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How to Get Your Gmail Inbox Under Control (2019 Tutorial)

August 18, 2019


(futuristic music) – [Scott] Oh my goodness,
so many emails in my Inbox. How am I gonna get this under control? Well, in today’s video I
wanna show you a simple, yet very powerful and effective way to help you get all of your emails under control within Gmail. Hello, everyone. Scott Friesen here at Simpletivity, helping you to get more
done and enjoy less stress. And today, I wanna show you
a technique using labels so you can easily identify which emails you should be dealing with right now. So let’s get started. On the left-hand side of my screen you will see the labels area. We’ve got a few different folders. We’ve got some standard
folders here like Inbox, Snoozed, Sent, Drafts, but you will notice I have
three color coded labels, labeled Action Required, Complete,
and Waiting for Response. And this is really the key to this system is using a few particular labels to help you identify
which emails you should be dealing with, because
sometimes as we’re perusing through our Inbox, we
have a mix of both read and unread emails, and we’re wondering which
ones do I need to reply to, which ones have I dealt with already? These labels are gonna
help us keep on track. Now, two things I want to point out here. Number one, I’m not gonna
get into the details of how you create labels within Gmail. If you’d like to learn more, I’m gonna leave a link to my
video showing you everything you need to know about labels
and filters within Gmail. But here you will see
that I’ve got as asterisk at the beginning of these labels. Now, this could be very important. The reason being is that
we want these labels to show up at the top of our label list. We don’t want them to
get missed out or lost, ‘specially if you’re
using a large collection of labels or other labels as
a part of your email system. Let me just open up this
email as an example. So if I go up to the top
and I select the labels, here you can see my three Action Required, Complete,
and Waiting for Response are always gonna show up at the top, even though I’ve got a
variety of other labels that I can apply down below. Now, you don’t have to use an asterisk, you could use a period, you could use some other special character or even add numbers, but I just like the asterisks
because it sort of stands out and it looks like a bit of a star here. So more on that in just a second. The second thing you will
notice is that I’ve added some particular colors. And this is important as well, because I wanna be able to
easily see when I’m in my Inbox, when I see a variety
of emails, which ones, which label is corresponding
to these particular titles. Alright, so here I am in a email, and let’s just say for
this example that I need to do something with this, maybe I need to go and shop here, maybe I need to ask someone about this. So what I’m gonna do is I’m
gonna go up to my labels, and I’m gonna say Action Required, I’m gonna apply that label. So now when I go back to my Inbox, it’s very, very easy for me to see that I need to do something
with this particular email. Now, you don’t have to go
into every email to do this, sometimes when you’re
scanning you already know that okay maybe I need to
do something with that, and I need to do something with that, and, oh, I need to do
something with this as well. Remember, you can always apply
multiple labels at a time. So now I’ve got all three of those labels, or sorry, the same label applied
to three additional emails. Now, you’re probably thinking, okay, this is a little bit helpful, I can see these emails
among my vast amount of additional emails here. But it gets even better. If I go over here to the left-hand side and select Action Required, now all I see are those four emails. I know that these are my
Action Required emails, so I can sort of hide my
Inbox for a few minutes and just focus on the
emails that I need to do. Now, how do the other two
labels come into play? Well, let’s start with
Waiting for Response. I’m gonna go back to my Inbox here. And let’s say this very
first message here, I’ve actually forwarded
it on to someone else, I’d like to get their input on it, so I’m asking them a question, “Do you agree with this article?” Now, if I just leave it as is, this might get lost in the mix here. So what I’m going to do
is I’m going to apply the Waiting for Response label. Now there’s one additional
thing I wanna show you here, and that is you don’t
always have to be clicking the label here. If you select L on your keyboard, that’s going to immediately
bring up the label list. So I can select Waiting for Response, I’ve applied that label,
I can go back to my Inbox, and now I can easily see
that I am waiting for a reply on that email. And just as we saw before, if I select Waiting for Response here, you might have a
collection of seven, or 10, or maybe more emails that
you’re waiting for a reply. You can quickly and easily
see which of those emails should you maybe need to poke them again, give them another gentle reminder if they haven’t answered you
in a certain period of time. And that L shortcut that I mentioned, that actually applies to your
main Inbox view here as well. So let’s say I’ve got a few
more that I’m waiting for, I’m gonna select just three here. I’ve selected three, I’m
gonna hit L on my keyboard, and, again, that’s gonna
immediately bring up my label, I can select Waiting for Response, and now I’ve applied it
to multiple emails here. Now, the last label that
I’ve included in this system is called Complete. And this may not necessarily, this may not be necessary for everyone, but if you don’t have the
habit of archiving your emails or moving them out of your Inbox, this may be helpful to you. So let’s say that I
open up this one again, this one that said Action Required. And let’s say that I’ve
done the action on this. I’ve replied, or I’ve
purchased, whatever it is, I’m gonna go back to my labels, I am gonna uncheck Action Required, and I’m gonna select Complete. So now I’ve got my red Complete label. When I go back to my Inbox, it’s easy for me to see
that that is done with. I no longer need to open
this up or come back to it, this particular email is complete. Like I said, I generally
recommend that you use the Archive function within your email, that’s this little icon here, instead of the label, because archiving it is gonna take it right outside of your Inbox, so you don’t have to see it
here in your Inbox at all. But I know everyone works
a little bit differently, so you may prefer using
the Complete label. Now, just before we wrap up today’s video, I wanna give you one additional tip that sometimes gets
overlooked here within Gmail, and this feature has only been
added within the last year, and that is the ability
to snooze a message. This is very powerful when you’re trying to get your Inbox under control as well. So let me open up this email here that doesn’t have a label on it, and let’s say that you know what, I need to do something with this or I’d like to review this email again, I just don’t wanna deal with it now, and I don’t want it clogging up my Inbox. Well, what you can do is
select this little clock icon, which is the Snooze icon,
and when you select that, it has a few different
defaults here, right? I can say Snooze Later today, Tomorrow, Later this week, This
weekend, Next weekend, or I can pick a particular time. I can be very specific as to
when I want it to come back. Let’s just say that I don’t
wanna deal with it today, so I’m gonna select Tomorrow. I’m gonna select Tomorrow,
it brings me back to my Inbox and that email is gone. It’s not here anymore, but
it will return tomorrow. It will return tomorrow,
’cause I told it to. Gmail’s gonna bring it back
and I can deal with it then. Now, if I wanna go and
look at all of these emails that are snoozed, I can simply select that label
here on the left-hand side, and I can quickly and easily see it, I can reply to it, I can do
whatever I want with it here, even when it’s in that snoozed state, but if I leave it alone, it’s gonna come back to me tomorrow. In fact, it’s even telling me
it has the date there in red, January 22nd, that is when
it’s gonna return to my Inbox. I hope you found this video helpful. I would love to know how do
you better manage your emails, specifically your emails
here within Gmail. Be sure to let me know
in the comments below. Thank you so much for
watching today’s video. I hope you subscribe right here
to the Simpletivity channel, give this video a thumbs up, and don’t forget to leave
me a comment down below. Remember, being productive
does not need to be difficult. In fact, it’s very simple.

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