My business generates a huge amount of incoming email. I need to manage multiple Gmail accounts efficiently. Being able to read and action important mail straight away is vital for me to remain efficient. Some mail needs to be found and dealt with immediately but other emails can wait until I have more time.
Without being organized you can become overloaded and stressed and miss out on information you really need. Although it can take time to put methods and procedures into place to maximize email efficiency it is well worth it.
Here are some of the methods I use.
I use multiple Gmail accounts to help separate distinct activities and to make sure important emails do not get lost. Some of these I import into my email client, Thunderbird, others I read via Gmail online. By logging into more than one Google profile at a time I can keep track of multiple Gmail accounts.
To do this, log in to one of your Gmail accounts. Click on the down arrow next to your profile image at the top right of the Gmail window and then on “Add Account”. A new tab will open and you can log into a second account. To log in to more accounts I use the first account I opened and repeat the procedure. Click on the down arrow again and you will now see the a list of the email accounts that you have open and can easily swap between them.
I use separate Gmail addresses for distinct activities so that I know where to find certain email types easily. This means I usually only need to log in to one or two of the important accounts each day. The others I use as necessary or when I have the time for reading. I use a different email address for each of the following categories.
You may may be able to manage well with only 2 or 3 accounts depending on the volume you receive.
Tip: Name your email addresses so that you will remember what you use each one for. For example yournamebiz, yournamesocnet (or use your business name or nickname instead of your name)
I used to import all Gmail accounts into my email client, Thunderbird, but now only do so with the first 3 because of the sheer volume of mail that was coming through. I then save the emails I may need to refer to again to separate folders in Thunderbird.
To create a new account in Gmail log out of any accounts you have open or go to https://accounts.google.com and click on the Create an Account button at the top right of the window:
I keep my main Gmail inboxes as empty as possible to make sure I see important emails as soon as possible.
I create filters for the less important types of mail, tagging them so that they skip the inbox and go directly into folders for reading when I have the time.
I keep my personal email address for non business related matters apart from those that I wish to read straight away. I only give out this address to family and friends so I create Gmail filters forwarding these important business emails from Gmail to my personal address as well as directing them to their own Gmail folder.
When I have read the inbox emails I tag and archive the important ones and immediately delete those I do not need to keep.
If you wish to learn more about tagging and filtering please let me know. I am always willing to answer questions and this helps me know which topics I need to write about.
Choose the method that suits you and the particular gmail account you are working with. Click the arrow next to the Inbox label and choose which way you wish your posts to be organized.
You may want to make use of the Priority Inbox feature. Enable it via the inbox down arrow as above. Your mail will then be sorted into 3 sections “Important and Unread”, Starred and Everything else. Over time Gmail does learn about what you consider important but you have to delete a lot from the Important section to begin with. (To remove an email just click the “importance marker” next to the message). Even then it is not fool-proof and you have to be careful not to rely on it too much.
Tip: Along with each Gmail account comes a full Google account, including Circles, Google Docs, Calendar and Reader. Choose one or two email accounts to use with these features. I use one business account and one personal account.
Gmail Labs is a testing ground for new features. To enable any of the available apps choose the “Labs” tab from your Settings menu. (you can get to this by clicking the gear icon on the top right of the Gmail screen)
“Smart Labels” may suit some of your gmail accounts. This feature automatically labels incoming mail into Bulk, Notification and Forum categories. “Bulk” mail includes mass mailings such as newsletters which are filtered out of your inbox into their own archive folder. “Notifications” are messages sent to you only. Emails from group mailing are labelled as “Forums”. I would not recommend using this feature for accounts where you receive important mail from your programs as these too will likely to be archived away as bulk mail.
You may like to take a look at Gmail labs to see which other apps you would find useful and time saving. Others include:
Using online and software resources can speed up your daily tasks and increase your business efficiency. I am always on the search for the best tools, software and methods to help me with my blogging, social networking and marketing. I will be reporting on those I use and new ones I discover.
If you use any other Gmail tools or organize your mail differently to me please let me know (Comment below or send me a message via my contact form). I will be writing an email tips post soon and will be happy to include your ideas and give you recognition for your contributions.