Reach Inbox Zero!

A common problem that faces all PC users is an over-cluttered inbox. Many inboxes are full to the brim with thousands of emails. It takes twenty minutes to find an email from six months ago. It is impossible to tell at a glance whether something is from a friend or from a website. That’s why you need to keep your inbox fully organized!

Some email providers make this easier than others! Yahoo Mail and Outlook.com (Hotmail) both allow you to create folders, but Gmail is harder: I will cover that in a sec.

Yahoo Mail and Hotmail

First, simply make new folders. Here is an example list of what some could be called:

  • Personal
  • Social Networks
  • Receipts
  • Account Info
  • Newsletters
  • Promotions
  • Games         etc.

Now you need to go through your inbox, starting from the very first email you ever received. Decide which folder it should go to and move it there. Then repeat the process until every email is in the right place. This can take a very long time, so be patient! Once everything is properly filed, then treat yourself to a nice cup of tea, because you have reached Inbox Zero!

 

tidy gmail

 

 

Gmail

Gmail is a little trickier. The new tabbed inbox design is difficult to navigate and frankly just annoying, so you need to remove that first. Once that’s done, you need to add new labels. Gmail doesn’t allow you to add extra folders or inboxes, so labels are the only way forward! You should add a similar selection to above. Also, you should hide labels that you don’t need, which are:

  • All “Categories” Labels
  • All “Circles” Labels (unless you want them)
  • “Starred” and “Important” (unless you use them)
  • “Notes” and “Chats” (unless for some reason you use them)
  • “Trash” (Why would you want it?) and possibly “Spam” (It’s a good idea to keep this one showing in case an email is accidentally marked as spam)

Then, finally, begin to start categorising emails! Soon, you will reach Inbox Zero!

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Top 5 Google Chrome Extensions

Here’s my guide to the top 5 Chrome extensions out there. Feel free to let me know of any others!

1. Adblock Plus

Adblock Plus is the world’s most popular browser extension, and is used by millions of users worldwide. It is a community-driven open source project, and hundreds of volunteers are contributing to the success of Adblock Plus to make sure that all annoying ads are automatically blocked.

The good thing about Adblock, compared to other ad-blockers, is that it has a setting to allow unobtrusive advertising. This encourages advertisers to be more subtle (and less annoying!).

2. Stop Autoplay for YouTube.

This handy add-in prevents YouTube videos from playing as soon as the page is opened. This is especially handy if you have several videos lined up. Not only does it stop them playing, but also allows them to buffer and load while waiting!

3. IE Tab

This is a simple app which allows you to view pages designed for IE without  leaving Chrome. It simulates IE inside a Chrome tab, and automatically detects when it needs to!

4. Session Buddy

This allows you to save an open set of tabs to view later. It basically allows you to have several different sessions at once! You can re-name, delete and re-order the settings from the control panel.

5. StayFocusd

StayFocusd increases your productivity by limiting the amount of time that you can spend on time-wasting websites. It means that you can set time limits, ban websites, and it even has a nuke mode which prevents you changing the settings after your time limit for the day is up!

There you go – my top 5 Chrome extensions and add-ons!

Don’t forget to follow my blog for more tech articles!

OB 25/07/2013

5 Things You didn’t know About Google

1. Dragons guard your spreadsheets!

If you go into your Google Drive and open a spreadsheet, there will be a dragon that needs slaying. To kill it, and claim glory, just press Shift + F12.

2. Tilt!

If you Google “Tilt” or “Askew”, then the results page will be wonky!

3. Funky Beats!

Open Google Translate and select English to German. Enter “pv zk bschk pv zk pv bschk zk pv zk bschk pv zk pv bschk zk bschk pv bschk bschk kkkkkkkkkk” and hit the speaker button on the German side. Lo and behold, it beatboxes”

4.010010010010000001101100011011110111011001100101001000000111100101101111011101010010000001100100011110010110110001100001011011100000110100001010

If you Google “Binary”, I wonder how many results it’ll say you get…

5. The lonely one

Google’s calculator will confirm that one is in fact the loneliest number. Type “The loneliest number =”.

Switch back to the old Gmail

Gmail has recently introduced a new layout to its inbox.

This consists of several different tabs, and all you emails are categorized automatically between them. Unfortunately, many emails do not appear in any of the tabs, and even if they do, it is a nightmare to find them!

There is no setting to revert to the old inbox. But…

Here is a simple way to get the old inbox back!

1. Click on the cog at the top right, then click on settings.
2. Go to the “Inbox” tab.
3.Change the inbox type to “Default”, and then deselect all the categories apart from “Primary”.
4. Go to the “General” tab, scroll to the bottom and click “Save Changes”.
5. Now go back into settings and click on the “Filters” tab.
6. Click “Create a new filter” at the bottom.
7. In the “Doesn’t have” box, put in a long string of random letters and numbers. e.g. edaf5fghbenzs34jkgdn. Leave all the other boxes blank.
8. Click “Create a filter with this search”
9. Tick the box “Categorize as” and choose “personal” from the dropdown menu.
10. Click “Create filter”.
(11. If Gmail prompts you to save changes, then repeat step 4)
Now, all your emails will go to one inbox which you will see when logging in!
You can, of course, just go to the “All mail” inbox on the left, but it is a bit of a hassle having to do that every time. And it doesn’t get rid of the annoying and irrelevant tabs in the main inbox.