Tech

How one button on your keyboard can make your emails feel 10x less stressful

Posted by
Alex Finnis
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Emails are – this is not going to be a controversial statement – the absolute worst.

Is there a more depressing feeling than coming back to work from holiday and finding 847 unread messages in your inbox, which you have to pick through with a fine-tooth comb, because you just know like two of them will be really important, and you’ll get in shit if you miss them.

They can also add huge amounts of frankly unnecessary stress to your day – especially if you’re the sort of person who likes to feel organised and on top of things – you feel under pressure to keep your emails under control.

Which is why this little Gmail trick is a bit of a godsend. Disclaimer – this is not new, it’s been around for quite a while, but it’s something a lot of people apparently don’t know about, so we thought we’d share it wider. We’re fighting the good fight here, taking down email stress one small step at a time.

You have... two thousand, six hundred and eighty nine unread emails

The key to it all is that Gmail email addresses ignore small things like dots – so if your email is firstnamelastname@gmail.com, and someone emails firstname.lastname@gmail.com, it’ll still go to your inbox.

This is also true for plus signs – and this is where it gets useful. The plus key is your new best friend. See, if you put a plus at the end of your regular email, Gmail will then ignore everything that follows that plus. For example, myname+facebook@gmail.com will still go to your inbox.

This means that you can use different variations of your email address for different things, and then set up filters so that they all go into different folders.

You could use myname+shopping@gmail.com for all your online shopping accounts, and then set up a filter to send all these emails to an online shopping folder. You could have one for all your social media accounts, one for online banking, one for work, one for discount codes – whatever you want, really.

Another way this is useful? You can use it to find out who’s giving your email out to companies which send you annoying spam messages. If you’re getting a bunch of spam messages into one particular folder, you’ll know it’s one of the companies/websites that you’ve signed up to using that variation of your email that’s handing it out.

This isn’t going to change your life, but it could make it just a little bit less stressful, because come on, who really has time for dealing with emails in 2017?

(Images: NBC/iStock)

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Alex Finnis

Alex is the Editor of ShortList.com

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