Try These Nifty Gmail Tips

Category: Email

I’ve been using Gmail since it first came out back in 2004. I love the convenience of web-based email, which allows me to send and receive email from any computer or mobile phone with an internet connection. And recently I found two Gmail extensions that make my life a little easier, and boost my daily productivity as well. Are you curious? Read on to see what they are...

Simple Gmail Notes: Annotate Your Inbox

I tend to use my Gmail inbox as a to-do list, but sometimes the subject line of an email isn’t enough to jog my memory, and I find myself reopening messages to see what’s inside. What I needed was a way to add a note to each item in the inbox, so I could quickly scan the list of emails without opening each one over and over.

I’ve recently discovered a handy tool that does just that: Simple Gmail Notes from Bart Solutions is a browser add-on for Chrome, Firefox and Edge that lets you add colorful notes to individual Gmail conversations. The notes appear on your inbox screen right next to the Subject of the message.

So now I can tag messages with a quick notes like “Meeting Tuesday 7pm” or “Call Bill tomorrow”. These notes help to keep me organized, without having to constantly re-open and re-read email messages. After installing the Simple Gmail Notes extension, just click to open a message, and a text box appears for you to type the note. When you return to the inbox view, the note will appear. The image below shows how it looks in action.

Two Gmail Tips

The first time you use Simple Gmail Notes, it will prompt you to connect your Google Drive, so your notes can be stored there. I like this because it keeps your notes under your control, instead of on a remote server owned by a third party. None of your emails or your added notes are accessible by the developer of the extension.

There are quite a few customization options for Simple Gmail Notes. You can change the color of the notes, and the length or height of the note text that appears on the Subject line. If you don’t like seeing the Notes box at the top of the screen when you open an email, you can move it to the sidebar, or (my preference) the bottom of the screen.

Two Gmail Tips

There are buttons to search your notes, add to your Google calendar, or delete a note. To learn more, see the detailed and illustrated instructions for using the extension. I like Simple Gmail Notes because it lives up to its name. It’s simple to use, it’s private, and free. Give it a try and see if it improves your Gmail experience.

Hit The Snooze Button!

The other Gmail feature that I really like is the Snooze button. Sometimes you get an email that doesn’t require attention right away, but you don’t want it cluttering up your inbox. Gmail lets you temporarily remove a message from your inbox until you want to see it again. Your snoozed emails will reappear at the top of your inbox at the time or day you specify.

Gmail snooze button

To snooze an email from Gmail on the desktop, you have several options. The easiest is to right-click a message from the Inbox view and select the Snooze option. If the message is already open, select the Snooze icon near the top of the screen. To snooze multiple messages, first select the messages by checking the boxes next to them. Then click the Snooze icon near the top of the screen. On your Android, iPhone or tablet, open an email, and at the top right, tap More (the icon with three dots) then tap Snooze.

You can choose an option such as Later Today, Tomorrow, This Weekend, Next Week, or specify a date and time of your choosing. When the prescribed time rolls around, the snoozed message will show up at the top of your inbox. To find snoozed emails, click the Menu button at the top left of the Gmail window, and select Snoozed.

And of course, you can add a note to an email with Simple Gmail Notes, and then snooze it! When the email reappears with that note to “Buy a birthday card for Mom” you’ll be glad you did both.

Have you tried Simple Gmail Notes or the Gmail snooze button?

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Most recent comments on "Try These Nifty Gmail Tips"

Posted by:

16 Sep 2020

From what you've described it sounds like you could use the Snooze function as a to-do list and not use Simple Gmail Notes at all.

Posted by:

Ken H
16 Sep 2020

i haven't used Simple Notes yet, but I did download the Chrome version and can attest it works on my preferred browser Vivaldi

Posted by:

16 Sep 2020

Not very intuitive 'detailed and illustrative instructions'! I couldn't get the note to be at the front of the line like in the illustration. Is that because I have a reading pane? Also, how do you 'close or save' the note and go on to the next email?

Posted by:

16 Sep 2020

I use the snooze a lot. I'm glad to hear about the Simple Notes extension. It sounds very handy and I'm going to download it today.
Thanks for the info!

Posted by:

16 Sep 2020

Simple Gmail Notes sounds good. But what I really long for is a way to add notes to emails I receive, similar to adding marginal comments to a Word document. Anyone know of a way to do that?

Posted by:

18 Sep 2020

@gtodon (as in pontiac?),
Microsoft Office Outlook provides settings for being able to "Categorize" emails and also allows "Follow-ups" and being able to 'Add Reminders' individually.
Some web-based email clients allow for modifying/revising the "Subject" line.
Most email agents (desktop, web-based, phone or app) would readily allow you to send "back" the email to your own inbox with added "notes" and/or changes to the 'Subject' line.

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