Get Organized!

DR. FRANK BUCK: How to compose Gmail with one click (column)

Composing a new Gmail message can wind up being a real time bandit. 

You know the problem. While deep into a project, you need to email someone about a particular point. The most natural thing is to fire out an email.

Open Gmail to create that message. But, before having a chance to type a single word, a screen full of messages hijacks your attention. Half an hour later, you're still dealing with everything in the inbox and totally forget about the message you went there to compose.

But there's a way to compose a new Gmail message with one click, even without opening Gmail.

How to set it up in one minute

To best understand the concept, refer to a short video I created to demonstrate this one-time setup. You will find it at

Open Google Chrome and make sure the bookmark toolbar is showing. If not, click the “hot dog,” computer lingo for the three vertical dots in the upper-right corner. And yes, a “hamburger” also exists. It is the set of three horizontal lines you see many times at the top of the screen.

Select “bookmarks” and “show bookmarks bar.” Right-click on the bookmarks toolbar and select “bookmark manager.” A window opens. Within that window, look for another “hot dog” in the upper-right corner and click it. Choose “add new bookmark.”

A box opens and asks for two things. First is a name for this bookmark, something like “new Gmail message.” The more important blank is the one for the URL. Enter and click “save.”

Take it for a test drive

Look at the bookmark toolbar in Chrome. See the new button you created? Click it. If you followed the instructions correctly, clicking the button creates a new Gmail message without having to open Gmail.

Compose your message and send. Instead of seeing a screen filled with messages, all you see is your Gmail background.

You’ll likely want the new message to open in a new tab on Chrome instead of navigating away from the one currently active. Hold the Ctrl key (on Windows) or the Command key (Mac) while clicking the button to compose the new message. That little tip works when clicking anything in Chrome.

Eliminate resistance

Friction is a powerful force. It can slow a moving train. It’s also a force that prevents us from making progress on our tasks and projects. Being able to get in and out of email quickly is one way to reduce friction and eliminate the resistance to getting our work done.

So, the next time you need to fire out a message in Gmail, don’t let the email inbox vortex suck you in. Click one button and get going.

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 and 2020. Dr. Buck speaks throughout the United States and internationally about organization and time management. You can reach him through his website: Follow him on Twitter @DrFrankBuck.