Keeping track of emails to respond to or follow up on can be a hassle but, fortunately, Gmail offers reminders for both and a lot more. The trick, then, lies in learning exactly how to set those up for Gmail so that you get the reminders you need. Well, that’s exactly what this guide hopes to cover. And, as with many of our guides, we’re covering options for both desktop Gmail and mobile.
Here’s how to set automatic reminders via Nudges for Gmail on desktop
For the first option for reminders that you can use in Gmail, learning how to set them up is the key because they appear automatically. We’re talking, of course, about a feature that Google calls “Nudges.”
Nudges are similar to the Snooze option we’ll discuss momentarily in that they cause emails with reminders to show a notification.
That appears on the right-hand edge of individual email messages and, in the case of Nudges, prompts you to respond to emails you’ve received. Specifically, by displaying in an easy-to-spot yellow text that tells you how long ago you received the message. Or how long ago you sent an email. The notification also asks if you’d like to “Respond,” “Reply,” “Follow-up” or similar.
Nudges are useful because they don’t rely on your active input to appear — instead, relying on an algorithm. And, because Google is so good at building its algorithms, they’re useful because they don’t appear on every email. Only on emails that appear to be important and legitimate. So spam messages aren’t typically nudged.
And setting Nudges up really couldn’t be any simpler.
- Open up Gmail in a browser — or in a mobile browser in desktop mode
- Click or tap — on touchscreen gadgets — the gear-shaped Settings icon at the top right-hand side of the UI
- Select the “See all settings” option, near the top of the menu
- Under the General sub-heading, scroll to the segment reading “Nudges”
- Select the options you’d like to activate. Gmail gives you two options for reminders. Those are dubbed “Suggest emails to reply to” and “Suggest emails to follow up on” — either of which can be selected via the easy-to-learn-how-to-use checkbox. Select one or both options. The options are fairly self-explanatory, but work as follows
- Suggest emails to reply to – With this option, emails that Gmail determines you may have forgotten to respond to will appear near the top of your inbox with the above-mentioned message in yellow text
- Suggest emails to follow up on – With this option, emails that Gmail determines you probably should have gotten a response to — or which appear to require a response — will appear at the top with a similar suggestion
Gmail also has a snooze button on desktop platforms offerings reminders-like functionality
Snoozing an email is much more straightforward still. And even offers you some granular control over when your Gmail reminders will be pushed forward.
- Open up Gmail in your favorite browser, or, as with the above method, in the mobile browser in desktop mode
- Select emails you’d like a reminder about later on by clicking or tapping the check box next to the email
- After selecting the email or emails, select the clock-shaped “Snooze” icon along the top bar
- Gmail will showcase an array of options for reminders and a custom option that we’ll discuss how to use momentarily
- If the preset options available are suitable, choose the one you’d like to use. Otherwise;
- If the options aren’t suitable, select the custom option, labeled “Pick date & time”
- Next, in the custom date picker, select your date and time — using either the calendar or by manually entering one in
- Once snoozed, emails will effectively disappear from view, only reappearing at the top once the reminder date and time parameters have been met. Or, of course, if you open up the “Snoozed” label in the left-hand sidebar
If you’re on mobile, here’s how you can set these reminders up
Both of the above-listed options are also available on Android and other mobile operating systems as well.
- Open up Gmail
- Tap to select the three-dash icon at the top left-hand side
- Scroll all the way to the bottom and select “Settings”
- In Settings, select your email address from the list of options
- Scroll again to the bottom to find the “Nudges” subheading
- Select “Reply and follow up”
- As with the above-mentioned desktop Nudges, select the checkbox next to the options you’d like enabled. The options include “Suggest emails to reply to” and “Suggest emails to follow up on”
…or use snoozing, just as on desktop platforms for Gmail
Finally, you can also snooze using the Gmail mobile app to set reminders for later and the “how” behind that isn’t all that different from on desktop.
- Open up Gmail on your smartphone
- Long-press — or tap the profile image associated with — emails you’d like to snooze
- Select the three-dot overflow menu icon at the top bar UI
- Select “Snooze” from the list of options
- Use the date picker to choose when the email will reappear. Gmail will now effectively hide the email until you’re ready to find it. Although, just as with desktop, those can still be found under the “Snoozed” label if needed. Effectively filtering things down to just those snoozed emails