If you are like us, you get your fair share of emails every day. Some of them cause real work. Work that you better track on your to-do list. For example, answering John will take up sufficient time so that you have to plan for it.
Early on, Krumplr started providing you with simple ways to turn a single gmail message into a to-do. You made good use of that. A few days ago we took the next step: Gmail lists. Gmail lists automatically search your gmail account and show all messages that match the list’s configuration. Nothing left for you to do manually.
This short video shows Gmail lists at work:
A few more things that help you get along with Gmail lists:
- You can simply type “
@gmail” or “
@gmail <list name>” when you create a new list. This creates a Gmail list that searches for all your starred gmail messages.
- You can use “
@gmail <gmail search string> | <list name>” if you need full control. The list name itself may not contain any ‘|’. The gmail search string is everything you can use in the search field of the Gmail web UI. For more detail, see Google’s documentation at https://support.google.com/mail/answer/7190?hl=en.
- You can have as many Gmail lists as you want.
- You can change the name and the search string of a Gmail list at any point in time.
- Gmail lists are ordinary lists. You can add to-dos and dividers to them. You can prioritize the to-dos on the list, label them, or move them to other lists. Everything is just the way you know it.
- If you don’t use the Gmail web UI and your email client supports Gmail then it’s likely that starring or flagging a Gmail message in your email client is the same as starring it in the Gmail web UI. In other words, Gmail lists also work when you use a different email client.
If you are interested in the philosophical background of Gmail lists, keep on reading.
Let’s get back to John’s email. You can add a to-do to your list that says “Answer John’s email”. Sometime that’s enough but most of the time you need more detail within your to-do to be sure you always prioritize it correctly against all your other to-dos. That’s why Krumplr allows you to turn your gmail messages into to-dos in the first place. You don’t end up with a placeholder in your list. You track the actual message on your list and you have instant access to its content.
It’s easy to manually turn a gmail message into a to-do. But however simple it is, it still requires a couple of steps for each message. If you have to do it over and over again these slight disruptions to your email processing ritual add up and turn into a burden. And if something turns into a burden you abandon it at some point. You will come up with some scheme to track these emails in your email client. Now you have an “official” to-do list and one in your email client.
Honestly, that’s the worst. The more places you have to track the more busy work you do and the more likely it is to miss what you really need to do.
Gmail lists are the easiest way to avoid tracking your to-dos in multiple places. Enjoy them and let us know what you think.