5 Gmail Hacks for Simple and Stress-Free Email Management

Transform your email game with simple tweaks to your Gmail settings.

Gmail has over 1.5 billion users worldwide as of 2023, with each user spending an average of 28 minutes daily. Yet, few of us can confidently say that we know how to use the platform effectively. 

While we understand the benefits of mastering digital communication in our hyper-connected world, we often fail to put the effort in the right direction. A clean inbox and a streamlined email experience not only boost productivity but can also streamline daily tasks. 

Whether you’re overwhelmed by an avalanche of emails or just seeking a more efficient inbox, these Gmail hacks will transform the way you manage your emails for the better. 

1. Get rid of promotional emails

Is your inbox overflowing with promotional emails, newsletters and subscription updates? It’s tough to spot the important messages amid the chaos. Regularly decluttering your inbox is essential, but manually sifting through and deleting each unimportant email can be tedious.

The hack: Use the “unsubscribe” feature.

Here’s how you can clean up your inbox: 

1. Open your Gmail and click on the “Promotions” tab. If you don’t have this tab, you can use the “create filter” feature for different categories like spam, sent, social, forum, updates, starred, etc. 

2. Select the checkbox at the top to highlight all emails on the current page. 

3. For a complete sweep, click the “Select all conversations in Promotions” checkbox. 

4. Hit the trash icon to delete them. 

5. To prevent future clutter, use Gmail’s filter feature by clicking the search bar, entering “unsubscribe” and selecting “Create filter” in the Advanced Search box.

6. Select “Delete it” and “Create filter” to automatically discard similar emails in the future. 

With these steps, your inbox will stay neat and stress-free. 

2. Use the snooze function

Ever thought, “Oh, I’ll look at this email later”, only to forget about it completely? Sometimes,  the influx of emails can be overwhelming, especially when you’re short on time.

The hack: Use the “snooze” function.

Here’s how you can use it:

1. Open Gmail in your browser

2. Select an email conversation.

3. Click the “Snooze” button (the clock icon) at the top of the email chain.

4. Choose a time when you want the thread to reappear in your inbox.

The emails in the conversation would vanish from your inbox until the specified time and date.

3. Send time-sensitive email

You might not be James Bond, but some work emails might make you feel like the ace secret agent. With Gmail, you can set an expiration date for your email or revoke access at any time. Plus, you can restrict recipients from forwarding, copying or downloading the email, adding an extra level of security and control, particularly for confidential or time-sensitive content.

The hack: Use the “lock” icon for emails containing secure and time-sensitive information. 

Here’s how you can secure your emails: 

1. Open Gmail and click “Compose”. 

2. Enter recipient, subject and content. 

3. Next to the “Send” button at the bottom, click on the lock icon, aka the confidential mode. 

4. Set an expiration date and passcode for the recipient to open it.

5. Hit the “Send” button.

4. Prepare a template for similar emails

If you are tired of typing the same replies repeatedly, you can use Gmail’s “Canned Responses” feature. This is especially handy for handling repetitive inquiries, standard acknowledgments or frequently asked questions, saving you a lot of time.

The hack: Use templates!

Here’s how you can set it up: 

1. Go to “See all Settings”. 

2. Click on the “Advanced” option. 

3. Enable the “Templates” option, as shown below. 

4. Go back to “Compose” and draft the content of your template email. 

5. Click on the three dots and select the “Save draft as template” option.

Next time you receive an email requiring a standard response, all you need to do is use the saved template.

5. Assign different stars to unique email categories

Gmail’s starred email system is more versatile than it appears. These stars help you to label emails, keeping your inbox clean by categorizing them into priority lists, such as urgent, follow-up needed or personal. Want to customize further?

The hack: Assign different types of “stars”.

Here’s how you can customize your stars:

1. Click the cog icon on the top right side of your inbox and select “See All Settings”.

2. In the “General tab”, scroll to the “Stars” section.

3. You’ll see 12 types of colorful stars and symbols. Drag the icons from “Not in use” to “In use” to activate them in Gmail.

4. Once activated, return to your inbox to use the new stars.

Besides stars, you can also use the “labels” feature to categorize emails


Navigating your Gmail inbox should be straightforward, given its crucial role in your professional life. Effective emailing goes far beyond just sending and receiving messages—it’s about optimizing your workflow and taking control of your inbox. By using these five Gmail hacks, you can transform your email experience into a seamless and efficient process. 

Next time you’re in Gmail settings, take a moment to explore other options too. If you look closely, you are sure to find many more useful hacks that can enhance your emailing efficiency.

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