: Create a separate email address for inspiration (and share it)

You probably want to keep an eye on the newsletter of your competitors. It’s annoying to keep asking your coworkers if they’ve seen the email.

If you work as a team and want to share the inspiration of received emails, it’s also possible to set up a shared group.

And if the colleague with all the old examples leaves the company, there is no way to keep an archive.

  1. Set up a Google Group with “newsletter@yourcompanyname.com
  2. Sign up for all newsletters from your competitors
  3. Add a task in your task system at the end of the month to skim all emails for inspiration

Read the Google support article on how to set up a Google Group email.

Chapter continues below
Ewoud Uphof avatar

I hope you enjoy reading this free chapter.

Read the full guide by clicking here.

Tip 7: Set up canned responses / templates

Create paragraphs or entire emails and re-use them quickly

Tip 8: Use multiple email Signatures

It’s possible to add different email footers. Create an email footer with relevant information.

Tip: you can add UTM links in the hyperlinks to see if people clicked on the footer links.

I recommend using the Hubspot email footer tool to create footers quickly:

Tip 9: Remove Formatting Option

If you copy paste, the formatting is also pasted and the email looks weird.

Tip 10: Maximum page size: Show 100 conversations per page

Shows more conversations on the page - for a better overview. Personally, I don’t use this feature because I work based on Inbox Zero. However, I’ve heard from marketers I’ve worked with they like the feature to have an easier overview.

Go to General Settings and select both options. Don’t forget to save changes at the bottom of the page.

Conclusion: working faster in Gmail

With these small adjustments, it’s possible to gain a lot of time and spend less time working in the inbox. If you improve everything by 1% every day, you’ll save so much time in a year. Try out these features and see what works for you.

Productivity for marketeers ebook

Premium guide available

You're reading the free version of this guide that will 2X your productivity. Do you want to get even more done?

10X your productivity with the full guide 'Productivity for Marketers'.

Bundle of 5 premium guides

PDF version & online access

Checklists & to-do's to get you started

Resources & templates to implement faster

SEe PRODUCT

About Ewoud

Ewoud Uphof

Ewoud Uphof is an experienced Growth Hacker, certified funnel optimiser and investor.

In the past decade he has co-founded multiple companies. As Head of Growth he has helped grow 50+ companies ranging from start-ups to multinationals. He has worked for Camptoo, NU.nl, Sophia Mae, Koffievoordeel and many more.

More About Ewoud
Productivity for marketeers ebook

Buy the ebook

You're reading the free version of this guide that will 2X your productivity. Do you want to get even more done?

10X your productivity with the full guide 'Productivity for Marketers'.

Bundle of 5 premium guides

PDF version & online access

Checklists & to-do's to get you started

Resources & templates to implement faster

read more about ebook