Author Archives: Laura Mae Martin

Make the most of hybrid work with Google Workspace

As Google’s Productivity Advisor, I’ve spent a lot of time over the past 18 months advising people on how to be their most productive selves while maintaining their wellbeing and working from home. With hybrid work emerging as a new model for many of us, it’s especially important to get the most out of each place you work.

In our recent Google Workspace Guide to Productivity and Wellbeing, I talked about how you can plan your days, and even create themes for them. For example, maybe Monday is your “ramp-up day” with lots of meetings and collaboration in the office, and Friday is your “consolidation day,” when you work from home and cross things off your to-do list. The guide also gets into the importance of knowing your tools inside and out. With that in mind, here’s a deeper dive on how to make the most of hybrid work with Google Workspace.

Participate from anywhere using Google Meet

Google Meet has a few new features designed especially for hybrid teams, so you can collaborate wherever you’re working from — even if it’s in a different time zone.

Add your location to meeting invites: When you’re responding to a meeting invite, you can let everyone know whether you’ll be attending from the meeting room in the office or if you’re joining virtually. Knowing where people are located helps presenters set up the meeting so everyone can participate equally.

Use companion mode (coming in November): Hybrid meetings often feel like there are two different meetings happening — one in the office and one online. Companion mode lets you join a meeting in the office from your personal device, while using the audio and video systems in the physical meeting room. Companion mode also lets every in-office participant send chat messages, raise their hands for a question and vote on polls.

Start a Google Jamboard: A Jamboard is a virtual whiteboard that lets people brainstorm live with others. It’s a great tool for hybrid collaboration and you can launch it directly in Google Meet.

Animated GIF illustrating Jamboard in Companion Mode.

Streamline collaboration with Spaces

Spaces (formerly Rooms in Google Chat) are a central place for teams to collaborate in Google Workspace. Spaces work with all the Workspace tools like Meet, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides and Tasks.

Spaces allow people to work in real time on a project, or on their own when they have time. All conversations, context and content in Spaces are preserved for future reference, so team members can jump in and out of the project when it works best for them. This is a great way to organize your team’s projects, so you can stay focused on what needs immediate attention while still making progress on group efforts.

Screenshot of Google Spaces.

Let people know your availability and location with Calendar

Google Calendar has been updated to meet the flexibility required for hybrid work. Working from home on Tuesday? Your Calendar now allows you to show where you will be working on specific days. You can also set your availability on specific hours of the day in Calendar, allowing you to block off periods to focus on your own projects or to take care of personal responsibilities.

Animated GIF showing the cursor selecting available hours within Google Calendar.

Remember to take care of yourself

Remote work can sometimes feel like a deluge of meetings and notifications that never stop. And now, as many of us begin navigating hybrid work, here are a few ways to ease any pain points in the transition.

Find your focus: Meeting fatigue can be exacerbated by the fact that you have a little image of yourself on the screen during video meetings. You can turn that setting off in Meet so you can focus on presenters and their presentations.

Schedule speedy meetings: In the Calendar, you can change the default meeting from 30 minutes to 25 minutes. Or schedule meetings to end five to 10 minutes before the top of the hour. It might not seem like a lot of time, but it can often seem like an unexpected gift, letting people mentally reset before their next meeting.

Use Time Insights in Calendar: Time Insights in Calendar lets you analyze how much time you’ve spent in meetings over the last days, weeks or months. Understanding how you’re allocating your time can help you plan ahead.

For more tips on how to optimize for hybrid work environments, visit our Workspace Support pages. And if you want to keep up with all the ways work is changing, our new Future of Work site can help.

Make “work from home” work for you

In my job at Google, I advise people on how to use their time as efficiently as possible. When working from home, my productivity strategies are even more important because I don’t have the ordinary structure of a day at the office, like commuting to work, walking to meetings, or running into coworkers. When your house becomes your office, you need to learn a whole new routine. 

