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Nowadays some individuals can receive more than a hundred emails a day. Upon opening many prompt you to further actions such as “go to this website, watch this video or listen to this recording”.

And then there are the emails that you have to physically respond to. A single email can take up half an hour or more of your time. You can spend hours trying to keep on top of your inbox and just when you think you’ve conquered it, in pops another email.

It’s a situation that can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety. It leads to a significant loss of focus and concentration on other important daily tasks; a loss of productive time; a loss of income and even a loss of quality family time.

Its time to regain control of your inbox so you stop this virtual hemorrhage of time and boost productivity.

Among professionals, Google Mail or Gmail is rapidly becoming the preferred free email account system. One of the purposes for this is the efficiency of its spam filter. It ruthlessly extracts mail spam mail which you can then delete with the click of a button. Otherwise, spam mail is automatically deleted after 30 days.

Gmail also has a very efficient search function which makes it fast and easy to use keywords to search your email account for relevant email.

However, there are some other benefits to using Gmail, which can help to reduce the amount of time you spend processing email.

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Below are some methods that you may use the Gmail account to reduce the time you spend dealing with email:

1. Label Your Email

Gmail allows you to label your email. This helps to make emails coming from a particular individual or company stand out from your other email. Once you’ve created a label you can also search your emails using that label.

2. Color Code Your Emails

Taking the labeling of your email a step further, you can also color code the labels that you create. When choosing a color for a particular label, I recommend choosing a color that is normally associated with that individual’s website or even the person themselves. Colour-coding your emails make it easy for you to identify the emails that you want to read.

3. Filter Your Emails

There are some emails from some individuals or companies that you may want or need to read promptly. In contrast, there may be other emails that you can check on a weekly rather than on a daily basis. With the latter, you can create a filter so that these emails are immediately sent to your designated folder and archived rather than going directly to your inbox.

In addition to archiving emails you can use Gmail’s filtering system to:

~ Mark the email as read
~ Star it
~ Label it
~ Forward it to another account, or
~ Delete

You can also “whitelist” emails coming from certain accounts so that they are never sent to spam.

When setting up your email filter, you can search for all email that meets the filtering criteria you’ve set up, e.g.

~ From
~ To
~ Subject
~ Has the words
~ Doesn’t have
~ Attachment

You can then apply the filter to all of the emails that meet these criteria. If you wanted, you could then even archive all these emails just by pressing a button which is another advantage of the Gmail system – it allows you to use a wide range of shortcuts.

True, you have to spend some time learning the shortcuts but once you do you’ll find that you can significantly reduce the time you spend processing email and dramatically boost your productivity.

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