Productivity in email

When Google announced Inbox, I did use it and felt that it did streamline things for me.  I liked the bundling of messages features.  But, we’ve now been made aware that Inbox will be going away.  So, it’s back to Gmail for me.

Here are three things that I use daily and I like to feel that it has helped me in my quest of being as productive as I can.


Search

It should come as no surprise that Google has built some pretty substantial tools into Gmail for searching.  I do subscribe to a large number of mailing list and blog notifications.  So, it’s very handy to be able to effectively search to find something.

While my use is, in no way, as inclusive as the “big list” here, there are certainly some that I use all the time.

from:

to:

label:

in:

after:

before:


Sidebar

From the Gmail marketplace, there are add-ons to Gmail just like there are for Chrome.  The nice thing is that they add that functionality while you stay right in Gmail.  It’s so handy.

Screenshot 2018-12-05 at 12.06.36

Who can get through the day without access to your Calendar, Keep, or To-dos?

It’s hard to imagine life before this.


Suggestions

This is a feature that I’m not completely on board with at this time.  The concept is interesting; let Gmail guess/predict what it thinks you’re trying to say and offer suggestions for me.  Tab to use them.

Screenshot 2018-12-05 at 12.11.08

I’m struggling to get it to work for me.  So many of the suggestions seem to be cliches and I try to avoid cliches like …

But, it’s still a young feature and will undoubtedly mature as the logic behind it matures.  I know that many people have gone into the Settings to disable it.  That was also my first inclination but then I thought – what if it gets better and productive?  How would I know about it?  As it sits, you can ignore the suggestions if they’re not usable, keep on typing and it just goes away.

If only it would write blog posts for me.


It seems funny to write about this, having grown up and used very primitive (by today’s standards) email programs.  They are a faint memory compared to what we’re able to do today.  Maybe we need to drop the term “email” and start using something like “personal productivity centre”.

Do you have any productivity tips to share?

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