Monday, January 28, 2008

Organize yourself with Gmail

Anyone who knows me knows that in addition to being a huge advocate of puppies and unicorns, I am a huge Google advocate. No, I don't own Google stock. I just appreciate a good tool when I use it... and I use Google a whole lot. As my mother puts it, "Casey works in the internet," so I'm on or thinking about Google for at least 8 hours a day.

Gmail is one of my most favoritest Google tools. It's similar to Excel: Simple to use, but its capabilities are seemingly endless! Learning how to take advantage of these capabilities can help you become more productive.

Wild Apricot has an excellent "how to" post on Gmail filtering capabilities. It gives detailed, step by step instructions on how to automatically forward emails from a Gmail account to the appropriate recipients (which may or may not be one of your own other accounts). This can be a time saver and will ensure the correct parties get the information as soon as possible.

I know I should have set up a filter so all the "I want to do crafts with kids" emails went from our general OYFP account to our volunteer coordinators. It would have saved me an hour, and ensured our potential volunteers received replies as soon as possible.

The Wild Apricot post doesn't touch on some of my favorite (and more obvious) Gmail features:
  • All emails with the same subject line are in the same window. This means when all 17 of your best friends reply to a group email, it's just one line in your inbox.
  • You can label (or tag) emails instead of putting them into a folder, and then search by the labels. Essentially you're able to do the equivalent of putting the same email in more than one folder.
  • You can direct more than one external email account to the same Gmail account, which can save you the bother of checking more than one email address. I have an OYFP Gmail account that receives email from my personal OYFP email address, a general OYFP email address, and a Gmail account. Talk about time savings!
Do you use Gmail to stay organized, or are you still a fan of another provider?

A screen shot of Gmail's consolidated version of this email chain, which is coincidentally about Google


Krystle said...

Guess I should look into getting a Gmail account.

John R said...

gmail is the new black!