Using TODOIST with Mailplane 3

A brief post to help those who are attempting to use TODOIST with Mailplane 3.

I use Mailplane 3 on my Mac for two reasons:

  1. Running Gmail in Chrome hogs battery
  2. Running Gmail in Chrome results in high memory usage

I also like having my email and calendar running in its own window that I can CMD-TAB to/from.

I give up a lot of Gmail extensions when I run Mailplane. The one I couldn’t live without was TODOIST — I typically like to add entire emails to my TODOIST task list.

Here is how to setup a keyboard shortcut in Mailplane that will allow you to add emails as tasks to TODOIST — including a link in TODOIST back to the original email that will open in Mailplane.

  1. You need to install Mailplane and Todoist for Mac.
  2. In your Mac SYSTEM PREFERENCES goto  KEYBOARD, then SHORTCUTS, then SERVICES.
  3. You should see an ADD TO TODOIST — check the box and assign a shortcut. I have assigned CONTROL-Q (to match the Q shortcut in the TODOIST app itself).
  4. That is it. Now, when you are in Mailplane, hitting your shortcut (CONTROL-Q), will bring up the TODOIST “ADD” box with the title already filled in as the email subject. When you save the item, a MAILPLANE link with be in the text of the item. Clicking that link will open Mailplane and bring up that email.

Screen Shot 2017-07-31 at 9.31.55 AM

Screen Shot 2017-07-31 at 9.35.30 AM

Screen Shot 2017-07-31 at 9.35.52 AM

 

 

Using Dots (.) in Gmail Addresses

Gmail is ‘dot-blind’ and will ignore any dot in your email address before @ sign.

Gmail doesn’t recognize dots as characters within usernames, you can add or remove the dots from a Gmail address without changing the actual destination address; they’ll all go to your inbox, and only yours.

For example: assuming your email address is my.email@gmail.com, all email directed to myemail@gmail.com, m.y.e.m.a.i.l@gmail.com, m.yem.ail@gmail.com m.y.email@gmail.com and any other dot-variant addresses will be delivered to your Gmail inbox.

Advanced Search For Gmail

Screen Shot 2017-05-12 at 10.25.38 AMGmail offers a powerful search text field. You can use it with just normal keywords, or you can master the Gmail search syntax to really find what you are looking for in the least amount of time.

Some of these advanced search functions are available from the advanced search drop down box, but most are not.

Here are the top advanced search operators for Gmail

to: – Search for messages sent to a specific address.
from: – Search for messages sent from a specific address
subject: – Search the subject field.
label: – Search within a specific label.
has:attachment – Search only for messages that have attachments
is:chat – Search only chats.
in:anywhere – Also search for messages in the spam and trash. By default, Gmail’s search ignores messages in the spam and trash.

( ) – Brackets allow you to group search terms. For example, searching for subject:(how awesome) would only return messages with the words “how” and “awesome” in their subject field. If you search for subject:how awesome, you’d get messages with “how” in their subject and “awesome” anywhere in the message.

OR – OR, which must be in capital letters, allows you to search for one term or another. For example, subject:(how OR awesome) would return messages with the word “how” or the word “awesome” in their titles. You can also combine other terms with the OR. For example, from:example.com OR has:attachment would search for messages that are either from example.com or have attachments.

“ “ – Quotes allow you to search for an exact phrase, just like in Google. Searching for “exact phrase” only returns messages that contain the exact phrase. You can combine this with other operators. For example, subject:”exact phrase” only returns messages that have “exact phrase” in their subject field.

– – The hyphen, or minus sign, allows to search for messages that don’t contain a specific term. For example, search for -from:example.com and you’ll only see messages that aren’t from example.com.

list: – The list: operator allows you to search for messages on a mailing list. For example, list:authors@example.com would return all messages on the authors@example.com mailing list.

filename: – The filename: operator lets you search for a specific file attachment. For example, file:example.pdf would return emails with a file named example.pdf attached.
is:important, label:important – If you use Gmail’s priority inbox, you can use the is:important or label:important operators to search only important or unimportant emails.

has:yellow-star, has:red-star, has:green-check, etc. – If you use different types of stars (see the Stars section on Gmail’s general settings pane), you can search for messages with a specific type of star.

cc:, bcc: – The cc: and bcc: features let you search for messages where a specific address was carbon copied or blind carbon copied. For example,cc:user@example.com returns messages where user@example.com was carbon copied. You can’t use the bcc: operator to search for messages where you were blind carbon copied, only messages where you bcc’d other people.

deliveredto: – The deliveredto: operator looks for messages delivered to a specific address. For example, if you have multiple accounts in the same Gmail inbox, you can use this operator to find the messages sent to a specific address. Usedeliveredto:email@example.com to find messages delivered to email@example.com.

Quick Tip: Shift-Tab

You TAB, but do you SHIFT-TAB?

If you consider yourself a keyboard master, able to navigate the worst UI’s with just your keyboards, you probably have worn down your TAB key by now.

While TAB takes you one tab stop forward, SHIFT-TAB takes you one tab stop back.