Getting work done when your teammates aren’t physically with you has been the norm at Google for a while (in fact 39 percent of meetings at Google involve employees from two or more cities). But it might not be for everyone, and many people around the world are now finding themselves in new work situations. So I put together some of my go-to productivity tips—no matter where you’re working—and a few things I’ve learned about how to get it all done from home.

Designate your “spot” where you work (and where you don’t)

It’s easy to pull your computer up to your kitchen table or plop on the couch and start working. But a consistent room, spot, desk or chair that you “go to” every day to work helps your brain associate that spot (smells, sights and sounds) with getting work done. Put up some things you had at your desk, like pictures of your friends or family. Get a new mousepad you love. Stock your go-to snacks on a little shelf. And just as important as creating your "work spot" is determining the areas where you don’t work. Maybe you never bring your computer upstairs or into your bedroom. This helps create mental distance and allows you to relax often even though your work is at home with you.

Use Hangouts Meet like a pro. 

You’ll probably be spending more time on video chat—in our case, Hangouts Meet. Here are a few tricks for Meet at home: lower your video quality when you’re experiencing bandwidth restrictions or delays, dial into a video call but get audio through your phone, andcaption your meetings to make sure everyone can follow. If you’re needing some (virtual) human interaction, set up an agenda-less video chat with your team or friends in the office—it’s not a formal meeting, just time to chat and check in with each other.

Practice “one tab working.” 

If you don’t have a large monitor or your usual screen setup at home, it’s even more important to focus on one Chrome tab at a time. If you’re on a video call from your laptop, minimize all other tabs and focus on the conversation—just like you would put away your phone or close your laptop in a meeting to stay engaged.

Act the part. 

Resist the urge to wake up and start working in bed—it doesn’t help your brain get in the “mood” of being productive. Stick to your usual routines like waking up, getting dressed, eating breakfast, then “commuting” to your new work space. Staying in your pajamas, while comfortable, will make you feel less like it’s a regular workday and make it harder to get things done.

Play around with your schedule and energy.

The good news about working from home? No commute. Think of this as a time to experiment with alternate schedules and finding your “biological prime time.” If you’re a morning person, try waking up and working on something for a bit, then taking a break mid-morning. If you’re a night owl who prefers to sleep a little later, shift your schedule to get more work done in the later afternoon when you may have been commuting home. Productivity is not just about what you’re doing, but more importantly when you’re doing it.

Working from home does not mean working all the time. 

One of the hardest things about working from home is setting boundaries. Leave your computer in your workspace and only work when you’re in that spot. Pick a time when you’re “done for the day” by setting working hours in Google Calendar to remind people when you’re available. Take mental breaks the way you would in the office—instead of walking to a meeting, walk outside or call a friend.

Create your daily to-do list the day before. 

Part of staying on track and setting a work schedule at home is listing out what you have to do in a day. I created a daily plan template (you can use it too!) that helps me create an hour-by-hour plan of what I intend to do. If you fill it out the night before,  you’ll wake up in the mindset of what you need to do that day.

Finish that one thing you’ve been meaning to do.  

Working in the office can be go-go-go and rarely leaves alone time or downtime to get things done. Working from home is a chance to catch up on some of your individual to-do’s—-finish those expenses, brainstorm that long term project or read the article you bookmarked forever ago. Set up an ongoing list in Google Keep and refer back to it when you have pockets of downtime. 

Cut yourself (and others) some slack

Some people only have a one bedroom studio and are spending their days there. Some people have spouses who are working from home, kids at home, or dogs at home (I have all three!). Connectivity might be slower and there might be some barking in the background, but just remember everyone is doing their best to make working from home work for them.

Make “work from home” work for you

In my job at Google, I advise people on how to use their time as efficiently as possible. When working from home, my productivity strategies are even more important because I don’t have the ordinary structure of a day at the office, like commuting to work, walking to meetings, or running into coworkers. When your house becomes your office, you need to learn a whole new routine. 

