Become a Gmail Power User 10 Minutes

1.  Learn The 5 Essential Keyboard Shortcuts

Locate the Gmail “Settings” section at the Top Right

Enable keyboard shortcuts in the Gmail Settings section

  • Tab+Enter – Send e-mail.
  • C” – Compose
  • E” – Archive message
  • “#” – Delete message (Shift+3)
  • SHIFT‘- Open email in a new window when combined with any other action.  (Shift+C will open a new compose message in a new window)
  • “?” Access the shortcuts cheat sheet (Shift + / )

2.  Explore Gmail Labs Features

Visit Settings > Labs to view the optional labs settings

Recommended Labs Features to Turn On:

  • Background Send – Helps avoid the 1-2 second delay each time you send an e-mail.
  • Undo-send – Gives you an extra 5 seconds to recall an e-mail if you hit send too quickly.
  • Signature Tweaks – Places your e-mail signature directly after your reply message, and removes the pesky “–” symbols.

3.  Understand the “Archive” Function

The “archive” button

  • In Gmail, you generally always “archive” instead of “delete”
  • When you “archive” something, you are simply removing it from the inbox.
  • You can always view your archived mail by either using the “search” or clicking “All Mail” on the left navigation

4.  Gmail Search is Crucial – Learn The 10 second rule

Why is Gmail better than Outlook, even on day one?  The search function is incredibly powerful, and saves time.

10 Second Rule: If you can’t find an e-mail after 10 seconds of browsing, search for it.

Search is not the slow, useless process you became accustomed to in Outlook.  In Gmail search, simply recall one unique keyword that might have been mentioned in an e-mail, and you instantly filter the number of e-mails you have to sift through to find your result.

Learn a few of the helpful shorthand codes you can enter in the search box to save time and narrow your results

 

 

  • from:
    • Narrow search to e-mails send from a specific e-mail address
  • to:
    • Narrow search to e-mails that has a specific e-mail address in the “TO” box
  • has:attachment
    • Includes only e-mails with an attachment
  • is:starred
    • Includes only starred e-mails (useful if you have certain emails you reference often)
  • in:sent
    • Equivalent of searching your sent mail folder.

5.  Inbox Zero

If you are properly using the “Archive” functionality, your ultimate goal is to get your inbox down to as few e-mails as possible
Have any other essential Gmail tips?

Sort Gmail By Attachment Size

gmail-size

Update 3/19/2013 

You can now actually run a search for attachments based on size!  Approved operators:

  • size:5m – Find emails with attachments of 5M
  • larger:5m – Find e-mails with attachments larger than 5M

Suggested query: larger:5m older_than:2y

^ Will find all e-mails larger than 5MB and older than 2 years.


gmailattach

Gmail inbox getting full?  Mine was too.  For some inexplicable reason, Google does not allow you to run a simple search of your inbox where you can sort by attachment size.  There are some options to get your Gmail account under control, most useful of which is searching for particular file types.   Run a search for the most commonly large file types, and optionally add a date modifier so you only look at mail older than a certain date.

Enter this into the search box:
filename:(mpg OR mpeg OR avi OR wmv OR zip OR bmp OR mp3 OR wma OR mov) before:2010/12/31

Note: Change the “before” date to whatever date you want.  It can even be today’s date.

I did not exclude JPG or JPEG because pictures are often a useful thing to save.  I still recommend going through each e-mail before doing a mass-delete with the above search query, but this will at least give you a useful workaround while Google works on a sortable attachment filter.

Google is well aware of the need for this feature, but feel free to cast your vote on their suggestion page, like I did.

gmailsize2
Make sure to vote for Google to add this as an official function.