It’s time for Gmail and let me tell you, I’ve been doing this for a long time with Gmail and I’m going to put out a scenario to you all and I can’t see if you’re nodding, but my guess is going to be, you will.
So in my vast experience with this what I have discovered is that most people have a system for dealing with email.” So they go to their email in the morning and they open a message that they haven’t read before and they go, “ooh I need to do something with that message, but I don’t have time to do it now” maybe they’re running off to class or something like that.
So what they do is they mark the message as unread again to remind themselves that they have to do something with it. So I imagine some of you may be nodding right now and be going “Yes, that’s my system”. But then of course what happens is you go off to class then you come back from class and maybe it’s like recess, you’ve got 10 minutes and you quickly look at your inbox and there’s another 20 unread messages.
The problem is, you’ve now got 30 unread messages, 10 of which you’ve actually read but you need to do something with and 20 of which you haven’t yet read and your poor brain is trying to figure out ‘oh my goodness, which ones of these do I have to do something with and which ones don’t I? So if that is you and you’re thinking ‘Oh yes. That’s me” then you need a better way!
So I love Gmail with a passion and one of the reasons I love it is because of labels. I’ll pop in the shared Docs some posts I’ve written about labels if you’re not quite a lover of them yet.
I love Gmail with a passion and one of the reasons I love it is because of labels. Click To Tweet
What I’ve done here is I’ve created two special custom labels one called Follow up and one called Waiting for. I’ve given them a color and I put a dash, which is just a symbol, any kind of symbol, at the start of their name so they show up at the top of my label list.
So then when I open an email and I think “oh I need to do something about this, instead of marking it as unread again what I do is I come up to the little label button up here and tick say “follow up” for example, then apply and if I go back to my inbox. I can quickly see all the emails. I need to follow up.
Now, if you want to do this even quicker, and this tip always gets people going “WOW” in a session, is that you actually can just drag and drop the label onto the email, you don’t even have to open it if you don’t want to and then you quickly know.
Now of course, you can come back here and click follow up and you can see all of the emails in one spot. Now if you love this you can then take it to another level and actually do a whole custom configuration of your inbox where you have:
– unread messages at the top
– dedicated sections for your follow up
– I have a section also called waiting for which is those emails I’m waiting for people to get back to me on so I don’t
– have to remember that I’m waiting for people.
(That is something I cover in their Gmail Deep Dive course as an extension of what I’ve just shown you.)
So if you don’t know how to create a label just scroll all the way to the bottom of the label list down to “More”, then scroll down further to Create new label. To put the colour on your label you just hover over it, click the little dots and then change the color there.