Gmail is an invaluable tool for VA’s. It has a whole section of add-ons that make your inbox really productive. Some of these labs are handy, others are fun and there’s a select few which are absolute lifesavers when you have a slew of emails to get through.

Using Gmail labs will help you to increase your inbox productivity as a VA. There are loads to choose from, so pick out the ones you think will be most useful to you. Or just try out a few different ones and see if you like them.

You can find Gmail labs in your inbox settings here:

These are some of our favourite labs that are so useful for VA’s.

Undo send

It happens all too often. We forget to copy someone in, attach a document or even put the wrong name. If you suddenly go ‘on no!’ when you’ve sent an email, you have 10 seconds to recall the email. You will find this tool under the general tab.

Canned responses

A canned response is basically an email template. If you tend to send out emails that are very similar, write and save a canned response so you don’t have to keep copying and pasting, or writing it out each time. You can edit these templates whenever you want, then simply tailor each email to suit. This is such a time saver for sending messages for networking, or just for emails that you send a lot.

Background send

A great tool that means you don’t have to sit around waiting impatiently for a large email to send, before you can go on and get another task done.

Default text styling

This is really useful if you like to use a certain font rather than using the standard Gmail one.

Refreshing pop accounts 

If you import different email accounts into one main manager/email, this tool is invaluable. It can up to an hour before Gmail will check for an import, but if you click the circular refresh arrow at the top of your inbox, it will check for the new emails right away.

Inserting images

Instead of attaching an image, you can put it straight into the email. This is useful when you want to send an image to a client for information, so they can get it at a glance instead of having to open an attachment.

There are plenty of other Gmail labs, and all of them have assets for saving time as a VA. Gmail Chrome also has the ability to download extensions which allow you to do things like scheduling emails or creating beautiful email signatures.

As well as Gmail, other stand-alone apps can link into your email inbox. Apps like Trello, Asana and Quickbooks all have this ability. And the apps change and grow all the time.

We love Gmail as VA’s. It’s one of the best tools in our arsenal, and knowing your way around it is brilliant for your business.