technology 10 Ways You’re Using Gmail Wrong
Gmail — you’re doing it wrong.
When it comes to our inboxes, we all havebad little habits we just can’t break. Whether it’s deleting messages to achieve a zen inbox zero or having a ton of Gchat conversations open at the same time, there are things we just shouldn’t do.
Here are 10 bad Gmail sins that everyone has committed at a certain point.
1. Keeping a million drafts
Hitting that “Compose” button is the easiest way to create a bunch of drafts you’ll never remember. We misuse drafts for all sorts of things: creating reminders for ourselves, making to-do lists or writing up an email we never actually send.
Since Gmail automatically saves drafts, you’ve got hundreds of empty and useless draft messages before you know it, just begging to be deleted.
2. Deleting emails to get to inbox zero
This is real and it’s a problem. People are so obsessed with having zero unread emails that they delete messages with reckless abandon. There are even apps wholly dedicated to gamifying the process (such as The Email Game).
3. Marking everything as ‘read’
This often goes hand-in-hand with trying to get to inbox zero. If you mark a message as read, it decreases the number in your inbox. But the real problem arises when you mark things read that you haven’t actually read, thinking to yourself, “I’ll remember to check this out later.”
But you totally forget.
4. Having too many unread emails
On the flip-side of obsessive email checking is neurotic email ignoring. Letting emails pile up is a digital mess, but it’s sometimes just so much easier than tackling those 145 unread work emails that popped into your inbox over the weekend.
5. Sending yourself emails
With the advent of cloud services, you shouldn’t have to send yourself emails of documents, links and attachments you want to save. Yet sometimes it just seems easier to send an email, because then it will be in your inbox forever.
Here’s a tip: Utilize your Drive to save all those items in one place.
6. Overloading on labels, sublabels and folders
We tell ourselves it’s all in the name of organization. If we create labels, sublabels and folders, our inbox will be shiny and beautiful, and we’ll always know where everything is. But then we forget why we created all of those folders, or we only use them intermittently, and it makes everything more confusing than when it started.
7. Mixing up ‘Reply’ and ‘Reply All’
Sometimes you hit that “Reply” button in a group message without realizing you should have pressed “Reply All.” Or, you’re constantly hitting “Reply All” when you meant to only reply to one person. How many times can you recall sending that “Oops! Didn’t mean to send this to everyone!” message?
8. Keeping too many Gchat conversations open
Gchat can be an awesome tool for quick conversations that don’t require email. But it can also suck you in, and suddenly you’ll be trying to conduct a million different chats at once.
Not to mention, too many chat windows will cover all of those unread emails, lessening your productivity even more.
9. Old email subjects, new conversations
Much like real-life conversation, email threads have a way of going off topic. That email thread you and your friends started about some interesting news story can easily devolve into a conversation about cats.
If it gets to be too much, just mute the whole thread.
10. ‘Thank you!’ ‘No, thank you!’
Sometimes it’s hard to know when to end an email conversation. You want to be polite and say, “Thanks!” but then the other person responds with a “Thanks!” of her own. When does it end? Who gets the last word? It’s the courteous email thread that will never die.
By Yohana Desta