Email/Gmail Optimization

Let the Work email/Gmail work for you, not work you out. See the different tips and tricks to help you manage your Mailbox.

Reading Email

One of the major differences between Google Workspace and Outlook is the way they each list your email messages. Outlook lists incoming emails individually, regardless if it's a new message or a response to a prior email message. (Note: Outlook now allows you to turn on Conversation Email; however, the formatting is different. Learn more here). Google Workspace Mail helps you manage messages more efficiently by listing groups of emails, called conversations.

Conversations are a collection of messages with the same subject line. When you click to read a conversation, you'll see all of the back-and-forth email responses that happen over the course of a single email conversation, along with pictures of the sender. (If the sender does not have a profile picture, an icon will appear instead).

Lengthy email exchanges are simplified by keeping everything together -- no more hunting around to find bits and pieces of the same conversation!

Besides keeping your Inbox less cluttered and more organized, conversations also allow you to manage messages as a group. Any action you take on a conversation will affect all its contents. You can archive, delete, move, and label entire conversations with a few clicks.

Organization At Its Best: Labels, Filters, and Search

Three Gmail features make organizing and finding mail in your account easy: Labels, Filters, and Search. Together, these features will allow you to categorize, search, and automatically process your mail in powerful ways. By reducing the time and energy spent organizing your mail, you can get back to more productive activities.


While you won't find folders in Gmail, you can use labels to organize email messages. Because multiple labels can be applied to the same conversation, you have the flexibility to manage conversations that may fall under more than one category.

By clicking on a label, you can view a chronological list of all conversations that have been tagged with that particular label. Unlike folders, messages with multiple labels will display on each label.

You may want to move the Chat, Meet, and Rooms to the Right Side of the inbox for better viewing of all Labels a user creates.


To get started with filters, click Settings > See all Settings in your account and select the Filters and Blocked Addresses tab. Choosing to Create a new filter lets you specify what messages you want to filter and test how the filter will work.

Create filters that automatically label, archive, delete, and forward messages and let Gmail do the work for you. You can control which actions are taken based on the message subject, who sent the message, what text is included, whether it has an attachment, etc.


Not sure if the message you're looking for is covered by your labels and filters? Not to worry, searching in Gmail is the best way to find messages. Try it and you'll find the same attributes that Google is known for laser accuracy and blazing speed.

Start at the search bar at the top of the page and type whatever you remember from the message (e.g. text from the subject or message body, the recipient, etc.). You can also refine your query by using search operators or the advanced search option to hone in on messages with specific senders, recipients, subjects, labels, attachments, or date ranges.

Keyboard shortcuts

As with Outlook, Gmail provides keyboard shortcuts to efficiently navigate and take swift action on your email. To bring up a full menu of keyboard shortcuts, press Shift + ? when viewing your email.


You can set a default signature that will be applied to all sent messages. To set up your signature, visit the Signature Setting under the General tab. Click Create New to give the signature a name; this name is not your actual signature but is a name for the signature template.

As a user that wears many hats within your organization, Google Workspace enables you to have multiple signatures.

Undo Send

Gmail allows you to undo actions that you take on your messages. For example, if you moved your message to the wrong folder, press the Z key to undo the action or click Undo in the yellow bar that will appear at the top of the page. While typing or editing a message, you can also press Ctrl + Z to undo your last action.

If you tend to send emails too hastily, enable the Undo Send tab. After initially sending your message, you'll have a couple of seconds to reconsider and undo sending the email message. By default, the Undo Send cancellation period is 5 seconds but as a user, you can extend the cancellation period to a maximum of 30 seconds.

Starred items

In Gmail, you can mark priority messages just as you can add a red flag in Outlook. Simply click the star icon (next to the sender's name) to mark the message as starred (click it again to remove the star). To see all the messages that you've starred, click the Starred link on the left side of your account.

You can enhance the starring feature by adding more Star types and Colors in your account settings. This feature allows you to use different types and colors of stars by toggling through a handful of icons, giving you another way to prioritize and flag your email.

New Email notification

You can get email notifications on Google Chrome, Firefox, or Safari when you're signed in to Gmail and have it open in your browser. To have email notifications pop up in the corner of your screen when you receive a new message turn on Desktop notifications by scrolling down to the "Desktop notifications" section under the General tab in Gmail Settings.

Out of Office Responder/ Vacation Responder

When you're away from your email, set up an automatic reply for your incoming messages. In the Vacation responder section of your General tab the Gmail settings, enter a message, and turn the auto-response on or off as needed. If you don't want people who are contacting you for the first time to receive your auto-response, select Only send to people in my Contacts.

To preset your vacation responder during a specific time range, you can enable the Vacation Time! tab -- this feature lets you assign a start and end date for your auto-response.

Spell Check

With Gmail, there are two ways to make sure nothing is misspelled:

  • Use the Check Spelling feature, which checks your spelling as you enter your text. A blue line appears under incorrect grammar. While a red line appears under misspelled words. You might notice some errors getting autocorrected.

  • Use a browser with an automatic spell checker (Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome), and misspelled words will be automatically underlined in red.

Are you sending a message in a different language? Check those messages too by clicking the black arrow next to the Check Spelling feature and selecting one of Gmail's 36 language dictionaries.

Additional Features

Gmail for your Google Workspace account offers advanced features to help you customize your Inbox to make it work for you. In addition to some of the features already mentioned, there are a number of additional options, including offline access to Mail, custom label colors, adding pictures to chat, custom keyboard shortcuts, templates, sending an email in confidentiality mode, and delegated access to your Gmail account.

To enable some of the advanced features, click Settings then See all Settings, then select the Advanced tab at the top right of your page to see a list of the available options. If you do not see the Advanced tab or are not able to enable some of the features in your account, contact your domain administrator for additional information.

Keep in mind that Google Workspace Mail/Gmail is a web application, which means that features can be updated and added without the trouble of downloading or installing updates. Because of this, Google Workspace mail will continually add new functionality to help you be even more productive. To stay updated on new releases and changes to your Mail, check-in on the Google Workspace Updates Blog.