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The Quickest Way To Boost Your Productivity With Desktop Gmail


Devin Bonin

Marketing Associate - 06 Jul, 2017


Raise your hand if you have ever felt that answering emails was a chore!  

Alright, alright...we can’t see you right now (that would be creepy), but we will assume that hand is up.  While email is an amazing tool, it can also be a pain in the you-know-what, especially when you’ve got them coming at you left, right and centre, and often from multiple accounts.  We’re here to help you increase your productivity. In this post, we’re taking a deep dive into ways you can take a load off with Shift and get more sh*t done on your desktop Gmail.

Create Canned Responses

Have you ever had to write tens or hundreds of emails, with almost the exact same response? Win back valuable time - and brain cells - with the Canned Responses feature, which allows you to create and save responses that you can quickly use.  This is great for answering generic emails or frequently asked questions. Since these are going out en-masse, make sure that you take the time to proof-read  before you send (and make sure to triple check the spelling on your recipient's name, above all else!).     

To Turn on Canned Responses:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Click Labs
  3. Find ‘Canned Responses’
  4. Select “Enable”

Use Coloured Labels

Quite often, we receive and dole out tasks via email.  With the help of labels, stop sweating about whether or not you missed something in your inbox. 

  1. From your inbox, create a new label and name it “To do.”
  2. Then, create three sub-labels.
  3. These should be nested under “To do” and named “Today,” “This week,” and “Later.”

Now, whenever you receive a new email, label it accordingly. Adding a colour code to your labels will allow you to prioritize at a glance.  

You can also use labels to assign emails to certain projects or teams to help organize your inbox.  

Keyboard Shortcuts

Using keyboard shortcuts can be way more time-effective than trying to navigate with the mouse.  This allows you to use keyboard keys to quickly activate Gmail functions.  

To enable keyboard shortcuts in Gmail:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Under General, find “Keyboard shortcuts”
  3. Click ‘Enable’

Here are some of our favorites at Shift:

                         Windows & Linux               Mac

Compose and Email c c
Reply to Email r r
Send Email Ctrl+Enter Cmd+Enter
Mark as Read Shift+i Shift+i
Mark as Unread Shift+u Shift+u

Enable ‘Undo Send’ Feature

We all have those scary moments where we realized that we misspelled someone's name or forgot to include information or even accidentally hit send mid-composition.  Instead of sending that awkward recovery email, just enable the undo-save feature.  This allows you to create a time buffer between clicking the send button and the email actually being sent. 

To set up Undo Send:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Scroll to find ‘Undo Send:’
  3. Click ‘Enable’
  4. Click dropdown menu to select cancellation period (choice of 5, 10, 20, and 30 seconds)

Toggle Easily Between Accounts

It is very common nowadays to have multiple email accounts, but it can be such a pain navigating between them.   Shift provides easy navigation of Gmail, Calendar, and Drive between all you email accounts without having to deal with that logging-in-logging-out nonsense.

The best part? You can try Shift for 30 days free! #GetShiftDone

Now, go be a productivity master!