Getting work done when your teammates aren’t physically with you has been the norm at Google for a while (in fact 39 percent of meetings at Google involve employees from two or more cities). But it might not be for everyone, and many people around the world are now finding themselves in new work situations. So I put together some of my go-to productivity tips—no matter where you’re working—and a few things I’ve learned about how to get it all done from home.

Designate your “spot” where you work (and where you don’t)

It’s easy to pull your computer up to your kitchen table or plop on the couch and start working. But a consistent room, spot, desk or chair that you “go to” every day to work helps your brain associate that spot (smells, sights and sounds) with getting work done. Put up some things you had at your desk, like pictures of your friends or family. Get a new mousepad you love. Stock your go-to snacks on a little shelf. And just as important as creating your "work spot" is determining the areas where you don’t work. Maybe you never bring your computer upstairs or into your bedroom. This helps create mental distance and allows you to relax often even though your work is at home with you.

Use Hangouts Meet like a pro. 

You’ll probably be spending more time on video chat—in our case, Hangouts Meet. Here are a few tricks for Meet at home: lower your video quality when you’re experiencing bandwidth restrictions or delays, dial into a video call but get audio through your phone, andcaption your meetings to make sure everyone can follow. If you’re needing some (virtual) human interaction, set up an agenda-less video chat with your team or friends in the office—it’s not a formal meeting, just time to chat and check in with each other.

Practice “one tab working.” 

If you don’t have a large monitor or your usual screen setup at home, it’s even more important to focus on one Chrome tab at a time. If you’re on a video call from your laptop, minimize all other tabs and focus on the conversation—just like you would put away your phone or close your laptop in a meeting to stay engaged.

Act the part. 

Resist the urge to wake up and start working in bed—it doesn’t help your brain get in the “mood” of being productive. Stick to your usual routines like waking up, getting dressed, eating breakfast, then “commuting” to your new work space. Staying in your pajamas, while comfortable, will make you feel less like it’s a regular workday and make it harder to get things done.

Play around with your schedule and energy.

The good news about working from home? No commute. Think of this as a time to experiment with alternate schedules and finding your “biological prime time.” If you’re a morning person, try waking up and working on something for a bit, then taking a break mid-morning. If you’re a night owl who prefers to sleep a little later, shift your schedule to get more work done in the later afternoon when you may have been commuting home. Productivity is not just about what you’re doing, but more importantly when you’re doing it.

Working from home does not mean working all the time. 

One of the hardest things about working from home is setting boundaries. Leave your computer in your workspace and only work when you’re in that spot. Pick a time when you’re “done for the day” by setting working hours in Google Calendar to remind people when you’re available. Take mental breaks the way you would in the office—instead of walking to a meeting, walk outside or call a friend.

Create your daily to-do list the day before. 

Part of staying on track and setting a work schedule at home is listing out what you have to do in a day. I created a daily plan template (you can use it too!) that helps me create an hour-by-hour plan of what I intend to do. If you fill it out the night before,  you’ll wake up in the mindset of what you need to do that day.

Finish that one thing you’ve been meaning to do.  

Working in the office can be go-go-go and rarely leaves alone time or downtime to get things done. Working from home is a chance to catch up on some of your individual to-do’s—-finish those expenses, brainstorm that long term project or read the article you bookmarked forever ago. Set up an ongoing list in Google Keep and refer back to it when you have pockets of downtime. 

Cut yourself (and others) some slack

Some people only have a one bedroom studio and are spending their days there. Some people have spouses who are working from home, kids at home, or dogs at home (I have all three!). Connectivity might be slower and there might be some barking in the background, but just remember everyone is doing their best to make working from home work for them.

Make “work from home” work for you

In my job at Google, I advise people on how to use their time as efficiently as possible. When working from home, my productivity strategies are even more important because I don’t have the ordinary structure of a day at the office, like commuting to work, walking to meetings, or running into coworkers. When your house becomes your office, you need to learn a whole new routine. 

