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 Post subject: People who use Gmail PLEASE help me be more organized!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 7:40 am 
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Chard Martyr
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Because we are only inching toward a new system, I am using gmail to collect my three work email addresses, but since I've only been at the job a month and this is the first time I've ever used gmail for email in my life, and also have been incredibly busy and get about 200 emails a day (150 of which are important), I have not had time to familiarize myself with the setup and the crazy trains threads take that makes it looks like I am emailing 9 people meant for one and I am losing track of important emails and thus looking (rightly) disorganized, and it is stressing me out because I don't want to admit to anyone but the PPK that I am too gmail-stupid to be organized!

Is anyone able to share some tips or quick tricks to make gmail look more like say, Outlook or iCloud (I used Outlook in my previous job and filed emails in folders right away, and I have used Apple's email system personally and for freelance for years). Right now the only thing I'm really utilizing is starring emails, but I just logged in and had about 200 starred emails in seemingly random order.

I know I sound like an idiot but I have an artist brain trapped inside an admin manager's body.

Also, does anyone have a CRM or cloud program at work that they really like? I've been tasked with looking through EVERY SINGLE ONE, and to be honest they all seem the same but vary in price so wildly. I think I like Zoho, but it's hard to predict how a system will work for us with the free trials because obviously we are not given enough time to spend time actually utilizing it. If it helps, we need it for a high volume winery with huge accounts in Asia, the US, some Canadian provinces, England, and my personal primary marketing role is the local one, which to date we've done well with but haven't lifted a marketing finger on because we are too damn busy. The system of my dreams is VinX winery software, but it's about $20K! Jesus. So we're focussing first on CRM and have previously just shared on Dropbox or Google Drive, but we are all getting frustrated with the limitations and as an added complication one of the owners lives in Thailand. If this helps, it is only four of us who would be using the software--the two winemakers, myself, and dude in Thailand.


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 Post subject: Re: People who use Gmail PLEASE help me be more organized!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:12 am 
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Invented Vegan Meringue
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I use labels to organize my files in Gmail. You can have things automatically go under labels when you get the email (e.g., anything from my local Freecycle group doesn't go into my inbox, it just automatically goes under the label Freecycle and I can go look at it later). This might be helpful:

http://www.howtogeek.com/171628/forget-the-gimmicks-heres-the-best-way-to-organize-your-gmail-inbox/

Another option that might work for you is installing Thunderbird. It is kind of like Outlook and you can get your gmail on there. That's what my husband uses. I like being able to get my email in my browser without opening up another program.

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 Post subject: Re: People who use Gmail PLEASE help me be more organized!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:24 am 
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Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan
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Gmail-in-browser is my preferred email. Compared to my colleagues who were just forced to switch (our university now uses Google.edu instead of its own now-dead software), I am a pro. If you want to skype/screenshare so I can talk you through my management tricks, pm me.

Otherwise, notes:
+ create a bunch of labels
+ create auto-labels and/or auto-archives
+ if you're emailing a bunch of people at once (like, all of my lab or all of your customers or whatever) then there's not really a neat way to separate the thread unless each recipient uses/gets a unique subject line. I would love a "branch thread" option, but it's not there. Relatedly: re subject or fwd subject or whatever else subject will put all of those emails into the same thread, so use wisely
+ stars keep stuff at the top of any inbox, and will open any thread to the starred emails
+ i use the tabs the browser offers; you might be able to change the titles (I haven't tried), I just shuffle things into the appropriate tab and tell gmail to remember my preferences. For me, lab stuff goes to forums, committees goes to updates, family stuff to social, and stuff i want to take care of right now stays in primary. you can freely shuffle emails between tabs
+ archive!!! as soon as something is done, i archive it (which means: label + move out of inbox) so that i only see the stuff that's still waiting on response
+ labels end up as links on the left of your screen, and function like folders in other software


does that help? feel free to pm.

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 Post subject: Re: People who use Gmail PLEASE help me be more organized!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:25 am 
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Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan
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+ you can also add nested labels (folders w/in folders)
+ you can color code your labels

That means that when new email comes to you (which is auto-labelled or a reply to a labelled thread), you see the label name + color prefixed to the subject of the email in your inbox. So it looks like NAME | [label] SUBJECT snippet. If you choose different colors for main labels and related colors for nested labels, it makes it really easy to tell at a glance what kind of stuff is in your inbox.

+ if you have all 3 work accounts linked in one inbox, you can do fancy and semi-fancy stuff to keep track of them. if you do that, i can share info. if not, i will not further complicate your email life.

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 Post subject: Re: People who use Gmail PLEASE help me be more organized!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:33 am 
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A Bad Person
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What I think would help you the most is labels and archiving. Set up rules to slap a label on emails determined by what email address it was sent to. So emails you get at your work@work.com address get one label, email received by workagain@work.com get a different label, and emails received by work3@work.com get another label. And give them all different colors so they're easy to tell them apart. That way you kind of get an idea for what role or what work an email is concerning before you even read it and everything's not a big mash of emails sent to all three of your addresses.

Also, labels don't work like folders. You can put as many labels on something as you want. So make more labels for common needs. If you have a project you're working on and you want to keep those emails together, make a label for it. You can set up rules to label something when it comes in based on subject or sender or what not.

