Today, April 1, 2019, marks Gmail's transition into full-fledged teenagehood, and in commemoration of the email platform's 15th birthday, Google is rolling out some cool new features to help you write your emails.
The most useful? Scheduled sending. Whereas before you needed Boomerang to schedule an email in advance, now you can do so right on the platform when you go to hit send. All you have to do is write your message and schedule it to hit your recipient's inbox whenever you'd like (and, when it does, they won't know the difference). Perfect for when you wake up in the middle of the night with a brilliant idea but don't want to bug your colleagues about it until the sun comes up.
Gmail is also getting a lot smarter. Smart Compose, where Gmail uses machine learning to offer word suggestions as you type your email, isn't anything new, but now Gmail is adding the feature to its subject lines. Once you finish writing your email, Google will offer a suggested subject line based on the contents, which you can choose to accept by hitting the tab key. Smart Compose is getting more personalised and will pick up on your frequently used greetings and phrases to sound more like you. And starting today, Smart Compose will be available on mobile, too. To accept contextual suggestions as you compose an email, just swipe right.
The smart feature now also supports emails written in Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese.
But all these features can be a bit overwhelming when you don't have control over your inbox to begin with. Below, Google productivity expert Laura Mae Martin shares her top tips for inbox management. Happy spring cleaning!
"1. Never touch an email more than twice — the first time you see it and the time that you address it. Read it once to scan and put in a pile based on your future action, then one more time when you answer it.
2. Make sorting, reading and answering email separate activities.
3. Have a spot for emails you need to answer that is NOT the same as the spot for incoming emails. New emails should come into one spot and emails that are read and require an action should be in a completely different spot (a folder, label, or Multiple Inbox pane).
4. Use advanced search instead of foldering: Gmail has the ability to archive emails without a folder. They go into “All Mail” which is what Gmail searches. Learn Gmail advanced search really well and forget your filing system. You can get as specific as “older_than:xdays AND filename:pdf.” According to a study by IBM, learning to search your email versus digging through folders can save you a significant amount of time each day."