Made an error in the prior form field? No need to take your hands off the keyboard to use the mouse. Just hit SHIFT-TAB to back the cursor up to the prior field.

Need to move around the Gmail compose window? SHIFT-TAB

Master the SHIFT-TAB and save precious time each day in everything you do.

Scripting a Gmail Snooze Features

Snoozing means archiving an email temporarily, and having it automatically reappear in the Gmail Inbox at some specified time in the future. With Apps Script you can extend Gmail to add this functionality.

By the way – if you don’t want to code your own solution, DNDEmail.com will do this automatically for you, for free.

Even if you don’t know how to write a script, it’s pretty simple. Be sure to login to Google Docs with your Gmail email address. Go to Google Docs and create a new spreadsheet, then choose “Script Editor” from the “Tools” menu. Paste in the following code:

var MARK_UNREAD = false;
var ADD_UNSNOOZED_LABEL = false;

function getLabelName(i) {
  return "Snooze/Snooze " + i + " days";
}

function setup() {
  // Create the labels we’ll need for snoozing
  GmailApp.createLabel("Snooze");
  for (var i = 1; i <= 7; ++i) {
    GmailApp.createLabel(getLabelName(i));
  }
  if (ADD_UNSNOOZED_LABEL) {
    GmailApp.createLabel("Unsnoozed");
  }
}

function moveSnoozes() {
  var oldLabel, newLabel, page;
  for (var i = 1; i <= 7; ++i) {
    newLabel = oldLabel;
    oldLabel = GmailApp.getUserLabelByName(getLabelName(i));
    page = null;
    // Get threads in "pages" of 100 at a time
    while(!page || page.length == 100) {
      page = oldLabel.getThreads(0, 100);
      if (page.length > 0) {
        if (newLabel) {
          // Move the threads into "today’s" label
          newLabel.addToThreads(page);
        } else {
          // Unless it’s time to unsnooze it
          GmailApp.moveThreadsToInbox(page);
          if (MARK_UNREAD) {
            GmailApp.markThreadsUnread(page);
          }
          if (ADD_UNSNOOZED_LABEL) {
            GmailApp.getUserLabelByName("Unsnoozed")
              .addToThreads(page);
          }          
        }     
        // Move the threads out of "yesterday’s" label
        oldLabel.removeFromThreads(page);
      }  
    }
  }
}

Then click the “Save” button and give it a name.

In the dropdown labeled “Select a function to run,” choose “setup” and click the blue run arrow to the left of it. This will ask you to authorize the script, and will create the necessary labels in your Gmail. Then go to the “Triggers” menu and choose “current script’s triggers.” Click the link to set up a new trigger, choosing the “moveSnoozes” function, a “time-driven” event, “day timer,” and then “midnight to 1am.” Click save and you’re done.

To “snooze” a thread, use Gmail’s “Move To” button to move the thread into the “Snooze for X days” label and archive it. Every night, threads will move up through one day of the queue, and at the appointed number of days they will reappear in your inbox, unarchived.

Become a Gmail Jedi by Mastering Keyboard Shortcuts

 

You think you are productive. You think you zoom around Gmail, answering emails, archiving, keeping Inbox zero. You are an amateur – unless you have mastered the keyboard shortcuts.

View a full list of shortcuts.

Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 10.22.19 AM

While viewing a list of threads (i.e. Inbox, All Mail, Drafts, search results, etc.):

  • c to compose a new mail
  • j and k to move the cursor down and up
  • x to select/deselect the current thread that’s pointed to by the cursor
  • e to archive all threads that have been selected
  • [Enter] to go into the thread pointed to by the cursor
  • “g i” to go to my Inbox
  • “g a” to go to All Mail
  • “g d” to go to Drafts

While inside a thread:

  • n and p to browse down and up messages inside a thread (move the cursor up and down)
  • a to reply all (or r to reply individually, but that’s rare) to the message currently pointed to by the cursor
  • f to forward the message that’s pointed to by the cursor
  • u to go back to the previous thread list view, which could be your Inbox, All Mail, Drafts, etc. This is the same as the back button:
  • s to toggle through the stars on the message currently pointed to by the cursor

Other useful shortcuts:

  • / to make the search bar active
  • “* u” to select all unread emails
  • “* n” to deselect all emails
  • Shift+i to mark all selected emails as read
  • Shift+u to mark all selected emails as unread
  • While inside a thread, Shift+u will bring you back to the previous thread list view and marking the current thread as unread.

 

 

Dots and Pluses

Gmail will ignore any dot in your email address before @ sign.

According to  Gmail’s support page:
Gmail doesn’t recognize dots as characters within usernames, you can add or remove the dots from a Gmail address without changing the actual destination address; they’ll all go to your inbox, and only yours.

For example: assuming your email address is johndoe@gmail.com, all email directed to john.doe@gmail.com, j.ohn.doe@gmail.com and any other dot-variant addresses will be delivered to your Gmail inbox.

Also, whatever word you put after your <username> and ‘+’ sign and before @ sign, will be ignored.

According to Gmail’s support page:
Gmail doesn’t offer traditional aliases, but you can receive messages sent to your.username+any.alias@gmail.com.

