Today’s post was written by Canela Lopez, a Tulane University student who also happens to be MyCase’s summer intern. Read on to learn how to organize your Gmail inbox:
Being a lawyer in the digital age means staying on top of an ocean of new trends and, as we mentioned in “Start The New Year With 4 Time-Saving Tips For Busy Lawyers,” streamlining your email is one the most important things you can do to keep afloat.
Chances are you receive tens to hundreds of emails everyday, wreaking havoc on your inbox. Managing those emails can be a difficult, time consuming task if you don’t use the right tools. Maintaining email inboxes used to be as simple as deleting a few pieces of spam mail and making sure all client emails were read and attended to. But over time, spam mail increased, your client base expanded, and the number of important documents received via the digital pipeline skyrocketed.
Fortunately, struggling with Gmail organization is a common issue – and with high demands for a quick fix comes a vast supply of solutions. To help you in your quest for Gmail bliss, here are our top five tips to streamline your inbox.
1) Juggle multiple Gmail accounts – Checker Plus for Gmail
For many lawyers, having compartmentalized email accounts can be a both blessing and a curse. While maintaining multiple email accounts makes it easier to sort evites to family barbeques from serious inquiries from prospective clients, maintaining and checking on multiple email accounts on a daily basis can also complicate your busy workday. That’s why one of the biggest issues often encountered with inbox organization is managing multiple email accounts.
Some lawyers may opt to use a separate service altogether to communicate with clients, like MyCase’s secure online communication portal, but for those who choose to stick with Gmail accounts, Google Chrome’s Checker Plus for Gmail is a great way to manage multiple Gmail accounts. Benefits includes its color coding, easy access drop down menu, and overall user friendliness.
Downloading it is as simple as installing a new Chrome Plugin and because it’s a Plugin, it makes your emails accessible in a convenient drop-down menu that is always visible in your Chrome browser. Checker Plus also includes a feature that color codes each of your Gmail accounts, making it easy for you to distinguish emails from each account as they appear in your drop down menu.
Click here for a more detailed explanation on how to download, install and use Checker Plus for Gmail.
2) Manage email even when offline – Gmail Offline
Wireless Internet access has become a necessity for the modern professional and without it, our digital devices become useless hunks of metal and plastic. Long flights with no available Wi-Fi and thick courthouse walls that block internet connections are examples of the many obstacles that prevent you from responding to emails and properly managing client matters.
Luckily, Google offers a Plugin that allows you to access and respond to emails offline. Gmail Offline allows you to turn what would have been wasted time into productive time. Emails written while offline are conveniently stored in your “Outbox” and are sent as soon as your Internet connection is restored.
No more worrying about remembering to send emails that you’ve drafted once you’ve re-connected to Wi-Fi. With Gmail Offline that problem is solved!
3) Temporarily archive emails for later review – Gmail Snooze
Sometimes, it can feel like the emails never stop coming and staying on top of new emails can be overwhelming. To complicate matters further, some emails require immediate action, while others may not require a response until a later point in time.
One way to manage the constant influx of emails while keeping your inbox clear and uncluttered is to use an app like Gmail Snooze. With Snooze you can temporarily archive your emails for days at a time according to the timeframe you set for each email. Simply assign the email a label and determine how long you would like to archive it. Once that timeframe expires, the email “magically” reappears in your inbox.
4) Maintaining order in your inbox – Sortd
Of course, no conversation about inbox organization is complete without directly addressing the beast itself. Our inboxes can be a scary place, filled with spam trolls, disorganization demons, and monstrous amounts of email.
Although having separate email accounts for different purposes and staying on top of email as it comes in can help reduce the chaos, nothing compares to having an organization system built right into your inbox.
Enter Sortd Smart Skin for Chrome. Sortd is a PlugIn for Google Chrome that acts as an organizing “skin” for your Gmail. This “skin” creates different “to do” lists and then re-names and sorts your emails into them so that you can keep track of and prioritize different tasks.
For instance, what if you receive an email regarding an upcoming hearing but don’t have time to read it? No problem. Just sort it into your “To Do” list for later. You can even create to do lists for different trials and deadlines so you’ll know exactly when you’ll need to respond. And you can always toggle back to view your email in regular Gmail mode and then pull up the list later, when you need it.
Although we mentioned it in an earlier blog post, we cannot emphasize enough how amazing this little Plugin is. You can find a more in depth tutorial on Sortd here.
While there are a plethora of methods out there to help tame your wild inbox, these are four of the most highly recommended. Happy downloading and good luck!