Did you know that Gmail is now 15 years old? On April 1, Google unveiled new features for Gmail to test in 2019. I thought it would be a great opportunity to highlight the changes, as well as some other features that have been added recently and that you may not yet know about.
Many of us probably spend more time on our Gmail client than we’d like to admit, so I hope these five features help you stay more organized and productive in 2019 and beyond.
Right-click to get emails
If you use Gmail on your desktop, you can now right-click the email in the feed to access quick controls. You can quickly move emails to different tabs, reply, forward, or access any other feature, including Google’s new postponement control.
It basically takes two clicks to do absolutely anything you want to do with each email. I find it much faster than using any of the other controls in the Gmail interface.
Postpone emails for later
The recently added postponing feature in Gmail can be used to hide a specific email for a later date or time. Then, when the snooze timer is activated, you will receive a new email notification. The email will appear in your inbox as if it were a new email.
Why use postponement? Well, sometimes we get emails to which we don’t have time to respond or we want to think more carefully about how to respond. The use of the postponement ensures that we receive a notification later so as not to forget to respond.
I recently used postponement and it has helped me make sure that these half-written answers don’t stay too long in the drafts folder.
This is a feature that you may already be taking advantage of. If Gmail thinks an email is important, but you don’t respond, it will show reminders in your email feed so you don’t forget. After a few days, you’ll see orange text next to the subject of the email.
I find it easier to actively use the postpone feature. But if you forget, Gmail has your back, so you don’t have to worry about losing important messages.
Write now, send later
A very new feature added in April 2019 allows Gmail users to write emails and send them later. This can be useful for scheduling time-sensitive messages that may not always be sent on time.
Google suggested that it could be used for birthday messages, to send messages at more appropriate times for those in different time zones, or not to interrupt holiday ones.
To use the new Write Now, Send Later feature, tap the button three points in the Gmail app and tap Schedule shipping.
On the desktop, tap the arrow next to the blue submit button and tap Schedule shipping.
Gmail Smart Compose, which is now coming to iOS
Google says that more people are using Smart Compose to speed up their emails and that Gmail Smart Compose will be smarter over time.
Wondering what Smart Compose is? It is an AI-based feature that guesses which words you will write next. Apparently, it’s already saving people from collectively typing more than 1 billion characters a week. Starting in April 2019, Smart Compose is available on all Android devices and will soon arrive on iOS.
To use Smart Compose, just use the Gmail app to compose a message. As you type, the suggestions will appear in boring text. Swipe to fill in the suggestion.
The more you use Smart Compose, the more you will know the words you use, which makes it even more powerful. It’s essentially like a more powerful auto-correction built into your email client.