Getting work done when your teammates aren’t physically with you has been the norm at Google for a while (in fact 39 percent of meetings at Google involve employees from two or more cities). But it might not be for everyone, and many people around the world are now finding themselves in new work situations. So I put together some of my go-to productivity tips—no matter where you’re working—and a few things I’ve learned about how to get it all done from home.

Designate your “spot” where you work (and where you don’t)

It’s easy to pull your computer up to your kitchen table or plop on the couch and start working. But a consistent room, spot, desk or chair that you “go to” every day to work helps your brain associate that spot (smells, sights and sounds) with getting work done. Put up some things you had at your desk, like pictures of your friends or family. Get a new mousepad you love. Stock your go-to snacks on a little shelf. And just as important as creating your "work spot" is determining the areas where you don’t work. Maybe you never bring your computer upstairs or into your bedroom. This helps create mental distance and allows you to relax often even though your work is at home with you.

Use Hangouts Meet like a pro. 

You’ll probably be spending more time on video chat—in our case, Hangouts Meet. Here are a few tricks for Meet at home: lower your video quality when you’re experiencing bandwidth restrictions or delays, dial into a video call but get audio through your phone, andcaption your meetings to make sure everyone can follow. If you’re needing some (virtual) human interaction, set up an agenda-less video chat with your team or friends in the office—it’s not a formal meeting, just time to chat and check in with each other.

Practice “one tab working.” 

If you don’t have a large monitor or your usual screen setup at home, it’s even more important to focus on one Chrome tab at a time. If you’re on a video call from your laptop, minimize all other tabs and focus on the conversation—just like you would put away your phone or close your laptop in a meeting to stay engaged.

Act the part. 

Resist the urge to wake up and start working in bed—it doesn’t help your brain get in the “mood” of being productive. Stick to your usual routines like waking up, getting dressed, eating breakfast, then “commuting” to your new work space. Staying in your pajamas, while comfortable, will make you feel less like it’s a regular workday and make it harder to get things done.

Play around with your schedule and energy.

The good news about working from home? No commute. Think of this as a time to experiment with alternate schedules and finding your “biological prime time.” If you’re a morning person, try waking up and working on something for a bit, then taking a break mid-morning. If you’re a night owl who prefers to sleep a little later, shift your schedule to get more work done in the later afternoon when you may have been commuting home. Productivity is not just about what you’re doing, but more importantly when you’re doing it.

Working from home does not mean working all the time. 

One of the hardest things about working from home is setting boundaries. Leave your computer in your workspace and only work when you’re in that spot. Pick a time when you’re “done for the day” by setting working hours in Google Calendar to remind people when you’re available. Take mental breaks the way you would in the office—instead of walking to a meeting, walk outside or call a friend.

Create your daily to-do list the day before. 

Part of staying on track and setting a work schedule at home is listing out what you have to do in a day. I created a daily plan template (you can use it too!) that helps me create an hour-by-hour plan of what I intend to do. If you fill it out the night before,  you’ll wake up in the mindset of what you need to do that day.

Finish that one thing you’ve been meaning to do.  

Working in the office can be go-go-go and rarely leaves alone time or downtime to get things done. Working from home is a chance to catch up on some of your individual to-do’s—-finish those expenses, brainstorm that long term project or read the article you bookmarked forever ago. Set up an ongoing list in Google Keep and refer back to it when you have pockets of downtime. 

Cut yourself (and others) some slack

Some people only have a one bedroom studio and are spending their days there. Some people have spouses who are working from home, kids at home, or dogs at home (I have all three!). Connectivity might be slower and there might be some barking in the background, but just remember everyone is doing their best to make working from home work for them.

The Suite Life: 4 tips for a more manageable Gmail inbox

The average person receives 120 emails a day, which means  keeping your inbox under control can feel like an impossible task. Fortunately, G Suite gives you the tools you need to stay focused and organized. Welcome to the Gmail edition of The Suite Life, a series that brings you tips and tricks to get the most out of G Suite. In this post, we’ll provide advice to help you save time and get more done—right from your Gmail inbox.

