Get your mobile email noise under control!

This is a pro-tip for Gmail Android app users and serves as an addendum to last week's tips on managing email distractions contained in the post, "All multitasking is not the same".

Hopefully, your email app supports this feature, if not time to switch <grin>.

I counsel clients to not allow themselves to be a slave to their email, but to check it at scheduled intervals throughout their day. This means setting mobile email to not chime on your phone for every new email coming in. However, there are times when you are waiting on a particularly time-sensitive email and don't want to miss it.

Turns out the Gmail app on Android has a handy setting, Notify Once, that allows you to know when the next email, but not every new email comes in! You can set audible email notifications such that the first email that comes in after you clear the notification of other emails will chime, but the 2nd and 3rd and so on will not. <See instructions below.>

Notify Once setting on Gmail App (Android).png

This is a nice compromise setting as I hate having every honkin' email that comes in chime on my phone. It is distracting not only in work, but hideously discourteous to co-workers, family and friends. This "next email will chime" setting means that if you are actually awaiting a critical email you can check on each chime, clear the notification and know the next email will also chime until you get that urgently needed email since you'll be checking after every "new 1st email" chime.

Nice thing is that the rest of the time your phone will chime once and then sit there quietly till your project is "check email". Makes for quieter meetings, solid family time and not being that annoying idiot in social settings. 

Unfortunately, the Gmail app on iOS doesn't have this particular feature. Instead it does allow setting Notifications for All, None or Important. Important is a decent compromise presuming you have your Gmail set to use Priority Inbox, but not quite as distraction reducing as Notify Once on Android.

Instructions to turn on Notify Once

  1. Go to Settings in Gmail app on Android.
  2. Select account with which you want to use Notify Once.
  3. Select Inbox / Priority inbox sound & vibrate. I use Priority inbox, so that is what the screenshot shows, otherwise it will say "Inbox sound & vibrate".
  4. Uncheck "Notify for every message".

Done! Now your notification will only make a sound / vibrate on the next message that comes in after you check messages.

Notify Once setting on Gmail App (Android).png