Google News

1st Edition

Google Mail

The purpose of this edition of Google News is to effectively improve productivity and communication with Google Mail.
  • Open your mail with this URL:
  • Save it to your bookmarks bar so it will be easy to access.

Five Tips for Increasing Productivity and Communication with Google Mail

1. Settings

Click on the gear icon and select Settings. Notice the tabs across the top: General, Labels, Inbox, etc. This is where you can really customize your email. In some sections, you'll see Learn More, giving you more detail.
  • See if you can find how to change the default text style for your email. Warning: do not choose the Comic Sans font. iPads and iPhones do not have Comic Sans - it turns it into cursive which is hard to read.
  • Something else you'll notice in Settings is the ability to change your emails from conversations to single emails. Watch the video below to see this feature.
  • Trash! Where is the trash folder? Go into your settings and choose the Labels tab, find Trash and make sure you click on Show.
What other options have you noticed that will improve your productivity with gmail?
5. Changing Gmail Settings


Click on the gear icon again and choose Configure Inbox. You can select the tabs you'd like to have at the top of your inbox, such as Social, Promotions, Updates, etc. This is great if you have twitter notices, facebook notices, Pinterest, and other Social Media sites. They will all come into the Social tab, making them easy to delete at one time. Store ads will be organized under Promotions. Try organizing your mail with all the choices and see how you like it. You can always change it and you won't lose any mail as you explore.


The search bar at the top of your page has a small triangle on the right end. Click on the triangle to see your choices for searching. Most commonly, you might search for emails from a certain company. Type in the name and you'll see the emails all together from that company, making them easy to delete at once. (Use the little box at the top with the triangle beside it and choose ALL, then hit the delete/trash icon.) You'll notice that you can add more search terms such as subject line or a word that's in the email message. Go to this link to read more detailed instructions. or watch the video below.
Gmail: Find messages using Gmail's search


Customize your messages with your own signature. This might include your name, address, phone number, position or grade level, our mission or vision statements, a quote, twitter name, etc. You can choose how much or how little information you want to share.
Open your settings under the gear. Scroll down until you see Signature. Add the information you'd like to share.

#5. Blind Carbon Copy & Replying

BCC means Blind Carbon Copy. Here's the only reason you should use BCC.
If you are sending a mass email, especially to people outside of the district, use BCC. This protects people's email addresses from being shared with strangers. This is very important especially if you are sending mass emails to parents.
Please be cautious of replying to sender as opposed to replying to all. If you've received an email from a sender with undisclosed recipients and you hit reply to all, they all receive it. This sometimes results in way too many messages going back and forth. Be selective when choosing reply to all.

Now Here Are 5 LifeSavers!


Since we are all using Google Drive, including your students, you will want to filter your emails. You would probably like to have all of your students emails automatically filtered to land in a folder rather than mixed in with all of your other email. Right? Once again click on the triangle on the search bar. In the From category, put Click Create filter with this search. Then click on Apply the label. Click on Choose Label and create a new label. It could be called Students or First Hour Class. Then create filter. Now, all student emails will be in your inbox (if you don't want them in your inbox, check Skip the Inbox) and in the folder/label you created. To make sure that previous emails from this account are added to the folder click on Also apply filter to 1 matching conversation. Click on the link below for further instructions.
The video found at the link below is very clear on creating filters.

Lifesaver #2. ENABLE UNDO

OK, this is truly a lifesaver. Have you ever sent an email too quickly? Just as you hit send, you notice a typo. Oops, too late. Or you accidentally hit send and you weren't quite finished. Now you have up to 30 seconds to undo the sending of the email. The email doesn't actually leave your mailbox until the time that you designated.
  • Go to you settings under the gear.
  • Under the General tab, select Undo Send.
  • Set the time for either 5 seconds, 10, 20, or 30 seconds.
  • The next time you send an email, there will be an UNDO at the top of the page that you can hit. You'll still be able to edit the message before sending it.

Watch this video for more instructions.

Lifesaver #3. INBOX SETTINGS

Watch the video below to see how to sort your inbox. One option is to have all unread messages at the top and everything else below.
Gmail Inbox Settings

Lifesaver #4. Color Code Emails

Watch the video below to see how to color code your messages. This makes your emails much more visible and easy to spot.
Color Code Your Gmail Labels to Find Important Emails Faster

Lifesaver #5. Contact Group

We're so lucky to have our contacts imported into gmail for us. Now you'll want to set up groups for your PLC, your family, your students, etc.
  • Click on Contacts as illustrated in the picture
  • Select New Group
  • Name the Group (I have mine named by Grade Levels at the elementary level and content groups at the secondary level)
  • Next click once on the group name (it becomes red)
  • Then go up to the icon of the person with a + sign
  • Click on the triangle then start typing the name of someone
  • Then click add
  • As you add members to your group, you'll see the number increase on the group folder
Now test it by composing an email to that group. Just start typing the name of the group in the TO field and all the names should auto-populate.

The 4 C's

Each newsletter will focus on at least one of the 4 C's. This week's focus is Communication. Have you ever been upset by how an email came across to you? Of course! Reread your emails before you send them out and make sure that your message is clear. If you're on the receiving end of a message that doesn't seem to be very positive, reread it. Don't react right away. Respond with a positive attitude. We can't always 'get' the correct message through email. Remember, a soft answer . . .


When you're ready for more help with your gmail, here are some suggestions of where to get help.


Well, this isn't a big challenge but this is the finale for the first edition of the Google News.
Click on the link to the Padlet below. Answer any of the questions listed at the top by double clicking on the page. There just might be a 'sweet treat' in it for you if you answer by September 30th! Must include your name!