Tip 1: Write now, send later with Schedule send

Whether you’re firing off a reply outside of normal work hours, collaborating with teammates across time zones, or want to send your future self a reminder, there are lots of reasons to schedule an email instead of hitting send right away. With Schedule send, you can plan exactly when your email will be sent in Gmail. This means your emails can reach teammates at a time that's convenient for them.

the suite life - schedule send.png

Here’s how:

  1. When you’re done writing your email, click the arrow to the right of the Send button in Gmail.

  2. Select “Schedule send.”

  3. Choose a date and time that works for you.

  4. Once you’ve scheduled at least one email, you’ll see a new box called Scheduled where you can view emails set to be sent, change times, or cancel the send.


Pro-tip: Curious to know how Googlers stay on top of things? Try out these tips.


Tip 2: Turn emails into Tasks in one step

A lot of emails require some sort of follow-up. With Google Tasks, you can quickly turn that email into an item on your to-do list without ever leaving your inbox.

the suite life - drag email to task.png

Here’s how:

  1. Click and drag your email into the Tasks list located in the Gmail companion bar. 

  2. Type the text that describes your task, and a link to the email is attached to the bottom. You can also press SHIFT + K when you’re in an email to automatically add it to your Tasks list.

If you’re new to Tasks, check out this article to help you get started. Or if you’re used to using Google Keep, try out some of these tricks of the trade.

Tip 3: Send and archive emails at the same time

The secret to a tidy inbox is archiving emails when they’re no longer needed. Gmail gives you the option to reply to an email and archive it in the same step, which means you can get to Inbox Zero faster than ever.

the suite life - send and archive.png

Here’s how: 

  1. In Gmail settings, click the General tab, then click the “Show ‘Send & Archive’” button.

  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save Changes. Now, when you write an email, you’ll see the “Send & Archive” button at the bottom of the page; clicking on it will complete both actions at the same time.

Tip 4: Create a Google Calendar event in one click

Ever find yourself thinking “I should set up a meeting about this” after reading an email? Schedule it right from Gmail—no need to open Calendar separately.

the suite life create an event in gmail.png

Here’s how to create Calendar events from emails in one single step:

  1. When you’re in an email, navigate to the three dots and click Create Event. This will open a new Calendar tab. The subject of the email becomes the event title, anyone in the “To” or “Cc” line is added as a guest to the event, and the most recent reply to the thread is embedded in the description. 

  2. Click “Save,” and you’re done! 

We’ve got plenty more tips to help you better use G Suite tools like Gmail, Docs, Calendar, and more. Check out all the videos from The Suite Life.

The Suite Life: 4 tips for a more manageable Gmail inbox

The average person receives 120 emails a day, which means keeping your inbox under control can feel like an impossible task. Fortunately, G Suite gives you the tools you need to stay focused and organized. Welcome to the Gmail edition of The Suite Life, a series that brings you tips and tricks to get the most out of G Suite. In this post, we’ll provide advice to help you save time and get more done—right from your Gmail inbox.

Tip 1: Write now, send later with Schedule send

Whether you’re firing off a reply outside of normal work hours, collaborating with teammates across time zones, or want to send your future self a reminder, there are lots of reasons to schedule an email instead of hitting send right away. With Schedule send, you can plan exactly when your email will be sent in Gmail. This means your emails can reach teammates at a time that's convenient for them.

the suite life - schedule send.png

Here’s how:

  1. When you’re done writing your email, click the arrow to the right of the Send button in Gmail.

  2. Select “Schedule send.”

  3. Choose a date and time that works for you.

  4. Once you’ve scheduled at least one email, you’ll see a new box called Scheduled where you can view emails set to be sent, change times, or cancel the send.


Pro-tip: Curious to know how Googlers stay on top of things? Try out these tips.


