Gmail | Week of Saturdays

Gmail or Mail

Gmail is one of the best email clients you can choose because of all the collaborative benefits that come with it - Google Drive, Calendar, Docs, etc.

Gmail

Some may say Gmail is the next best thing since sliced bread. This email app that saves you time, keeps your messages safe and helps organize your life. Gmail offers the push notification which means you may read and respond to your messages instantly.

With Gmail’s Hangouts, Freelancers and other users, of course, get to enjoy features that make running a business easier. You may host video calls with up to 15 people, straight from their inbox.  Gmail is accessible via all android mobile device or iPhone/iPad, or via a native mobile web app.

I’m a freelance worker, how can Gmail help me?

1. Shortcuts available

Not many are aware of or even use this function, but Gmail offers shortcuts which include things like simply pressing “r” for a reply, “f” for forward and many more. This might not seem like it’s worth the bother, but think about how shortcuts like “ctrl+c” make your life so much easier, Gmail does the same thing too, you just have to get used to it for a couple of days.

2. Utilize advanced search

Sometimes, you may spend minutes or hours even searching for a particular email you need to refer to. Well, thank goodness for Google’s advanced search feature. You can search by subject, sender, keywords, date, even the size of the mail. If your inbox is filled with tons of emails like mine, then this search option must be a huge blessing.

3. Create multiple inboxes

Google’s mail client has the option to sort your emails in many ways. One which any freelancer would find beneficial is the multiple inboxes feature. You can have separate inboxes for every client (Client G, Client P, etc.) of different importance (Urgent, Important, others), emails that you need to look up often (To check) or anything else that makes sense for you (Reply needed, To-Do, Important).

4. Use Canned Replies

These replies provide a template of answers for some of your most common emails including welcome messages, answering common questions, sending out quotes etc. Awesome right? Plus it saves you a lot of time responding to emails.

6. Schedule Emails

As an African freelancer, you may work in a different time zone from that of a client and you work any hours of the day. If a client receives a response from you in the middle of the night at their time zone, this may be deemed as inappropriate or provide an avenue for clients to reach out to you at odd hours. That would be a tragic development.

To avoid this, you may schedule your emails to be sent during your working hours, even if you respond to them in the middle of the night and create the impression you have set work hours.

7. Enabling “Undo Send”

Yes, we all need this feature. There are so many instances you send an email and suddenly remember you forgot to add an attachment, a recipient, forgot to spellcheck etc. Well undoing an email you’ve just sent takes care of all these issues and saves you from looking bad to clients.

Pros

  • An organized inbox – Your emails are sorted into categories Primary, Social, Promotion, and Updates.
  • Gmail has a great virus checking feature: This is helpful as it removes 99.9% of the risk that your computer will be infected.
  • Gmail offers great options like calendaring, file storage, photo hosting, Youtube, blogging, financial advice, etc. And since they are all integrated, u have access to all these options from a single interface.
  • 10+ GB of email storage space.
  • Gmail acts as an awesome techno shield from annoying spam messages. All hail the awesome power of Google.
  • The speed of light. Gmail delivers messages very quickly, messages are delivered almost immediately.

Cons

  • Gmail offers “Labels” instead of folders. We want folders, not labels!
  • Some people have been known to complain about the plain looking Gmail platform. This is much of an aesthetic disadvantage than a functional one. So, it may not be deemed as a major disadvantage.
About the author
Week of Saturdays
Week of Saturdays answers questions and disseminates new ways of working as technology overtakes culture and 9-5 jobs become a trend of the past. We advocate for flexible working schedules, freelancing, remote working and bold transitions between careers.

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