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Top Gmail productivity features for getting more done

From quickly generating drafts with AI-powered features to conveniently scheduling emails to send later, we explore some of the most effective features to use before, during and after composing an email.

Before writing the email

A short video of a user demonstrating how to create multiple signatures in Gmail. The video begins with a title reading “Use multiple signatures in Gmail”. It then transitions to the Gmail web interface and shows a close-up of the compose window. The user selects the “Insert signature” button from the toolbar to reveal a list of signatures that they have created. They select “Condensed signature” to replace the existing signature at the bottom of the email.

Create pre-written emails with Gmail templates. Do you find yourself writing the same email over and over again? Rather than starting from scratch each time, craft your message once and save it as a template for future use. You can customise the template as needed before sending and store multiple templates in Gmail for different needs.

Set up multiple signatures. Need to use different signatures for internal and external recipients or introductory and follow-up emails? With Gmail, you can create and store multiple signatures for different contexts. Set these up ahead of time and, next time you compose an email, all you need to do is choose the signature you’d like to use from the toolbar.

Composing the email

A short video of a user demonstrating how to use Duet AI in Gmail to write an email draft. The video begins with the user clicking the “Help me write” button in the toolbar at the bottom of the compose window. The user enters the prompt “Write me a cover letter for a job in marketing” and clicks “Create”. Duet AI then generates an email draft and the user inserts it into their message.

Use Smart Compose to write emails faster and with fewer mistakes. Are you on the go and need to respond to an email quickly? This machine learning-powered feature, available on both web and mobile, suggests contextual phrases as you type, helping to reduce repetitive writing and minimise spelling and grammatical errors. It can even offer personalised suggestions to maintain your writing style.

Quickly create drafts or refine responses with Duet AI. If your organisation has the Duet AI for Google Workspace Enterprise add-on, leverage Google’s assistive writing functionality in Gmail to save time and quickly shape drafts with a single prompt. Whilst this serves as a useful starting point for turning ideas into action, remember to review the message for accuracy and give it your personal touch. Duet AI can also help refine existing content, adjusting the length, tone and style.

Schedule meetings without the back-and-forth. Struggling to find a mutually convenient meeting time? Instead of participating in lengthy back-and-forth email threads, use Gmail’s meeting scheduling feature. It lets you propose one-on-one meeting slots directly in an email, without ever leaving your inbox. You can also create a Google Calendar event in Gmail and share the event information back in the message.

Send large attachments with Drive. Bypass Gmail’s 25MB attachment size limit by inserting your large files with Google Drive. This method works for all files stored in Drive, including Google Docs, Sheets and Slides files, and is accessible via the Google Drive icon in the toolbar. If Gmail detects that the recipients are unable to access the file, you will be prompted to adjust access permissions before sending your message to ensure a smooth file-sharing experience.

Forward an email as an attachment. Instead of forwarding several emails individually, you can send them all at once as attachments in a Gmail message. This is particularly useful if you’re trying to attach a set of supporting emails to provide context to a recipient who wasn’t part of the original threads.

Protect sensitive emails by enabling confidential mode. This feature adds an extra layer of security by preventing recipients from forwarding, copying, printing or downloading your message or any attachments. You can even set a message expiration date, revoke access at any time and require a verification code via text message to open it.

A short video demonstrating the integration between the mail merge feature in Gmail and Google Sheets. The video starts with a user composing a new email and clicking the mail merge icon in the top-right corner of the Gmail compose window. The user then checks the box next to “Mail merge” and selects “Add from a spreadsheet”. After clicking this, the “To” field contains the linked Google Sheet titled “Members June 2023”. The subject line is also pre-filled with text reading “Thanks for your membership”, and the body of the email says “Hi there!”. The user deletes the word “there” and replaces it with the “@firstname” merge tag. As the user finishes the email, they also add another mail tag, “@datejoined”.

Send customised newsletters, announcements and more in bulk with mail merge. Personalise the emails you send to large audiences using built-in mail merge tags like “@firstname” and “@lastname” to make them more engaging. To get the most out of this feature, create custom mail merge tags using Google Sheets.

Create professional-looking emails with Gmail layouts. Access a range of templates and layouts directly from the toolbar to create visually-appealing newsletters, product announcements and more. Each template is fully customisable, allowing you to tailor it to your brand identity with colour schemes, logos, images, footer texts, and links.

Preparing to send

A short video of a user demonstrating how to use the undo send feature in Gmail and increase the undo send time period. The video begins with a title reading “Send and unsend Gmail messages”. It then transitions to the Gmail web interface and shows the user composing a message. The user clicks “Send” and a pop-up on the bottom-left of the screen appears with the option to recall the message. The user clicks “Undo” and the email unsends. After this, the user navigates to the Gmail settings page and increases the cancellation period to twenty seconds.

Test hyperlinks before sending. To make sure you’re sending the recipients to the right website or file, use Gmail’s “Test this link” functionality to quickly preview where a link leads in a new window.

Write an email now and send it later. Whether you’re working with team members in a different time zone, or simply want to make sure your email arrives in the recipient’s inbox at the perfect moment, you can compose your email and schedule it to send at a specific date and time.

Extend the "undo send" timer to give yourself more time to catch mistakes or make changes. If you've made a typo, forgotten a recipient or had a change of heart after sending, Gmail's "undo send" feature can be a lifesaver. By default, you have five seconds to recall an email. Did you know you can extend this period up to thirty seconds? Adjust the undo send time period in your Gmail settings to ensure you have ample time to reconsider and retract your email.

Summary

By using a combination of these features in Gmail, you can write and send emails more efficiently, enhancing productivity and allowing you to get more done in less time.

If you would like to discuss any of the features mentioned above, or have any other questions about Gmail, get in touch with us at info@GeckoTech.cloud.


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