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11 Gmail tips and tricks to make your life easier

Before you get started, make sure you're using the latest version of Gmail: Look for Gmail in the Play Store, and if there is an Update button, tap it. Let's say you already have your email account (s) set up and working, and you already know that you can add the same non-Google email accounts to the app.

Use gestures to organize messages

If you get a lot of emails, you've probably noticed that in many cases just read the subject to know what you need to do with the message. To quickly handle all incoming mail flow, you can assign actions by sliding your finger over a message, which means you don't have to open it to archive or delete it.

Gmail Slide Composite
You can customize what happens by swiping left or right over a message / AndroidPIT

Gmail has recently expanded its swipe actions to include a wider range of actions, including Archive, Delete, Mark Unread, Move To, and Snooze. To assign a swipe action, open the Gmail app and click Settings> General Settings> Swipe Actions.

Handle messages as they arrive

Now that you know you can quickly handle a message stack using gestures, you'll enjoy a really useful Gmail for Android option that lets you view the contents of multiple inboxes at once.

The option called "All Inboxes" is in the left pane of the screen (slide your finger from the left edge to the center of the screen, or tap the three lines icon in the upper left corner to access it). Tap it to see a list of all messages in the inboxes of all configured accounts, in chronological order, regardless of the address to which they were sent.

Gmail All Composite
You can view messages from multiple accounts in an "inbox" s / AndroidPIT

For anyone who needs to keep multiple inboxes organized by quickly handling incoming email, this is an essential feature. But things can get a little confusing if you have about five or more addresses configured.

Mass Operations

If dealing with messages as they arrive seems like too much hard work, you are probably the kind of person who ignores the inbox until it can no longer be ignored. This usually means that you are accumulating a huge stack of messages that you eventually have to deal with one by one. Or no.

Instead, simply open the inbox or folder you want to organize and hold your finger on an item. It will be marked with a blue circle and a white bow. Now you can select as many messages as you like, just touch and hold your finger on them.

Gmail Multiple
Touch and hold to select multiple messages at once / AndroidPIT

Once you have all the messages selected, you can move them, label them, mark them as important (or not), delete them, archive them, or mark them as unread or spam all at once. . You can also click the circular icon next to each email to select a message instead of holding your finger on it.

Use widgets to open the path to a zero inbox

Not everyone likes widgets, but Gmail ones can save you time. And for us, anything that saves you from opening the inbox once is even welcome.

Gmail currently has two widget options available: a list of messages received on the account and label of your choice, or the ability to add a home screen shortcut to directly access an account or inbox when you tap it.

Gmail Widgets Composite
Use widgets to get quick access to posts / AndroidPIT

To add a Gmail widget tap and hold an empty space on one of your home screens and choose the Widgets option. Scroll through the list of widgets until you find the ones in Gmail. Touch and hold your finger on one and drag it to a space on the home screen. When you release the widget, you will be prompted to choose the account and inbox that the widget displays.

If you want to resize the widget, tap and hold your finger on it and drag any of the wings around it.

Save space

Email attachments can take up a surprising amount of space over time. So one way of not overloading your smartphone is to make sure you don't keep many of the messages on your device.

Gmail Sync Composite
In sync options, decrease the number of days messages are stored to save space / AndroidPIT

Open the app settings and touch one of the email addresses listed. Scroll down and make sure Sync Gmail is enabled. Below, under Email Days to Sync, you can configure how many days messages will be cached on your smartphone and which labels will be included.

Search like a pro

The search function within the app sounds simple, but don't let appearances fool you because it's almost as capable as the web. For example, type "older_than: 1y" or "older_than: 1d" in the search box to find messages older than a year or day in your Gmail.

Gmail Search
Use search operators to find the exact message you are looking for / AndroidPIT

Google provides a very useful list of search operators, and almost all of them work in the Gmail app. "Is: important" can display all priority messages, while the "is: starred" operator allows you to quickly jump to messages that have been starred for more attention. You can also chain more specific operators to find messages from Several people.

Silence conversations

When you're on the go, you want to make sure that only the most important messages appear in Gmail. The Android app, like Gmail on the web, includes a feature so that all new messages that arrive in silenced threads are automatically archived so you don't see them, although they are still marked Unread if you want come back to them later.

Gmail Ignore
Ignore irrelevant conversations to focus on the ones that really matter / AndroidPIT

To do this in the Gmail Android app, open a conversation and tap the More menu (the three vertical dots in the upper right corner), then select Ignore. You can always retrieve the conversation from the file using a search filter or bookmark if you need to find it again.

The auto-avia your friend

Automatic forwarding is a really useful feature if you need to work with a sequence of multiple emails at once, as it prevents you from having to go back to your inbox every time you archive or delete a discussion. Instead, after you finish an email it automatically takes you to the next in line.

Gmail Advance Composite
Use auto-forward to make message sorting easier / AndroidPIT

To turn it on, open the Gmail app and tap Settings> General Settings. Select Auto-forward and choose whether you want to skip to a newer message (Next), an older message (Previous), or back to the conversation list whenever you delete or archive.

Make your messages more attractive

Brevity is the main thing in mobile email, but that doesn't mean all your messages need to be sent without any formatting. There are times when an italicized, bold or highlighted excerpt can be essential to reinforce information.

To access formatting options, tap and hold a word and the Format option appears. Tap it and you will have a few different options at the bottom of the screen.

Gmail Format Composite
A little formatting can help you reinforce a point in the message / AndroidPIT

They are pretty basic – bold, italic, underline, text and background color – but if you just want to brush up the look of an email, this is a quick way to do it without using the desktop version. The left 'X' option in formatting options, which looks like a cropped T, removes the formatting from any word you have selected.

Avoid accidentally sending or deleting messages

Occasionally you may make an embarrassing typo, forget about an attachment, or enter the wrong recipient. Taking a moment to check things out before actually sending or deleting a message can save us from being embarrassed on many occasions. To have this moment of reflection, go to Setup / General Settings and enable Confirm before deleting, Confirm before archiving, and Confirm before sending.

Gmail Confirm Composite
Activate verification to never send or delete a message by accident / AndroidPIT

Cancel this email, quick!

One of the finer features of late Inbox has finally come to GMail: the ability to unsubscribe from a message. If you feel that cold on your spine immediately after clicking Submit, take a look at the Gmail screen or page footer: for a few seconds you will see an option to unsubmit. This works both via browser and in the Android app.

Gmail Undo
After sending a message, you have a few seconds to click "undo" and cancel sending / AndroidPIT

Do you have any other tips for Gmail on Android? Share your knowledge in the comments below.

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