Gmail allows you to organize your inbox in a way that will make it easier for you to manage it. For instance, you can customize what goes into your inbox with one simple click.
On the left side of your Gmail account, you will find your "Inbox". Hover over the word and click the down-facing triangle to open the menu. There, you will find plenty of options - "Important first," "Unread first," Starred first," Priority Inbox," and "Multiple Inboxes." Out of all these options, Priority Inbox is one of the most useful ones as it combines aspects of Important, Unread, and Starred and attempts to put the most significant messages in front of you. Thus, it would be prudent to choose this option.
Also, when you choose any of the above options, Gmail keeps the top of the inbox for the message type you’ve chosen. If you are in a hurry, for instance, you can just look at the "Important" folder where Gmail would have kept the most useful mails for you. Moreover, you will also be provided with a toggle for collapsing and expanding the messages in the different sections.
Over time, you’ll find that Gmail improves and filters your messages much better once you are using these options on a regular basis.
2. Preview and respond to an email without opening it using "Reading Pane"
When you click on an email in Gmail, you are taken to the message, but then you can’t see any of the other messages in your inbox. This is where the "Preview Pane" feature comes in handy. This built-in option makes it easier for you to read messages by splitting the screen in two so that you can read emails on one half and browse for messages on the other. This reading pane feature isn’t just helpful, it’s also fairly easy to use. You can put the preview pane on the right side of your emails or put the pane just below the message.
To turn on the Preview Pane option in Gmail, click the "Settings" button on the top right-hand side. Next, scroll down to "Reading Pane”. There, you will find two options - "Right of inbox" or "Below inbox." Try out both options once and see which one is more comfortable for your eyes. Select the best one and you are good to go. With the Reading Pane, you can take in all of the info in your inbox much more comfortably and even reply without opening the emails.
3. Use Smart Compose
Smart Compose is a cool new feature that Gmail has introduced to make you write emails faster. The Smart Compose feature is powered by artificial intelligence and will offer suggestions as you type. This new feature suggests complete sentences in your emails – from your greeting to your closing – so that you can draft them with ease. Moreover, it also helps you with common phrases in between while you are drafting an email.
The best thing about Smart Compose is that it works in the background. Thus, you can write emails like you normally do and this feature will help you with the suggestions while you are typing. From the number of suggestions they offer, you can choose the one you like at the bottom of an email and hit send. Smart Compose even suggests pertinent contextual phrases like “Have a great weekend!" if it's Friday or some other relevant expression.
Once you start using it regularly, you will notice that with the help of Smart Compose you are saving time on your emails by cutting back on repetitive writing and also reducing spelling and grammatical errors. Smart Compose is particularly useful for shooting off short email replies and its automatically generated responses can work wonderfully well.
To enable Smart Compose, click "Settings" and then choose “See all settings”. There, under “General,” scroll down to "Smart Compose” and select “Writing suggestions on.” That’s it! You are good to go.
Note: Smart Compose is available in English, Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese.
See Also: Losing Important Emails? Here’s How to Tidy Up Your Gmail
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