While you are at Bren, your email account will be swamped with emails - some of which are very important, others not so much. It is crucial that you maintain an efficient system to keep your emails organized so that you can quickly access and keep track of the important and time-sensitive emails. This is a good practice to have going forward in your career as well, so it's wise to start now so you can figure out a system of managing your emails that works best for you.
Clicked on linked headings for detailed documentation of each Gmail feature, or go to Gmail Help for general support or if you'd like to learn more.
Inbox clutter is a huge issue that can quickly get out of hand. The following are some handy ways of reducing that clutter and keeping your inbox clean and organized.
- Archive - Archive moves all of your emails into the “All Mail” folder, so you can still access everything but now your inbox looks a lot cleaner. Once you’ve archived everything, you can always go back to your All Mail folder and gradually organize your emails bit by bit
- Labels - You can create labels to organize your emails and assign multiple labels to each email. Labelling your emails helps you sort and find them later by putting them in categories or bins that you can access later. Like folders, labels can be nested as a subcategory of another label.
- Filters - Filters help to streamline the email organization process by doing some of the organization automatically. You create filters by defining a specific search query. Here is a handy list of search operators you can use to create your filters. Some things you can do with filters include:
- Skip inbox and archive
- Add label
- Inbox layout options - There are a variety of layouts you can choose for your inbox. It mostly comes down to personal preference. Whatever layout you end up choosing, make sure you have a good system for identifying the important emails so you don’t miss them. Possible layouts include:
- Default - Google auto-sorts emails into pre-set category tabs: Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates, Forums.
- Important first - Google auto marks emails as important and learns based on your past behavior. These marked emails are displayed at the top of your inbox.
- Unread first - Separates inbox into 2 sections: unread on top, the rest on bottom
- Starred first - Separates inbox into 2 sections: starred on top, rest on bottom
- Priority inbox - Separates inbox into multiple sections based on you preference - possible sections include: Important, Important and Unread, Unread, Starred, and one customizable section (sort by label)
- Multiple Inboxes - Gives you freedom to customize inbox sections, however many sections you want, based on search queries. Every section mentioned in priority inbox is possible, plus types of stars and specific search filters
Refer to this article for additional tips on inbox organization and a downloadable set of pre-made filters created by a Bren alum specifically for Brennies.
Using a personal email account to manage your Bren emails
Many people already have email accounts that they check regularly and some may prefer not to have an additional account to log into and check. There are multiple ways you can send and receive emails from your personal account without having to continually log into your Bren or UCSB U-mail account so that you can easily keep track of all your emails in one place.
Receiving email from your personal account
- Mail forwarding - From your UCSB gmail account, go to Settings > Forwarding and POP/IMAP and click Add a forwarding address. Add your personal address and all mail from now on will be forwarded to your personal account.
- Check mail from other accounts (not ideal; only use if no other option) - From your personal account, go to Settings > Accounts and Import. Scroll down to Check mail from other accounts section and click Add a mail account. Enter your @ucsb.edu address and follow prompt.
- Using POP: can only be used for a single computer. Emails aren't synced in real time. Instead, they're downloaded and you decide how often you want to download new emails.
- Using IMAP: read your Gmail messages on multiple devices, and messages are synced in real time. Cannot exceed 2500MB/day of downloads and 500MB/day of uploads.
Sending email from your personal account
- From your personal account, go to Settings > Accounts and Import, Send mail as section. Click “Add another email address.” You can add both your @ucsb.edu and @bren.ucsb.edu address using the same credentials. We suggest that you use your @bren account as default.
- You can select which email address you would like to send as when you are writing an email by going to the "From" section and clicking the down arrow to reveal the different addresses you can use to send as.
- *Keep in mind that once your email account is deactivated a year after you graduate, you will no longer be able to send mail from these addresses.
Additional Tips & Tricks
- Undo send - This feature is found in Settings > General, where you can set the amount of time after you send an email to cancel the sending. This is handy when you've hit send but immediately after you find a typo, realize you're sending it to the wrong person, or for some other reason you instantly regret sending the email.
- Signature - Create a Bren signature that is automatically appended to the end of every email you send. Things you can consider including are the school you're attending, your intended degree and year, and contact info (e.g. phone, email). Keep it short and professional.
- Infinite aliases - There are automatic aliases associated with every Gmail account. Any email sent to these aliases will be sent to your account, and you can use these aliases to automatically sort incoming mail based on which alias the mail was sent to.
- Other basic tips & tricks