BEST Way to Organize Gmail

BEST Way to Organize Gmail

In this step-by-step overview, learn how to organize your email and get to inbox zero in Gmail from an ex-Google employee. With this system you’ll never miss a follow-up, and you’ll be able to track responses.

Host: Michael Mostert

– Gmail:

0:00 Introduction
0:23 Email categories
0:34 Create new labels
1:43 Colorize labels
2:20 Enable multiple inboxes
4:06 Triage email
6:35 Clear out inbox
7:22 Tips and tricks
7:48 Wrap up

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Hey everyone, Michael here. Today, I want to 
talk to you about how to organize Gmail and get   To inbox zero. When I worked at Google, I would 
routinely receive 200 to 300 emails a day. And   Let's be honest, no one can stay on top of that 
amount of email. With this system, I'll ensure   You never miss a follow-up and you'll always be 
able to track your responses. Let's check it out.   When you look at your inbox, emails generally 
fall into one of three categories. Follow-up,   Awaiting response, and need to read. First, let's 
go set up some labels. Here we are inside of the   Inbox of Gmail. As you can see, I have a lot 
of unread emails, and one of the first things   I want to do is split these up into those three 
categories we talked about, which are follow-up,   Awaiting response, and to read. In order to do 
that, I'm first going to need to create labels   Over here on the left side. I'm going to hit this 
plus button to do so. The first label that I'm   Going to want to create here in the label prompt 
is the label for follow-up. And one little trick   That I like to do is I like to use the brackets on 
my labels so that it ensures Gmail always keeps it   At the top of the labels list, even if everything 
becomes alphabetized. I'm going to go ahead and   Hit Create. I don't want to nest it under any 
other labels, which means sort of bury it under   Another label. So this is the action I want to 
take. Now that I've created the follow-up label,   Which we can see over here on the left side, I'm 
going to want to follow-up on that follow-up label   By creating another one. Next, we're going to do 
the awaiting response label, same thing as last   Time, hit the Create button. The final label 
we're going to create is the one for to read,   Also create. Now that we've created our three 
labels on the left here, we can see awaiting   Response, follow-up, and to read. A nice touch 
that I think really helps things stand out is   To colorize them. And later when we set up 
multiple inboxes, you'll see why this really   Helps. To colorize your labels, just move your 
cursor directly to the right of them, click these   Three little dots, select in there, and hit Label 
Color. For awaiting response, I personally always   Loved orange. For follow-up, I like yellow. 
And for to read, since it's not that urgent,   I didn't like a really bright or hot color, I 
just went with a light blue. Now that we have   Our labels all set up and nicely colorized, let's 
move over to the Settings section so we can add   Something called Multiple Inboxes. Click the gear 
icon to bring up all of the settings available in   Gmail. What we're going to want to do now is 
scroll past all of these settings you see here   Down to something called Multiple Inboxes. We're 
going to click on this, and then we will also hit   Customize. Now that we've hit the Customization 
button for multiple inbox sections, we are brought   To this beautiful area where we can decide to 
break up the monolithic inbox of Gmail, which just   Goes on and on, into five distinct sections. So, 
the first section we're going to create here is   The one about awaiting response. In order to name 
one of our sections into awaiting response, we're   Going to have to type in label colon, and then the 
bracket Awaiting Response, and then end bracket.  

It's important to use the exact characters we 
use to make the label in order for Gmail to   Recognize that we want to use the label. Next, 
we're going to want to enter in a friendly name.   We're going to repeat that step two more times, 
once for follow-up and once for to read. Now   That we have filled in all of the sections label 
headings, we can move down and tinker with any of   The other settings we'd like to. Personally, I 
do not want to change anything from the default   Settings, but there is one that I do want to 
change, which is the multiple inbox position. I   Personally like to have that to the right of the 
inbox because it is easier for me to process and   Look at. If you want to put it above the inbox 
or below the inbox, that's completely up to you.   Next, and finally, we are going to hit save 
changes to make sure that everything is kept   The way we want it. Now that we've saved 
all of those settings for multiple inbox,   We come back to the standard Gmail inbox and we 
can notice some changes. Over here on the right,   We have our three buckets, awaiting response, 
follow-up, and to read. This is really where we   Get to start using these buckets. So now you can 
see over here, I have a whole inbox just waiting   For me to read through and I want to chunk this 
up nicely so I know what to do with them. So one   Of the first things that catches my eye is 
this email about customer feedback received,   And it says action required. So I'm going to 
go ahead and right click on this and use label   As and put follow-up to it. And look at that, 
it moves directly over into our bucket called   Follow-up. Now that we've moved Lee's email over 
into follow-ups, I'm going to go back and check   My inbox to see what else is in there that might 
be worth looking at. I see here that there is an   Internal newsletter. I've kind of been hearing 
some buzz about this. I'm going to check on it.   Okay, this looks like something that I 
might want to read later. So I can also,   From this very screen, add a label and move it 
to the to read section. Now that I've marked   This one as to read, I'm going to go back 
out to my inbox to see what else there is.   I see something from Lynne about 
delivery not working as planned.   Nope, this is Comic Sans. I'm not going to read 
this one right now. It's too much too early in   The morning, so I'm going to go back out. Then 
there's this one where it says end of message. Can   You work this weekend? Well, that's a bit cryptic, 
so I'm going to actually reply to this. Now that   I've followed up with Patti and asked her to 
provide more context before I work this weekend,   I want to make sure that I have some idea as to 
why she wants me to work this weekend, so I'm   Going to await her response. So, I'm going to go 
up here to the label and hit Awaiting Response.   Now you can see as we're back in the 
general inbox area, we have three sections,   Each of which is filled up with email. So the 
first one is Awaiting Response, which means I   Am just waiting for someone to get back to me and 
I do not have any action required. After that,   There is one email in Follow Up, which means I 
do have to do something and this really keeps me  

On track throughout the day that I have something 
to do. Finally, I have one in the To Read bucket,   Which ultimately could be considered the least 
important bucket, but I do want to highlight   That there is something for me to read in the 
future if I have the time to get to it. Now I'm   Going to go through and categorize the rest of my 
messages in my inbox. Now that I've gone through   And processed all my email and moved them into the 
appropriate sections or buckets, I want to clear   Out my inbox to get down to inbox zero. So what 
I want to do now is go up here and say Select All   And then find this little arrow archive button and 
hit it. Now we have the most beautiful of sites,   A complete inbox zero. This frees up our mental 
space to deal with anything that we have left   In the Follow Up section. Earlier today, I spoke 
with Lynne offline and so I know we do not need   To follow up with this Pigeon Delivery email 
anymore, so I'm going to click the little X on   This Follow Up label to get rid of it. After 
removing the Follow Up label, I can see that   It no longer exists in the Follow Up section 
and it is also not in the Inbox section. Now   That we've cleared out the inbox, I want to show 
you a couple of other little tricks that you can   Do over here on the right-hand side. First, you 
can expand and collapse these if they're ever too   Much for you to look at. If you want to prioritize 
one type of email over another within a section,   You can always use a little star icon. And if you 
ever have too many emails that you feel you need   To read at once, you can go into a dedicated view 
by clicking on these numbers. I know sometimes   Gmail can feel a bit daunting as one long list, 
but I hope that this system has helped you get   Control of your inbox a little more. If you 
have any other tips or great ideas, please share   Them in the comments below and please do consider 
subscribing and I will see you in the next video.