This blog post is going to take a slightly different angle. Instead of looking at tech tools you can use with your students, we’re going to talk about the tech many of us use every day: Gmail! While email is a fantastic innovation, for many people it’s also more time-consuming than we would like. So I’m going to share three Gmail tips you can use to streamline your email usage.
A few years ago, Gmail added the ability for users to schedule emails directly from within the platform. You can prepare the email when it’s convenient for you, and choose when you would like it to be sent. This is incredibly helpful, yet surprisingly underutilized! No more dealing with your school email over the weekend. Simply prepare the email on Friday, and schedule it to be sent at the appropriate time. This is a great way to send reminders about events and due dates. I can schedule the email to be sent the night before or morning of the event. I can even schedule multiple reminders for the same event if needed. You can prepare multiple emails in one sitting, which is a proven tactic for productivity. To schedule an email, click on the arrow to the right of the send button. This will give you three pre-made options, or you can choose a custom date and time in the future.
Snooze Incoming Emails
Just as you can schedule emails to leave your mailbox, you can also snooze incoming messages to return to your inbox at a certain date and time. This is especially helpful when you receive an email for something in the future that you don’t want to forget about. Simply snooze the email and have it returned to the top of your inbox closer to that date. I will also often snooze emails that come in at the end of the day on Friday if they don’t need to be handled right away. By snoozing them until Monday morning, I’m not tempted to deal with it over the weekend. To snooze an email, select it and click on the snooze icon (it looks like a clock) at the top of the page. You’ll be able to choose when it returns to your inbox. You can hover your mouse over the email in your inbox and the snooze icon will appear on the right side of the screen. To find snoozed messages, look at the menu on the left. There is a Snoozed folder directly under your inbox.
Create Email Templates
Finally, did you know you can create templates in Gmail? Are there responses you send repeatedly to parents, maybe information about an upcoming event, or behavior and attendance reports? You can create a template in Gmail and activate it with only a few clicks. This is a huge timesaver! To create a template, first, make sure you have templates enabled. To do this, go into the Settings menu (the gear icon on the right of your screen) and select See All Settings. Navigate to the Advanced page and click to Enable Templates. You will need to save your changes at the bottom of the screen. Next, go back to your inbox and compose a new message. Include all the information you want in your template. Then, click on the three dots on the right side, scroll to Templates, and choose Save Draft as Template. You’ll give the template a name and be able to save it. When you’re ready to use a template, compose a new message, go back to that three dot menu, and select the desired template. It’s that easy!
Hopefully, these Gmail tips will help you save time and maximize the Gmail experience. If you have some additional time, be sure to check out the additional Gmail settings by clicking the gear on the upper right corner. From the first panel, you’ll be able to select a theme and customize what your inbox looks like. By selecting See All Settings, you’ll be able to make some additional customizations to your account, including a signature, out of office response, and the undo send features. Enjoy!