Our next step is Gmail. If you read along in The Secret Weapon Manifesto you noticed it’s not all about Evernote. Your email is a huge source of clutter and information. We’re going to tackle that today.
The first step, setting up Gmail. Hop into your settings and click on the Labs tab. If you’ve never explored Google Labs then this is a good opportunity because you may find some really useful things. The Lab we’ll use primarily is Multiple Inboxes. Make sure that one is enabled, along with any of the other Labs you may want.
You’ll see a new tab in your Settings now for Multiple Inboxes. If you don’t then refresh your connection and check your settings again. We’ll set up 4 panes in here (0-3) for our different sections. Below is a list for each pane organized by number – search query – title
0 – has:yellow-star OR has:red-bang – Action Items
1 – has:purple-question – Waiting Items
2 – has:purple-star – Read/Review Items
3 – has:orange-guillemet – Sticky Items
Now, we’ve broken proper sequence a little by setting up search queries for stars that we don’t use. Save those changes and hop over to the General tab in your Settings. Scroll down until you see the “Stars” section. Select the yellow star, red exclamation point, purple question mark, purple star, and orange guillemet (the two greater than signs). You’ll see that these line up with the search queries above. Always feel free to change them to what you’d like, just make sure your queries line up with the used stars.
For the philosophy; archive everything. Your task now is to zero out your inbox. Start taking the important things and putting them directly into your Evernote. Don’t waste time starring things that you’ll put in there. As you go archive EVERYTHING. This doesn’t delete it, it instead takes it out of your inbox and stores it for searching. Because of that we have enabled ourselves to only see what’s important. When you run into emails you can’t put into Evernote or delete, star them properly and recognize that you now have actions required of you.
Now that we have everything all set up there’s a few things that I’ve incorporated outside of what The Secret Weapon goes over. I’ve found the Mark as Read, Canned Responses, Calender Gadget, and Custom Keyboard shortcuts to be useful. Mostly in that order too.
Finally, IFTTT has helped me tie all of this together. We’ll get into that next post. What sweet Gmail tricks do you have up your sleeve?