A student of mine once did a little research project to check what features of Gmail people were using. Her findings: he great majority of users were only using it to read, compose, forward, reply and delete. All the wonderful advanced features that could make them a great deal more productive were unused and unknown to them. They never bothered to investigate them… or to “read the manual”.
This shameful ignorance is of course common in all computer tools. When I was computing productivity manager at Intel I analyzed the email overload situation and one root cause I found was precisely this lack of knowledge of the productivity features of our email client (Outlook). I subsequently developed a Web Based Training module that all employees were required to take, which showed them how to use the tool – effectively.
I strongly recommend you do this: take 30 minutes to acquaint yourself with all the options and controls of your email client. You’ll save hours and hours every month, forever.
Read the f****** manual!