Taking the field with Gmail #4: Priority Inbox, Identify Priority Targets

Game Plan #4: Priority Inbox, Identify Priority Targets!

In this 4th installment on Gmail we're going to look at the wonderment that is the Priority Inbox!

The Priority Inbox allows you to sort your inbox into two, three or four levels of prioritization. The default when you first set it up is into three tiers:

  1. Important and unread emails: Just like it sounds, unread emails that are marked as important are in this top priority tier. They may also be Starred or not.
  2. Starred: This contains emails that are Starred, but aren't marked important. Both read and unread emails that are starred will be in this second tier.
  3. Empty: This is an additional tier you can configure as you wish, but is left empty by default.
  4. Everything else: Read or unread emails that don't fit any of the above requirements.

As we discussed in the first in this series, Understand the playing field if you want to dominate, archived emails by definition do not show up in the inbox, Priority or otherwise.

The Priority Inbox gives you a great way to prioritize your inbox so the most important content rises to the top for immediate attention. 

To see how to set this up and the options you have, watch the video!

Taking the field with Gmail #3: Filters, Automated Play Calling

2 Taking the field with Gmail #3- Filters.png

In this third in a series on using Gmail, we're going to talk about Filters.

This builds directly on Game Plan #2: Labels. Labels are great for organizing your emails, but you sure don't want to have to label each and every email as you read them! No worries, with filters you can automate this process such that as emails come in, they get the appropriate label applied for you.

The video walks you through 4 scenarios using our fictional email user, Jain Smythe:

Read the rest of the post

Go straight to instant replay

Taking the field with Gmail #2: Hit Labels Hard!

Game Plan #2: Hit Labels Hard!

In this second in a series on using Gmail, we're going to talk about Labels.

Labels are Google's answer to Folders in other email programs. They are more flexible and efficient to use than Folders. You can apply one or more Labels to an email in seconds to effectively organize your emails. They then are easy to see by clicking on a Label in Gmail and to also visually identify in a long list of emails! I show how to create and apply Labels in this video.

I also spend some time showing how to turn off Category tabs. I am not a fan and think they are completely unnecessary vs. using Labels. I reference this article in the video on what I view as the horror of trying to use Categories and Labels together! Use one or the other, but not both... wait, no, dump Categories and embrace the power of the Label, Luke!

Sorry this video is a bit longer than I'd like, but I wanted to cover a fair bit of ground so if it takes 15 minutes, that's what it takes. It could be 15 minutes that will save you hours and leave you with more hair this year!

In the next installment on Gmail, I'll cover Filters, now that we have Labels out of the way. Filters work with Labels powerfully so you can automatically apply Labels to emails as they come in. After that... the awesomeness of Priority Inbox!

Taking the field with Gmail #1: Understand the playing field if you want to dominate!

Game Plan #1: Understand the playing field if you want to dominate

I’ve been getting some basic questions recently on using Gmail, so this is the first in a series I’m calling “Taking the field with Gmail”. As when mapping out any game strategy it is important to understand the field on which you play. Without that, the further you get into the advanced bits of the game, the easier it is to get confused and drop the ball.

Gmail is easy to use, why does it need so much attention? If you only deal with a couple personal emails a day, then you're right. You can simply read and reply to emails as they come in and leave them hanging out in your inbox.

If however, you are dealing with even as few as a dozen emails a day that are across various aspects of your life such as: family, work, school, church, social networks, online shopping shipping tracking and receipts, etc., etc.; now you've got a challenge! To put it in cold technical terms, you have a data management problem. Fortunately, sifting, managing, storing and searching massive amounts of data is something Google is extremely good at!

Read the rest of the post

Go straight to instant replay