I really don’t enjoy using email. I receive a tonne of stuff, too. Furthermore, the longer I ignore it, the worse it gets.
Would you mind copying my morning Gmail routine if you find yourself in a similar situation?
The key objective is to separate the wheat from the chaff, acknowledge communications promptly, and then group messages that require a little further attention into a manageable list—in that sequence.
Oh, and speed is the key to this game. This shouldn’t take more than five minutes every 100 messages that need to be processed because I don’t want to spend any more time in my inbox than necessary. Move along!
THE ONE, TWO, AND THREE KEYBOARD SHORTCUTS THAT WORK BEST
Although if that’s what you want, here’s a wonderful one, I won’t bombard you with an unending number of keyboard shortcuts to memorise. However, I’ll let you know about three of the most significant ones that will quicken your workflow.
You must first make two quick settings adjustments. Click the “See all settings” button after selecting the gear icon in the top-right corner.
Make sure keyboard shortcuts are enabled in the General tab, which may be found around two-thirds of the way down. Next, switch on the Auto-advance feature under the Advanced tab.Go return to your inbox and select the most recent message before deciding what to do with it. Press the E key to archive the current message if you prefer to maintain a clear inbox.
The Auto-advance feature should then automatically advance you to the following message in the list.
This is where the fun really starts. Use the J and K keys to alternately hop from older to newer messages as you buzzsaw through them. Archive the information you don’t want, and then view, respond to, or transmit the information you do.
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You can view a complete list of keyboard shortcuts at any moment by pressing Shift +? But first, get to know J, K, and E.
CREATE CANNED REACTIONS TO DRASTICALLY REDUCE TYPING
You can only gently respond “Got it” to someone’s email so many times, you know.
The following formula is what I favour: acknowledgement, thanks, hollow offer of assistance, and once again, thanks.
OK, that makes sense. I appreciate the message. If there is anything I can do to help, let me know.
Now, it takes a lot of time to do it every time I reply to an email. I ought to just say, “Got it,” and then be a jerk.
I adore Gmail’s Templates tool because it goes against my mild-mannered Midwestern inclinations.
Initially, you’ll need to enable it in the Advanced menu’s settings, but as soon as you do, simply create a message and click the three small dots in the lower-right corner.
Give it a name after selecting Templates > Save draught as template. Simply click the three buttons, choose Templates, and then choose your template to insert it as a pre-written response moving forward.
In the meanwhile, until Google eventually adopts my stale Finger Gun idea, this is the most efficient way I’ve found to courteously acknowledge an email.
TURN EMAILS INTO TASKS TO DEAL WITH THEM LATER
Now that we have gotten rid of the emails we don’t want and swiftly acknowledged the ones we needed to acknowledge, it is time to deal with the emails that require attention.
My suggestion is to deal with things whenever you want, but make chores out of them first. You’ll enjoy actually crossing items off a to-do list if responding to an email and getting it out of your inbox makes you feel good.
Click the circle-checkmark-plus icon in the menu at the top of the message to convert a communication into a task. With this, it will be added to your task list and opened in a sidebar. If you’re addicted to keyboard shortcuts already, you may also try Shift + T.
You’ll finally have a lovely, orderly list with direct links back to the messages so you can deal with them later after adding all the messages you need to deal with.
On the future, you can access your task list by clicking the blue circle-check symbol in the right sidebar of Gmail.