Gmail comes with a plethora of great tools, unused by most Gmail users. In addition, there are hundreds of great Chrome extensions that further optimize your Gmail inbox. Time is money, so let’s explore some of the biggest time-savers, shall we?

 

1) Undo sending

It has happened to the best of us: Just as we’ve hit “send”, we discover that the email is on its way to the wrong recipient, with the wrong attachment, or with an embarrassing Grammatical error. If only we could travel back in time for a couple of seconds and undo the damage. We can: a maximum of 30 seconds, to be exact. However, you first need to enable this in your gmail account.

Here’s how

Step 1: Click on the cog icon in the upper right corner.
Step 2: Click “Settings.”
Step 3: Under “Undo Send.”
Step 4: Choose a 5, 10, 20, and 30 seconds time frame.
Step 5: Save.

Need a visual? Here you go

Unsend-settings

 

Now, the next time you send an email, this is what you’ll see:

 

 

Click “undo” and correct the mistake, before sending it again.  

 

2) Canned Responses

If you find yourself typing the same email content over and over again, this built-in feature can save you a lot of time (and boredom).

Here’s how

Step 1: Click on the cog icon in the upper right corner.
Step 2: Click “Settings.”
Step 3: Click on the “Labs” tab.
Step 4: Under “Search for a lab,” type Canned Responses in the search bar.
Step 5: Press the button for “Enable.”
Step 6: Press “Save Changes.”

Need a visual? Here you go

Canned-response

 

Now what?

Now, every time you answer an email, you can use a canned response or save your response as a canned response template.

In your email, simply click the little down arrow in the lower right corner, select “canned response”, and save your current email as canned response template and use it whenever you wish.

 

 

3) Labels

Customize and organize your inbox with labels. Think of labels as file folders in your cabinet. What hierarchy you use to organize your inbox is up to you. The sky’s the limit. When deciding what labels to use, ask yourself what you may want to search your Gmail inbox for in the future (e.g. clients), what rules you may wish to set up (e.g. move to a specific folder), etc.

Step 1: Click on the cog icon in the upper right corner.

Step 2: Click “Settings.”

Step 3: Click on the “Labels” tab.

Step 4: Click “Create new label.”

Step 5: Name your label.

Step 6: Save.

 

4) Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts, such as “control/command + C” to copy content us all a lot of time every single day. Imagine how much time you could save, if you expand that list. This Google help site lists all shortcuts that are available to Gmail users by default. Take your pick.

If memorizing shortcuts seems like a lot of effort or a big time commitment, don’t worry. KeyRocket for Gmail is a tool that teaches you shortcuts you could benefit from, every time you are performing that action. Overtime, those shortcuts become second nature and save you time.

 

5) WiseStamp – Gmail Extension

Your email signature is more than a means to deliver your name and contact information. It is an opportunity to connect. With tools, such as the WiseStamp chrome extension, you can create beautiful, customized email signatures that will truly stand out and even add social media buttons. This is just one example. There are, however, an unlimited number of possibilities that you can create in just 3 simple steps. Get your creative hat on, and dig in. 

Unfortunately, the free version only allows you to create one signature. But for most of us, this should be sufficient.

 

6) mxHero Toolbox – Gmail Extension

The free Chrome extension, mxHero Toolbox might have an unsexy name, but makes up for it with great functionalities. You can schedule emails to be sent later, see if a recipient opened your email, set follow-up reminders, and even self-destruct an email, James Bond-style. The tracking (including email opens) might not always be 100% accurate, but these functionalities still add a lot of awesomeness to your gmail inbox.

 

7) DRAG – Gmail Extension

DRAG is a great tool to add efficiently to your workday. If most of your to-do items arrive on via email, then consider getting this Chrome extension. It brings the functionalities of Asana and Trello directly into your Gmail inbox.

Simply drag and drop your emails into customizable to-do lists, add notes, or create other columns based on your own criteria to keep you organized.

The new display of your inbox does take a bit of time to get used to but the added functionalities are well worth it.

I hope these 7 quick tricks help you free up some time in your busy days and get you a few steps closer to Gmail mastery. If you have any other great Gmail hacks, feel free to share them in the comments below.

For those of you who regularly share sensitive information via email (which you shouldn’t do to begin with — but that’s a story for another day), however, beware Chrome extensions that require read access to your email accounts and/or can read your browser history. These should be installed with caution. Never install dodgy extensions or extensions that require more information than they need to operate.