Make Gmail work more like Outlook - Part 2


It's happening 

After several decades on Outlook, it's finally going away. Many younger employees have never even seen Outlook! You've held on as long as you could but for whatever reason, you're saying goodbye to Outlook and saying hello to Gmail for Work for the first time. 

Maybe you've sort of used Gmail for personal use already but not really used it. You know Outlook and you wield it like a real pro. The change to Gmail can be jarring. Here are some tips that can help. 

You can check out our other 'Make Gmail more like Outlook' post here. 

Get Training

First and foremost, leverage a training app. We have a great one that's only $10 for a full year of access. It's searchable, updates automatically, and you can watch it from anywhere and from any device. Grab that iPad, sit back, and soak it all in. 

I like Outlook's search much better than Gmail's! 

We hear this comment a lot. It almost always has the same central cause. 

By default Gmail always searches ALL MAIL content

It doesn't matter if it's old or new or what folder it's in - Gmail is going to search everything! This generates far too many results to be useful based on what the Outlook user is actually expecting. The fix is easy!

You'll notice when you click on a Label, Gmail will add the Label name to the Search box. Leave that name there and add your search term after it - Gmail will only search the specific Label. 

You can also use the 'Show Search Options' menu to search in a specific Label

Show Gmail search options

Show Gmail search options

You can select to search a specific Label

I always copy myself so I can move a sent message to a specific Folder

Good news! You don't have to do this anymore. 

Organize your message before you send it!

You can use the 'More options' menu in the Gmail Compose window to add a Label to your message. This has the same result as if you were to drag the message to a Folder after you send it. Gmail allows you to enhance this workflow, saving steps and time!

Better still, this Label will remain on all messages that become part of this Conversation. If the person replies, the reply is also organized already.

Create custom color Categories

Outlook allowed you to add color categories to emails. You can do this in Gmail as well! You can think of a Label as a Folder with a few additional tricks. 

You can apply multiple Labels to a single message!

Create a Label called Red if you'd like. Apply it to messages in your Inbox or in any other Label. You can also create a red colored Label but call it something more specific like 'Follow Up'. You can Search by these Labels too! You can also search for combinations of Labels ... like 'Follow Up' and 'Contract' for example. 

There are about a half dozen options for organizing with Labels. 


Set once, set everywhere

Your Gmail is your Gmail regardless of what computer you're using. This is great because everything you learn will be available to you anywhere, anytime, and on any device. If you make an adjustment to Gmail when you're at the office, those same Settings will be available at home or at a friend's house. 

Working on the Web is different and working in Gmail is different. Give it a bit of time and some practice and you'll be hooked. You'll never want to go back to a desktop email client like Outlook ever again!