For example: using your my.email@gmail.com, emails sent to these email address will be directed to your inbox: my.email+food@gmail.com, my.email+spam@gmail.com, my.email+evernote@gmail.com and more. Combine this with the ‘dot’ trick to produce a an infinite number of email aliases.

Note that many website / form will block you from using ‘+’ sign in your email address.

Combining both tricks, you can get a simple anti-spam mechanism or customized productivity tool or pretty much infinite email addresses (‘If email is sent to m.y.e.m.a.i.l@gmail.com, direct it to spam folder‘) or a highly customized priority system (‘if email is sent to  my.email+urgent@gmail.com, label and star it‘).

Advanced Search in Gmail

When composing advanced searches in Gmail you can jump to the advanced search form or you can structure you search directly into the search text box.

Here are the operators to apply in the advanced search box:

  • The Basics:
    • to: Search for messages sent to a specific address.
    • from:  Search for messages sent from a specific address
    • subject:  Search the subject field.
    • label: Search within a specific label.
  • has:attachment – Search only for messages that have attachments. You can also add an attachment suffix to the search terms to just see items with attachments of a certain type. For example PDF has:attachment will show you emails with PDFs attached.
  • is:chat – Search only chats.
  • in:anywhere – Also search for messages in the spam and trash. By default, Gmail’s search ignores messages in the spam and trash.
  • ( ) – Brackets allow you to group search terms. For example, searching for subject:(how awesome) would only return messages with the words “how” and “awesome” in their subject field. If you search for subject:how awesome, you’d get messages with “how” in their subject and “awesome” anywhere in the message.
  • OR – OR, which must be in capital letters, allows you to search for one term or another. For example, subject:(how OR awesome) would return messages with the word “how” or the word “awesome” in their titles. You can also combine other terms with the OR. For example, from:example.comOR has:attachment would search for messages that are either from example.com or have attachments.
  • “ “ – Quotes allow you to search for an exact phrase, just like in Google. Searching for “exact phrase” only returns messages that contain the exact phrase. You can combine this with other operators. For example, subject:”exact phrase” only returns messages that have “exact phrase” in their subject field.
  • – The hyphen, or minus sign, allows to search for messages that don’t contain a specific term. For example, search for -from:example.com and you’ll only see messages that aren’t from example.com.
  • filename: – The filename: operator lets you search for a specific file attachment. For example, file:example.pdf would return emails with a file named example.pdf attached.
  • is:important, label:important – If you use Gmail’s priority inbox, you can use the is:important or label:important operators to search only important or unimportant emails.
  • has:yellow-star, has:red-star, etc. – If you use different types of stars (see the Stars section on Gmail’s general settings pane), you can search for messages with a specific type of star.
  • cc:, bcc: – The cc: and bcc: features let you search for messages where a specific address was carbon copied or blind carbon copied. For example, cc:user@example.com returns messages where user@example.com was carbon copied. You can’t use the bcc: operator to search for messages where you were blind carbon copied, only messages where you bcc’d other people.
  • deliveredto: – The deliveredto: operator looks for messages delivered to a specific address. For example, if you have multiple accounts in the same Gmail inbox, you can use this operator to find the messages sent to a specific address. Use deliveredto:email@example.com to find messages delivered to email@example.com.

 

Gmail Productivity Hack #1: Keyboard Shortcuts

If you are looking to improve your Gmail productivity, the first place to start is with keyboard shortcuts. Never using your mouse or trackpad to navigate Gmail is the biggest time saver you can do.

First, you need to enable keyboard shortcuts in the Gmail SETTINGS menu.
Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 2.40.16 PM

Master these top commands:

c - compose new mail
j - go to previous mail
k - go to next mail
e - archive (goes to All Mail)
r - reply
gi - go to inbox
ga - go to all mail
gd - go to drafts
l - label
gl - go to label

Full list of shortcuts here
http://support.google.com/mail/b…

How to Activate Do Not Disturb (DND) in Gmail

Use Do Not Disturb for Gmail as Part of Your Productivity System

The top productivity systems, like GTD or Inbox Zero, advocate both:

  1. Keeping your Inbox empty
  2. AND, only checking your Inbox a few discrete times per day.

That means either keeping your inbox closed or using a Do Not Disturb service for your email.

Gmail does not have a built-in Do Not Disturb (DND) service.

You can reduce overall intrusiveness by turning off notifications in the desktop and mobile applications. On mobile, you can also turn off sync to prevent Gmail from automatically downloading your messages.

However, neither of these can be set on an automatic schedule. Also, both take multiple clicks to turn on or off and there is no easy way to get your email to download if you have turned off sync (without turning sync back on ).

Do Not Disturb for Gmail allows you to easily setup and schedule DND times for your Gmail. The DND applies to both your desktop and mobile Gmail applications. It can be turned on or off on a schedule. You can have it deliver your email to your inbox on a set schedule.

DNDEMail is free and works on both desktop and mobile. You can set up specific schedules to deliver your email to your inbox. You can whitelist senders or labels, so those important emails continue to deliver in real-time while others stay held outside of your Inbox.

Check out the full list of features for DNDEMail or sign up today.