Ray Tomilson invented an email in the early 1970s. Today, around 50 years later, most people send and receive dozens of emails per day. Email popularity has led to the development of many different email providers.
If you’re a Google fan, odds are you use Gmail. Yet although Gmail is fast and powerful, there are some things you can do to streamline your email experience and boost your productivity.
Keep reading to learn about different ways you can improve your email interface design.
Use Different Keyboard Shortcuts
Keyboard shortcuts exist to make your life easier, yet many people don’t take advantage of them. Gmail comes with its own set of shortcuts, and by enabling them and configuring them in a way that works for you, you’ll be amazed at how much faster you’re able to work.
Head to Gmail’s settings, then scroll down until you see an option for “Keyboard Shortcuts”. Click the button that says “Keyboard Shorcuts On”, then scroll down to save the changes.
Relaunch Gmail, then press Ctrl + ? to see all of the available keyboard shortcuts. If you’re unhappy with the current setup, head back to settings and enable “Custom Keyboard Shortcuts”. You’ll then be able to customize what different keys do.
If you’re looking for a minimalist, streamlined setup, the default Gmail interface may not impress you. However, there are a number of things you can do to make it easier to read and understand.
To start the optimization process, click the three lines in the top left corner of the screen. That’ll collapse the bulky left-hand menu. If you need to know which button does, hovering your mouse over the menu will expand it. This lets you enjoy a simpler interface that provides you with information when you need it.
If you don’t use Hangouts or Chat, you can get rid of it in settings to further free up space. Look for “Chat”, then disable it. Odds are you also don’t click the huge list of different email categories. Keep important ones such as Sent and Trash, but dragging other icons to the bottom of the screen will get rid of them.
Change the Background Image
For the final touch to your Gmail interface, consider changing the background image and theme. This can create a more personalized feeling, and make opening your email each day a more enjoyable process.
Click the gear icon in the top right corner, then go to “Themes”. Click “More Images” to see a number of different pictures and designs to pick from. Once you choose a photo or theme, you can then blur it. This allows you to enjoy the image without having it compromise your ability to send and read emails.
Dark mode has become more and more popular in recent years, with many people preferring it over lighter designs and aesthetics. Check out this guide to learn how to go about switching to Gmail’s dark theme.
Take Advantage of a Gmail Desktop App
For some people, playing around with different aesthetic settings on the Gmail website isn’t enough to make the experience worth it. If you feel that way, consider downloading a Gmail Desktop app. There are many to choose from, and different ones can provide you with different types of experience.
Mailbird features a beautiful aesthetic and design and also comes packed with a number of powerful features.
The app lets you add several different email accounts to one place. This means that if you have a Yahoo account in addition to your Gmail, you can see them both when using Mailbird.
If you’ve ever opened up your Inbox and seen 50 new emails, you’ll be pleased to know that Mailbird allows you to snooze emails for later. This can be a good way to take a break, then come back to them later.
2. Opera Mail
Opera is a less-well-known web browser. Although it’s not as popular as other programs such as Google Chrome or Safari, it has a loyal fanbase of supporters who find it to be the best. In the beginning, developers released Opera Mail alongside the web browser. Now, anyone can use it.
Opera lets you tie more than one email account to it. It also supports different formats, such as IMAP, POP, RSS feeds, and Atom.
Another advantage of Opera Mail is that it allows you to create and assign custom tags to different people. This makes it easy to know who sent you an email by looking at the color.
Like it’s animal namesake, Foxmail is a speedy and fast email client that comes with some different tricks.
If you’ve used Outlook before, Foxmail should look familiar. It contains the same buttons, as well as a similar tab system. Yet you’ll be pleased to know that it’s a less-cluttered and better-optimized email platform.
Foxmail comes with a note-taking feature, which lets you record the important parts of emails without needing to use an additional app. This makes it easy to jot down or copy and paste what’s relevant so that you can then view it later.
Foxmail also makes your life easier by providing you with reply, forward, and delete buttons at the top of the screen. You won’t need to waste time navigating through different submenus.
Create the Best Email Interface With These Tips
Gmail is a great program that makes email easy, but the default version can feel a bit cluttered. But by following this guide and trying out some of these options, you’ll be able to create and enjoy the email interface that’s perfect for you.
Do you have any other tips on how to create the best email interface when working with Gmail? Let us know in a comment below!
If you found this article to be useful, don’t forget to take a look at some of our other blog posts to find more helpful guides and tips.