These five methods let you utilize Gmail as a fairly full-featured and effective task management system.
Image: Andy Wolber/TechRepublic Google lets you track your own jobs in Google Tasks or track tasks with a group in Google Spaces. Either of those are solid services for lots of people or teams. For example, Gmail online provides an icon– a circle with a checkmark in it– that, when you select it, produces a brand-new Google Job with a link to the currently chosen e-mail. When you need a more robust set of functions, third-party tools such as Asana and Trello also integrate with Google Work space.
SEE: Function comparison: Time tracking software application and systems (TechRepublic Premium)
Nevertheless, if you’re one of those individuals who opens Gmail in a web browser tab when you begin work and merely leave it open all the time, you might be surprised to find out that Gmail itself can function as a practical task management tool. Gmail lets you track status, schedule products and group content much as you might with any conventional list. When utilized together, the following functions might just suggest you never require to leave your email to handle jobs again.
How to utilize Gmail for task management
Star any email that requires action
A Gmail star might serve to track active tasks: Star any email (Figure A) that requires action, then unstar each e-mail when you finish a job. Display all starred items to gain access to all incomplete tasks.
Star an e-mail in Gmail
to show that it needs action. Snooze an email till the date and time you intend to act on
it When you receive an e-mail that needs action you plan to take at a later time, you may pick snooze (Figure B), then select a date and time for the email to return to your inbox.
Snooze an e-mail in Gmail to arrange it to re-display in your inbox at a future date and time. What’s hot at TechRepublic The snooze e-mail feature acts much like a set up pointer in a task app, considering that Gmail triggers you to deal with the postponed e-mail at your selected time. A brief snooze period of a day or two lets you re-receive emails when you might have more time to deal with them, such as after a weekend, a conference, or a day or 2 of conferences. A long snooze duration of weeks or months might be better for significant actions that are needed, however by no ways immediate at present, such as evaluating options to a service or preparing a required report.
Set up an email with a task to yourself
An e-mail to yourself can be a fast method to protect an idea, a link or image for future reference or action. Nevertheless, if you access the Send menu and pick Schedule send (Figure C), you may select a future date and time to send your own note to yourself.
Select the menu from the right-portion of the Send button in an email compose window to access the Set up send choice in Gmail.
Much like the snooze feature, an arranged send can serve as a scheduled reminder of almost anything. Obviously, you can utilize scheduled send out to email other individuals too, which can be useful to ensure that people are prompted on a particular date and time to do something about it.
Use a label to group tasks by people or jobs
When you have any email open, you may select the label icon, a five-sided item that appears like a rectangular shape with two angled sides that come to a point on the right.
As soon as picked, inspect a box next to any existing label or include a new label. I suggest you consider labels associated with jobs, people or status. Considering that you may apply several labels to an email, you might potentially use three labels to an e-mail that indicate all 3.
For example, labels of “Backup data,” “Alice” and “Waiting on …” could allow you to retrieve a particular e-mail by any one of those labels (Figure D). This offers you a beneficial method to evaluate exceptional items– “Waiting on …””– associated to a person or project.
Gain access to all Gmail with a specific label. This enables you to recover groups of e-mail in a variety of methods.
Combined, labels and arranged e-mail emails can function much like set up reminders and category groupings in a conventional task management system.
Offer a coworker access to Gmail for assistance
If you have a relied on associate or assistant, you might choose to give them access to your Gmail account. This sort of shared gain access to not only allows them to read and reply to emails sent to you in your place but likewise lets them use the numerous techniques described above to help you remain on job. For example, with shared access to your email, an individual could snooze email or apply labels as suitable (Figure E).
You also may give access to your account to a trusted individual to collaborate to manage Gmail
. Ought to you choose to share gain access to, however, make sure you totally rely on the individual and talk about in detail exactly how the two of you will coordinate email and job management.
Note that this sort of shared gain access to is various than the kind of group access approved when you develop a Google Group to be used as a collaborative inbox. For details on that, see Process e-mail with aid: Inbox, collaborative inbox and delegation.
What’s your experience?
If you manage a great deal of jobs, many people will choose a devoted task app, but people who currently haphazardly handle tasks and use Gmail may gain from the strategies explained above. Even a periodic use of a few of these strategies can ensure that a task moves from need-to-remember to in-process to done.
Do you utilize any of the above strategies to manage tasks in Gmail? How frequently do you star, schedule or snooze e-mail products? To what extent do you leverage labels to help you discover and group e-mails in Gmail? Message or discuss me on Twitter (@awolber) to let me understand how you utilize Gmail to handle jobs.