Gmail has been my choice for quite a few years. Improvements in the first half of 2018 followed by others this year have made a great tool even better. But, many Gmail users are unaware of what's new. In this post, we look at 10 of those features.
Smart compose. As you write, notice the light gray text. Gmail is trying to predict how you will finish the sentence. If you like what you see, hit the Tab key. If you don't, continue to write. On your phone, when you see the suggested text, swipe your finger over it to accept.
Smart reply. At times, an email reply needs only a couple of words. At the bottom of the email, Gmail suggests a reply based on the text of the email. This feature is especially handy for quick email replies on your phone.
Smart subject lines. People tend to be terrible when it comes to email subject lines. Now, Gmail automates the process. Write the body of the email. Then click in the subject line. Gmail may suggest one. If you like the suggestion, hit the Tab key. If you don't, key in your own subject.
Snooze. Sometimes, you want an email to go away and return on a certain day. Look for an icon that resembles a clock. Click it and choose a day and time for the email to return.
Nudge. Do you sometimes neglect to respond to an email because it gets lost in the clutter? Gmail looks for emails in your inbox that look like they need a reply but have been sitting for a while and reminds you to reply. "Nudge" also looks for sent items that look like you should have received a reply. Gmail returns them at the top of your inbox, tells you how long ago you sent them, and asks if you want to follow up.
Send later. This is my favorite of the spring 2019 upgrades. The "Send" button now has a drop-down arrow. Click it and choose "Schedule send." Choose a date and time. Now, you can compose the email when it's convenient for you. Have it delivered when it’s best for the recipient.
Right-click menu. Gmail's right-click menu just got a big boost. While viewing the list of email in the inbox, right click on one of them. You can forward, reply, snooze, move to a folder, apply a label, or mute the conversation. The menu also allows you to search for other emails from that sender. All of this can happen without even opening the email.
Display Google Calendar. Want to see your calendar alongside your email? Look for a small arrow in the lower right-corner of the email pane. Clicking it opens a sidebar. You'll see an icon for Google Calendar as well as Google Keep and Google Tasks. When you click on the calendar icon, the Google Calendar opens to the current day.
Add to Evernote. Emails often contain useful reference information. This new integration allows anyone to save emails into Evernote.
Confidentiality Mode. Do you remember "Mission Impossible"? A message would self-destruct after so many seconds. This feature does the same thing … only without the smoke. The recipient cannot forward, copy, paste, print, or download the email or attachments. The message expires after a selected time and cannot even be viewed.
For more detail about these enhancements, visit this week’s blog post. Go to FrankBuck.org and click on the blog menu.
Frank Buck is the author of Get Organized!: Time Management for School Leaders. "Global Gurus Top 30" named him #1 in the Time Management category for 2019. Dr. Buck speaks throughout the United States and internationally about organization and time management. You can reach him through his website: FrankBuck.org. Follow him on Twitter @DrFrankBuck.