Tip 2: Turn emails into Tasks in one step

A lot of emails require some sort of follow-up. With Google Tasks, you can quickly turn that email into an item on your to-do list without ever leaving your inbox.

the suite life - drag email to task.png

Here’s how:

  1. Click and drag your email into the Tasks list located in the Gmail companion bar. 

  2. Type the text that describes your task, and a link to the email is attached to the bottom. You can also press SHIFT + K when you’re in an email to automatically add it to your Tasks list.

If you’re new to Tasks, check out this article to help you get started. Or if you’re used to using Google Keep, try out some of these tricks of the trade.

Tip 3: Send and archive emails at the same time

The secret to a tidy inbox is archiving emails when they’re no longer needed. Gmail gives you the option to reply to an email and archive it in the same step, which means you can get to Inbox Zero faster than ever.

the suite life - send and archive.png

Here’s how: 

  1. In Gmail settings, click the General tab, then click the “Show ‘Send & Archive’” button.

  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save Changes. Now, when you write an email, you’ll see the “Send & Archive” button at the bottom of the page; clicking on it will complete both actions at the same time.

Tip 4: Create a Google Calendar event in one click

Ever find yourself thinking “I should set up a meeting about this” after reading an email? Schedule it right from Gmail—no need to open Calendar separately.

the suite life create an event in gmail.png

Here’s how to create Calendar events from emails in one single step:

  1. When you’re in an email, navigate to the three dots and click Create Event. This will open a new Calendar tab. The subject of the email becomes the event title, anyone in the “To” or “Cc” line is added as a guest to the event, and the most recent reply to the thread is embedded in the description. 

  2. Click “Save,” and you’re done! 

We’ve got plenty more tips to help you better use G Suite tools like Gmail, Docs, Calendar, and more. Check out all the videos from The Suite Life.

Source: Gmail Blog


The Suite Life: 4 tips for a more manageable Gmail inbox

The average person receives 120 emails a day, which means keeping your inbox under control can feel like an impossible task. Fortunately, G Suite gives you the tools you need to stay focused and organized. Welcome to the Gmail edition of The Suite Life, a series that brings you tips and tricks to get the most out of G Suite. In this post, we’ll provide advice to help you save time and get more done—right from your Gmail inbox.

Tip 1: Write now, send later with Schedule send

Whether you’re firing off a reply outside of normal work hours, collaborating with teammates across time zones, or want to send your future self a reminder, there are lots of reasons to schedule an email instead of hitting send right away. With Schedule send, you can plan exactly when your email will be sent in Gmail. This means your emails can reach teammates at a time that's convenient for them.

the suite life - schedule send.png

Here’s how:

  1. When you’re done writing your email, click the arrow to the right of the Send button in Gmail.

  2. Select “Schedule send.”

  3. Choose a date and time that works for you.

  4. Once you’ve scheduled at least one email, you’ll see a new box called Scheduled where you can view emails set to be sent, change times, or cancel the send.


Pro-tip: Curious to know how Googlers stay on top of things? Try out these tips.


Tip 2: Turn emails into Tasks in one step

A lot of emails require some sort of follow-up. With Google Tasks, you can quickly turn that email into an item on your to-do list without ever leaving your inbox.

the suite life - drag email to task.png

Here’s how:

  1. Click and drag your email into the Tasks list located in the Gmail companion bar. 

  2. Type the text that describes your task, and a link to the email is attached to the bottom. You can also press SHIFT + K when you’re in an email to automatically add it to your Tasks list.

If you’re new to Tasks, check out this article to help you get started. Or if you’re used to using Google Keep, try out some of these tricks of the trade.

Tip 3: Send and archive emails at the same time

The secret to a tidy inbox is archiving emails when they’re no longer needed. Gmail gives you the option to reply to an email and archive it in the same step, which means you can get to Inbox Zero faster than ever.

the suite life - send and archive.png

Here’s how: 

  1. In Gmail settings, click the General tab, then click the “Show ‘Send & Archive’” button.

  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click Save Changes. Now, when you write an email, you’ll see the “Send & Archive” button at the bottom of the page; clicking on it will complete both actions at the same time.

