Sunday, March 21, 2010

Gmail productivity

For a long time, I wanted a simple tool that would merge my to-do list, draft letters and reminders with my email system. About a year or so ago Gmail introduced some nifty features that let me do just that. So, I thought I'd share them with you (a yr later).

First, configure Multiple Inboxes:
Go to Gmail settings and select the Multiple Inboxes tab and then type this in. You just need 1 pane, so add this -in:trash AND (label:to-do OR in:drafts) as the Search query and call the Pane "To do".

[Update: May 9, 2011]
I now have 3 inboxes in addition to the main inbox. This needs 2 labels "to-do" and "constant"
-in:trash AND is:starred AND -label:constant
To do:
-in:trash AND -is:starred AND -label:constant AND (label:to-do OR in:drafts)
Long term/Constant reminders:
-in:trash AND -is:starred AND label:constant AND (label:to-do OR in:drafts)

Step 2 - Add a Filter to move those emails to the other Inbox:
Well this is all you will need. Don't worry, it's just 1 physical Inbox but different views to your emails.

Step 3 - Enjoy:

Now, you can just send a quick note to yourself from your Blackberry or office desktop to your Gmail account and it will go to the To do list. Even draft emails and blogs that you haven't finished writing will appear in this list. Cool huh?