As someone who values being as productive as possible, I find using Gmail helps me keep up with my inbox while trying to get things done. If you are a Gmail user yourself, there are some things that you can do to make life in your inbox a little less cluttered and stressful. Here are a few of my favorites:
1. Muted conversations
Do you keep getting included on reply all threads that you don't really need to be on? Mute the conversation! It will filter the email in the sense it won't appear in your inbox, rather than you having to set up filters for individual emails. If you for some reason need the mail later, you'll have to search for it (tip: type is:muted in the search box) but we know Gmail is awesomesauce at that.
To use this on a conversation:
Bonus: Enable Smart Mute in Settings -> Labs. It prevents the conversations from showing in your inbox unless your email is added to the To: or CC field or you are the only recipient.
2. Priority Inbox
A few months ago, Google released a new tool in the Gmail inbox called Priority Inbox. It doesn't require setting up filters, but it does require you to teach them what is important to you. Once it understands that the email from your boss or your mom is more important than that sale over at Keen's (though I *do* love Keen shoes!) it shows those emails at the top of your inbox.
Bonus: Make Priority Inbox always appear upon login by changing the setting below.
3. Quick links
One of the best things about Gmail is how easy it is to find email. Once you archive it, it's still there, like an old file on your hard drive. The search is powerful but if you know you're going to need to search for an email later and still want it out of your inbox, create a quick link.
First enable Quick Links in Mail Settings -> Labs. Then to get started on making your link list. Open the email that you want to link to, then click 'Add Quick Link' as shown below.
Once you click the box, a dialog will appear enabling you to customize the name of the quick link as it will appear in the sidebar. For my email I chose Facebook Stats.
And viola, a link will appear in the sidebar for easy access later!
Bonus: Create a draft of your to do list, save it and then add it as a quick link in your sidebar!
4. Send and Archive
When the Send and Archive button landed on the Labs scene, there was much cheering at Pixieology. This button allows you to send your message and then archive it after the send. Enabling it doesn't make your ordinary Send button go away but it saves you another keyboard shortcut after the send. To enable, you can find it in Mail Settings -> Labs.
Bonus: If you ever wished email has an undo send button, it does now. You can find this option in Mail Settings -> Labs to enable, then set the time delay in which you can undo send.
These are just some of the quick and dirty tips I use to keep my inbox under control and find things quickly. Do you have a favorite tip or trick that saves time? Share it in the comments!