13 Gmail Hacks That Every Busy Professional Needs to Know

January 11, 2017

10:30 am

Whether you impulsively check your inbox every twenty minutes or put it off as long as possible, there are tools and tricks to maximize your productivity when it comes to email. With these Gmail hacks, you’ll spend less time following up on emails and more time growing your business.

We asked thirteen entrepreneurs which time-saving tricks they use on Gmail to make simplicity a priority. Check out their answers below and make sure to turn your account into a veritable powerhouse of productivity:

Install MixMax

MixMax is my favorite Chrome extension that lives in my Gmail inbox. It allows me to do so many time-saving things, like schedule meetings from the body of my email, boomerang and delay messages, see when people read my emails, merge emails, and create email templates.

– Darrah Brustein of Network Under 40

Use the “Promotions” Tab

I love and loathe marketing emails. I love them because they serve as inspiration for the email campaigns my brand sends out and because I enjoy getting access to special coupons too. But, like most people, I loathe getting marketing emails throughout the day and having them clutter my inbox. Fortunately, with the Promotions tab, I can focus all of my energies on my Primary inbox during the work day.

– Firas Kittaneh of Amerisleep

Integrate Rapportive With LinkedIn

Rapportive is a tool that pulls in the LinkedIn profiles of your email contacts. With it, you can easily see the photo, company and current position of the person you are emailing. You can add that person on LinkedIn directly from Gmail or click on their full LinkedIn profile to read more.

– Adelyn Zhou of TOPBOTS

Prevent Distractions With Inbox Pause

If you’re finding that hours of your day are spent responding to new emails, and if those emails aren’t helping you meet your goals for the work day, you can try limiting your access to your account. Inbox Pause is one program that allows you to freeze your Gmail inbox until you’re ready to handle email. Without the constant distraction of new emails, you can free up time to be used elsewhere.

– Chuck Cohn of Varsity Tutors

Schedule Follow-ups

I routinely use Followup.cc, an email reminder software that integrates with Gmail. I schedule emails and set reminders for when to follow up on my action items. Followup.cc supports my paperless life and allows me to create reminders and to-do lists all within my inbox, which saves a ton of time.

– Brandon Dempsey of goBRANDgo!

“Whitelist” With SaneBox

I’ve been able to use SaneBox to save hours of time in my Gmail each week. With it, I’m basically able to “whitelist” the email addresses that are important, and they go directly to my inbox. Anything else ends up in a lower priority “SaneLater” box. I’ve also been able to use it to unsubscribe from a lot of useless newsletters and just generally be more organized.

– Sean Ogle of Location Rebel

Track Every Email You Send

I’m always amazed at how many entrepreneurs don’t track their emails. I use Yesware, a plug-in that starts at /mo., and I can see when and where every email I send is opened. It also tracks every link I send. This information helps me follow up more appropriately and glean contextual information about my business. I can batch-send emails, too. It’s a must-have tool for growing businesses!

– Brittany Hodak of ZinePak

Set Up Google Alerts

I like to stay on top of the latest advancements and technologies in my field, and rather than read through articles, blog posts or news stories to gather information, I let Google do it for me. I have Google Alerts set for a wide variety of keywords so that I can glance at everything that’s published to determine what I need to read and what I can skip.

– Nicole Munoz of Start Ranking Now

Consolidate Your Inbox With Unroll.Me

I use Unroll.Me to combine all the newsletters I want to read into a single daily email. This allows me to scan all the topics in a single scroll, read the articles I want and move on. It also simplifies the unsubscribe process so I don’t have to do it one at a time. I’ve saved hours while still being able to consume content on my own terms.

– Dan Golden of BFO (Be Found Online)

Add Boomerang to Your Gmail

The Boomerang tool used with Gmail saves me from constantly answering emails, so I get back hours in my week. It also allows me to mark an email to return to me at a later date (specifying custom filters). I can mark for it to only return if unopened, unanswered, etc. There are many uses for this type of organizer, but I find the immediate relief of marking an email off as the best benefit.

– Andy Eastes of SkuVault

Use Canned Responses

Without a doubt, “canned responses” are some of the greatest time savers in the world for myself and my business. Through emails and contact forms, I get asked the same questions several times every week. With canned response emails, I can reply to FAQs, advertiser requests, interviews and much more in just seconds versus minutes. This adds up to several hours of saved time every week.

– Zac Johnson of Blogger

Label Your Emails

Email labels! While we always have our emails up during the day, it’s not time effective to answer every single one as it comes in. What I do instead is go through all my emails, and if it isn’t an emergency, I’ll label it into the correct folder. This way I can easily go to that folder and respond to all of them at one time and make sure nothing slips through the cracks.

– Bryanne Lawless of BLND Public Relations

Protect Yourself With Undo Send

Accidentally sending an email before it’s ready isn’t just embarrassing — it’s an error that takes valuable time to correct. Gmail’s “Undo Send” setting lets you recall emails up to 30 seconds after they are sent. To enable it, click the gear icon in the upper-right corner of Gmail and select “Settings” from the drop-down menu. Under general settings, make sure that “Enable Undo Send” is checked.

– Brian Lischer of Ignyte

Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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