Have you ever spent an hour and gained 60 hours a year back?

Is there a better return for one hour of your time? This is how Gmail saved me a whole working week of time in one year.

Over the years I have consciously, subconsciously and automatically been subscribed to many different email updates. At one time or another different newsletters, social platforms, sporting groups and the list goes on.  As with most updates I am interested for a short period of time and then the updates literally just fill-up my inbox and waste my time long after I have lost interest or solved my problem.

Some of these updates come though multiple times a day, some as little as once a month. I realised that 95% of what was coming though I wasn’t reading or I was often opening and browsing though and it wasn’t to my benefit.

On average every day I was spending about 10 minutes either deleting these updates or aimlessly browsing through them across my business and personal accounts. Over a year this is 60 hours of time or a business week and a half.

How I got my time back

Google Apps for Work and Gmail have added in a nifty feature called Categories which automatically categorises emails based on the type they are see below the picture says it all.


Primary is where all your important email goes and all the rest is broken up into the Social, Promotions, Updates and Forums.

Benefits of categories

The biggest benefit of Categories is that it automatically moves unimportant messages as they come in away from the primary tab. This means your are not bombarded all day by social updates and newsletters.

There have been plenty of studies proving every time we are distracted by something it can take as much as 15 minutes to find your way back to where you were before you were interrupted. Some people get hundreds of these a day.

Categories allows you to when the time is right to go through those updates and deal with them all in one go say at the end of the day or at lunch time if you are lucky enough to have the time.

Enable categories

If you don’t have your categories turned on, in Gmail go to the settings wheel and click on “Configure inbox”


Once you are in there you will see the options to turn on and off the categories.



Once the emails are in your categories you can start to unsubscribe from everything you don’t want to receive anymore. There is usually one of two options in each email allowing you to unsubscribe.

The unsubscribe button at the top of the email.

And the second method is usually at the bottom of the email content. Something like “Unsubscribe” or “Managed Your Subscription Options”  These will take you to their web page and allow you to select your subscription options.


Large Organisations

If your organisation is large imagine the amount of time you could save if everyone in the company did this. Organising your updates and newsletters could be built into your company policy to have this done annually saving bucket loads of precious time across your whole workforce.

Need help with Google Apps for Work?
Speak to the experienced team at Stanfield IT on 1300 910 333