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Tutorials

Get the most out of Gmail

Do you struggle to stay on top of your email using Gmail? Does an ever-growing inbox make it hard to keep up with tasks and find old messages? This video series will help you to take control of the Gmail interface.

Introduction

Hi! Thanks for subscribing. To kick things off I’m working on a multipart series showing how just a few small changes will enable you to get the most out of your Gmail account. These video tutorials will help you more easily find and organise your new and old messages, hopefully saving you time in the long run.

Why Customise Your Gmail Account?

I don’t know about you but I find the Gmail interface really confusing. I’ve used it on and off for a while and had been happily using a great third-party app (Thunderbird) to manage all of my mail accounts (at last count there were five). It was all working well. I had a bunch of folders, rules, tags, etc. all set up and I was pretty happy with it all. Then a few week ago it just stopped connecting to my Gmail account. No emails came in, none went out. Nothing I tried would fix it. No-one else seemed to be having this issue so it was almost impossible to troubleshoot. After spending several hours working through every potential fix I could I find online, I finally cut my losses and decided to go back to Gmail’s web interface. The only problem with that? I really didn’t like it! Just looking at it confused me and made want to run to the hills! And to top it off  I had over 15,000 mails to wade through, many of which I’d organised and deleted on my local third-party system yet here they were again in one big chaotic list. What a waste of time!? I was furious.

But then I took a closer look and thought about how I could make it work for me. Plus there are some advantages to using the Gmail account directly so I figured you win some, you lose some. After researching online I found a bunch of really great little tweaks that make a huge difference to the way Gmail displays and manages my mail. After using it this way for just a couple of weeks I actually like it and think it could beat my old third-party setup. That’s quite a turnaround!

About the Get the Most Out of Gmail Video Series

To help you make these same changes to your Gmail setup, I’ll publish a series of posts over the coming weeks. Each post will give written instructions along with a tutorial video taking you step-by-step through transforming the default Gmail interface into something much more usable.

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We’ll transform it from the default view above – using just the basic labels, layout, and behaviours – to the layout shown below, which introduces automation to assign labels and a task-based folder outline, simplifies access to new and important messages, and uses a few add-ons to improve the way messages are handled.

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Credits: main image copyright iStock.com/tumsasedgars

Update! View the Series

The first two videos are complete. Read the full articles and watch the videos here:


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