An essential part of our everyday lives, be it for work emails, random messages from mailing lists we don’t ever recall subscribing to, or simply correspondence from others, is Gmail.
Not one day goes by in which we don’t check our Gmail. But did you know that there are many hidden hacks that you can utilise to take your Gmail experience to the next level?
Here we’ve compiled ten cool and useful Gmail hacks that you probably didn’t know of.
If you prefer to watch how the hacks work, here’s a video we’ve done for this topic (watch till the end for some cool hacks!):
If you’re constantly sending out loads of emails with essentially the same content, creating email templates will save you a ton of time and prevent you from collapsing into a downward spiral of endless frustration.
- Go to Settings > See all settings > Advanced
- Scroll down to the section labelled Templates
- Click the circle labelled Enable
Now that you’ve enabled templates, creating them is about as easy as can be.
- Click Compose, then write your email as usual, including the subject line
- Click the three dots at the bottom right-hand corner
- Click Templates, and finally Save draft as template
The next time you want to use a template you’ve prepared beforehand, simply begin a new email, click the three-dot menu > Templates, insert one of your templates and you’re good to go.
We’ve all had those moments where we’ve sent out an email and immediately wished we could take it back. Or perhaps after reading through a sent email, we uncover an embarrassing typo that makes us very nearly combust with shame.
Unlike messaging apps which often allow you to unsend a message immediately with just a couple of taps, unsending emails on Gmail requires toggling a certain feature beforehand.
Here’s how to enable the “Undo Send” feature:
- Click Settings > See all settings
- Check the box next to Undo Send
- Set a “Send cancellation” period
Once you’ve enabled this feature, you’ll be given the option to Undo or View Message after you send an email. Simply click Undo to unsend a message. Just make sure that you do it within the time limit you’ve set for yourself!
Schedule Emails In Advance
This is a convenient hack for when you wish to schedule certain emails for a later time and have them sent automatically.
Here’s how to do it:
- Write your email as usual
- Click on the arrow next to the Send icon
- Click Schedule send, and then proceed to choose a date and time, or set your own
Now, if you’re working at home, you can schedule 20 emails during office hours while you nap your entire day off.
Enable Keyboard Shortcuts
Another way to save valuable time is to enable keyboard shortcuts. This way, you can execute functions quickly and easily.
- Go to Settings
- Click Enable keyboard shortcuts under the Advanced tab
You can create keyboard shortcuts for just about anything: composing an email, reporting an email as spam, or even archiving emails.
Access Gmail Without Internet Connection
In the unfortunate (and highly unlikely) event that you happen to be stuck in the great outdoors without Wi-Fi and you have to check your email urgently, there’s a way to get around this.
Gmail Offline lets you access your emails without an internet connection, but you need to turn it on while you’re connected to the internet.
Here’s how to enable this offline feature:
- Go to Settings
- Under Settings, click on Offline
- Click Enable Offline Email
- Choose how many days you wish to sync, as well as whether to keep or remove cached email when you sign out of a Gmail account
- Click Save Changes
- Allow some time for Gmail to sync and download emails, and make sure you have Gmail open in Chrome before you go offline
And now you’re ready to hit the jungle without worrying about being unable to access your emails!
Enable Vacation Responder
If you’re going away on vacation (again, highly unlikely given that COVID-19 hasn’t concluded its world tour yet), you can set up a vacation responder to send automatic replies to people while you’re away.
- Go to Settings
- Click on the General tab
- Scroll down to the Vacation responder
- Type in your custom message
- Click Save
Now you can enjoy your vacation without worrying about your boss’ nagging (oops).
Set Up A Funky Theme
Who wants to face a bland inbox all day long? Spice up the outlook of your Gmail by choosing from a wide range of themes available in a few easy steps. You can even choose one of your own images.
- Go to the cog icon
- Click Themes
- Pick your theme and have fun with it!
Load Emails More Quickly
In the event that you need to check your email urgently but the internet gods simply aren’t complying with your wishes and it’s taking forever to load, here’s a clever little trick that will surely come in handy.
- Open Gmail
- Add this to the URL: “/?ui=html” without the quotes
Destroy Your Emails
Yes, you read that right. If you’re sending top-secret intelligence reports to the CIA in a covert operation or you simply need to destroy evidence for whatever shady reason, Gmail’s got you covered.
Gmail has created a self-destructing feature for emails. You can add a timer to your email and it will self-destruct after a certain period of time.
- Before you send out the email, click on the padlock icon near the Send button
- A new tab labelled Confidential mode will open
- Click on Set Expiration
- Adjust the settings to your preference
- Send the email
The recipient will receive the email with a notification that the email will not be available after the expiration date you have set.
Password Protect Your Emails
And finally, if you’re sending clandestine love letters to your beloved and you wish to make sure that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands, you can set a password to protect your emails for an added layer of security.
Simply use the same confidential mode in the earlier hack (Destroy Your Emails) and choose SMS passcode. Enter the recipient’s phone number.
Recipients will then receive a passcode via text message that will be used to unlock your email, ensuring that your email is read by your intended recipient only and no one else.
Do note that this is only available for certain countries, though.