Tip 4: Create a Google Calendar event in one click

Ever find yourself thinking “I should set up a meeting about this” after reading an email? Schedule it right from Gmail—no need to open Calendar separately.

the suite life create an event in gmail.png

Here’s how to create Calendar events from emails in one single step:

  1. When you’re in an email, navigate to the three dots and click Create Event. This will open a new Calendar tab. The subject of the email becomes the event title, anyone in the “To” or “Cc” line is added as a guest to the event, and the most recent reply to the thread is embedded in the description. 

  2. Click “Save,” and you’re done! 

We’ve got plenty more tips to help you better use G Suite tools like Gmail, Docs, Calendar, and more. Check out all the videos from The Suite Life.

Source: Gmail Blog


Master your email with these essential Gmail tips

Your email can feel like a never-ending to-do list. And in a world where technology makes you more connected to work than ever before, how do you set ground rules to keep your energy up, your focus sharp and your sanity intact? As a productivity expert at Google, I help Googlers use products like Gmail, Google Drive and Google Calendar to get more done during their busy days. Email in particular can be a source of stress, but it doesn’t have to be. 

Gmail had its birthday earlier this week, and for 15 years, it’s been a helpful sidekick for billions of people around the globe. Part of my job is sharing Gmail-related tips with fellow Googlers—here are my top 10 email management tips for you:


  1. Cut down on notifications: Don’t bother your brain with notifications for every new email—proactively check your email instead. On your phone, you can set up notifications for certain emails—say, the ones from your boss. This will help you identify important emails and disconnect when you want to.
  2. Respond within 24 hours, even if it’s only to check in:You probably can’t get to all emails within 24 hours, but you can avoid getting another follow up email from a coworker. Giving a status update—“Hi, I got this email but not going to get to it until later this week!”—is a great way to set expectations and show them you’re on it.
  3. Close out your email 1-2 times a day: Email is necessary to get your job done, but it’s also the ultimate distraction. Most people leave it open all day and check it every 30 minutes (if not more). Try closing your email tab when you have time to do deep work: the ability to focus without distraction on a demanding task.
  4. Don’t click on an email more than twice: If you read an email then mark it as unread, you’ll have to read it again to remember what to do with it. Read it once to scan and tag your future action (for example, labeling it as “must respond,” or “to do this week,”) then one more time when you answer it.
  5. Sorting, reading and answering emails should be separate activities:Most people bounce between sorting one email for later, reading one, answering one and repeating. We lose so much energy switching between these activities. Instead, tell yourself “right now I’m sorting everything.” Then when you’re done, read everything you need to read.
  6. Keep emails that require clear action—otherwise archive or delete:When your inbox contains emails without clear action items, it gives your brain the false sense of having too much to do. Be ruthless about deleting, archiving, or snoozing emails that don’t require an immediate action from you in some way.
  7. Skip some emails: Every email you see takes a tiny piece of your energy, so each item in your inbox should be something you need to look at. Gmail lets you create filters so that certain emails “skip your inbox” and won’t appear as new emails. For example, if you get a lot of email newsletters, set up a filter with “Has the words:unsubscribe”—now, those emails won’t distract you, but you can search for them later.
  8. Don’t mix your read and unread emails:Combining read and unread emails in your inbox is a recipe for anxiety. New emails should come into one section and emails that you’ve already read and require an action should be in a different section. You can create a Multiple Inbox pane or “move” emails to different label that denotes a specific action (such as “To Do” or “Follow Up”).
  9. To stay focused, keep new email out of sight. It can be hard to answer pressing emails when  you’re constantly tempted to open the bright and shiny new emails that just came in. Open up a section like your “Snoozed emails” (emails that you’ve saved for later) or your “Starred emails” (your high-priority emails) so you can stay focused on those tasks, instead of getting distracted by new email.
  10. To find what you need, just search: Email labels can help you stay organized, but think about how Google got its start … Search! Searching your email—instead of digging through labels—is actually a faster way to find the email you’re looking for. You can search by date, sender, subject (and more) and you can get even more specific with queries like “has:attachment” or “older_than:6m” (m=months).