Use the star function! Gmail puts those at the top of your inbox, regardless of whether they're read or old or not. Also, there's priority sorting so if something comes in and you want it to get priority, there's a button for "mark this important". Priority emails also shoot to the top of the inbox.

Archive anything you're done with. If you don't need to action or respond to it, archive it immediately. It just goes into storage. If you want to pull it out, you can search for it. If someone responds to it, it'll go back into your inbox. Gmail inboxes are enormous, so don't really concern yourself about pruning and deleting. You can even archive important stuff because it'll always be searchable, you can always find it with whatever label you put on it, and responses will always return to your inbox. The only things that should be in your inbox are unread emails or stuff you need to have right in front of you as a reminder to do something.

You can display email conversations but I'm not sure where that setting is off the top of my head, and I can't get to gmail at work. I found conversation tracking super useful in Outlook, so I use it.


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 Post subject: Re: People who use Gmail PLEASE help me be more organized!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:35 am 
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Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan Vegan
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Quote:
Also, labels don't work like folders. You can put as many labels on something as you want. So make more labels for common needs. If you have a project you're working on and you want to keep those emails together, make a label for it. You can set up rules to label something when it comes in based on subject or sender or what not.


This is true. Multiple labels = multiple awesome. They do, however, work like folders in the sense that you can click on a label name on the left column of the inbox and see all of the emails which have that label.

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 Post subject: Re: People who use Gmail PLEASE help me be more organized!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:31 am 
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Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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Keyboard shortcuts are your friend! Make sure you have them turned on in the settings. I also like to install the lab thingy that lets you custom map your keyboard shortcuts, because I prefer 'a' to be archive.


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 Post subject: Re: People who use Gmail PLEASE help me be more organized!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 12:33 pm 
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Chard Martyr
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This all seemed so overwhelming but amazing and then I put some methods to use this afternoon and I am thrilled with some changes. Thanks guys! SO much!


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 Post subject: Re: People who use Gmail PLEASE help me be more organized!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:20 pm 
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labels are super awesome. i thought it was overwhelming when they first came out but it just takes an afternoon or so to sit down and figure out what you want to see straightaway and what can go elsewhere to be looked at later. Brian's idea of color coding stuff from each different address is brilliant.

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 Post subject: Re: People who use Gmail PLEASE help me be more organized!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:32 pm 
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Bathes in Braggs

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vijita wrote:
Is anyone able to share some tips or quick tricks to make gmail look more like say, Outlook


In Settings ( the gear icon on the upper right ) > General you can choose "turn conversation view off".

Conversation view is where all of the emails with the same subject appear as only 1 row in your inbox.

I hated it when I first switched to Gmail. I found it confusing. Now, I actually like it, finding it makes things more organized and less cluttered.

I think it is good to not to try to get used to many new things at once. If you turn "conversation view" off you will get single emails in your email box again instead of them being bundled together in a thread ( aka "conversation view" ).

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 Post subject: Re: People who use Gmail PLEASE help me be more organized!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:35 pm 
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Bathes in Braggs

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In Settings > Accounts and Improts there is a "Send email as" section, where you can add all of your various email addresses.

This will allow you, without thinking about it to send email as the address it was sent to.

So, you can have one gmail account where you get mail sent to you from 3 different gmail accounts:

1. jane1@gmail.com
2. susan2@gmail.com
3. her.highness@gmail.com

If someone sends a mail to her.highness@gmail.com and you hit reply, "her.highness@gmail.com" will automatically be listed as the "from" in the reply

Keeps things very straight.

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 Post subject: Re: People who use Gmail PLEASE help me be more organized!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:37 pm 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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I'm not a pro with gmail but those pieces of advice all look sound to me! Regarding CRMs, my company uses Salesforce which has some limitations but is really great for customer management in general. Super helpful, you can link google drive if you have someone tech savvy enough so that if you have to attach documents in one place for individual customers or individual things, they auto link, restrict access to data based on profiles/etc. I dunno, you can pm me for questions?

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 Post subject: Re: People who use Gmail PLEASE help me be more organized!
PostPosted: Fri Jul 18, 2014 1:55 pm 
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In the labs sections, you can activate the 'Preview Pane.' I think that's what Brian is referring to above. That was the training wheels that I needed when moving from Outlook because it made my inbox look a little more like Outlook.

I also label everything and have the labels color coded. I only leave emails in my inbox that I need to respond to, anything else gets archived. Remember, the email search is Google! So it's very easy to find stuff through search.

Another helpful option in Google labs in Undo Send. Once that's active, you can choose 5 sec - 30 sec window that you can hit undo, and the email won't have gone out. If you move into another message though, this option is no longer available.

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 Post subject: Re: People who use Gmail PLEASE help me be more organized!
PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 6:51 am 
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Chard Martyr
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Location: Wolfville, Nova Scotia
This is all so, so, so helpful. Thank you guys!


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 Post subject: Re: People who use Gmail PLEASE help me be more organized!
PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 7:37 am 
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Chard Martyr
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Location: Wolfville, Nova Scotia
I am giddily making labels and I love love love that you can turn conversation mode off (and I feel silly that I didn't know how!).


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