As a Virtual Assistant, I live in email. Gmail, to be exact. Interestingly, some people LOVE it and some people HATE it.
I confess that the first time I tried Gmail I couldn’t stand it either. But about 7 years ago, after being frustrated by Outlook’s inability to sync with my iPhone, a friend twisted my arm and I decided to give Gmail another try.
Here are two settings I changed when I started to use Gmail that have made it great:
1. Turn off “conversation view.” Conversation view threads emails with the same subject line together. The idea is that it lets you follow the back and forth of a “conversation” in one place.
But most people find this confusing: Real conversations happen sequentially; it makes more sense if your email sticks to the same pattern.
To turn it off, choose the Gear icon and then select settings.
Look for conversation view:
And choose “Conversation view off”. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click Save Changes.
Now, your emails will now be stacked in your inbox as you receive them, just like every other email program you’ve probably been using.
2. Enable preview pane. The Default for Gmail is to list emails in the inbox one on top of the other with no way to see the contents of the email unless you open them.
I prefer to be able to see both the list of emails and the contents of my emails at the same time (like Apple Mail and Outlook). To do this and have your inbox look like this, you need to enable preview pane.
Here’s how: go back to settings by clicking the Gear icon and choose settings. Along the top you’ll see many choices – choose Labs.
You’ll be prompted to search for a lab at the top:
Type in Preview Pane and then choose Enable it when it appears on your screen.
Return to your inbox and look for this drop-down:
And choose your preference – either Vertical Split or Horizontal Split.
With these two adjustments you can have the best of both worlds – a set up that is familiar to you, while taking advantage of Google’s amazing ability to sync with almost any device and its powerful search engine capability right inside your email inbox!