For those of you new to using G Suite, there are loads of ways to stay productive in email. Learn more or try it out for yourself. Now go forth, and tackle that email.  


Source: Gmail Blog


Master your email with these essential Gmail tips

Your email can feel like a never-ending to-do list. And in a world where technology makes you more connected to work than ever before, how do you set ground rules to keep your energy up, your focus sharp and your sanity intact? As a productivity expert at Google, I help Googlers use products like Gmail, Google Drive and Google Calendar to get more done during their busy days. Email in particular can be a source of stress, but it doesn’t have to be. 

Gmail had its birthday earlier this week, and for 15 years, it’s been a helpful sidekick for billions of people around the globe. Part of my job is sharing Gmail-related tips with fellow Googlers—here are my top 10 email management tips for you:


  1. Cut down on notifications: Don’t bother your brain with notifications for every new email—proactively check your email instead. On your phone, you can set up notifications for certain emails—say, the ones from your boss. This will help you identify important emails and disconnect when you want to.
  2. Respond within 24 hours, even if it’s only to check in:You probably can’t get to all emails within 24 hours, but you can avoid getting another follow up email from a coworker. Giving a status update—“Hi, I got this email but not going to get to it until later this week!”—is a great way to set expectations and show them you’re on it.
  3. Close out your email 1-2 times a day: Email is necessary to get your job done, but it’s also the ultimate distraction. Most people leave it open all day and check it every 30 minutes (if not more). Try closing your email tab when you have time to do deep work: the ability to focus without distraction on a demanding task.
  4. Don’t click on an email more than twice: If you read an email then mark it as unread, you’ll have to read it again to remember what to do with it. Read it once to scan and tag your future action (for example, labeling it as “must respond,” or “to do this week,”) then one more time when you answer it.
  5. Sorting, reading and answering emails should be separate activities:Most people bounce between sorting one email for later, reading one, answering one and repeating. We lose so much energy switching between these activities. Instead, tell yourself “right now I’m sorting everything.” Then when you’re done, read everything you need to read.
  6. Keep emails that require clear action—otherwise archive or delete:When your inbox contains emails without clear action items, it gives your brain the false sense of having too much to do. Be ruthless about deleting, archiving, or snoozing emails that don’t require an immediate action from you in some way.
  7. Skip some emails: Every email you see takes a tiny piece of your energy, so each item in your inbox should be something you need to look at. Gmail lets you create filters so that certain emails “skip your inbox” and won’t appear as new emails. For example, if you get a lot of email newsletters, set up a filter with “Has the words:unsubscribe”—now, those emails won’t distract you, but you can search for them later.
  8. Don’t mix your read and unread emails:Combining read and unread emails in your inbox is a recipe for anxiety. New emails should come into one section and emails that you’ve already read and require an action should be in a different section. You can create a Multiple Inbox pane or “move” emails to different label that denotes a specific action (such as “To Do” or “Follow Up”).
  9. To stay focused, keep new email out of sight. It can be hard to answer pressing emails when  you’re constantly tempted to open the bright and shiny new emails that just came in. Open up a section like your “Snoozed emails” (emails that you’ve saved for later) or your “Starred emails” (your high-priority emails) so you can stay focused on those tasks, instead of getting distracted by new email.
  10. To find what you need, just search: Email labels can help you stay organized, but think about how Google got its start … Search! Searching your email—instead of digging through labels—is actually a faster way to find the email you’re looking for. You can search by date, sender, subject (and more) and you can get even more specific with queries like “has:attachment” or “older_than:6m” (m=months).

For those of you new to using G Suite, there are loads of ways to stay productive in email. Learn more or try it out for yourself. Now go forth, and tackle that email.  


Source: Gmail Blog