How to Run Your Business Using Gmail

Cross-platform accessibility. Amazing reliability. High storage limits. These are just a few of Gmail’s awesome features. Did you know you can use Gmail to run your business? The email provider you (probably) know and love can handle your business account, too. Here’s how.

Step 1: Get Your Email Set Up

If you don’t already have a email address, you’ll want to set one up. Most domains come with at least one free email address. Talk to your provider for details.

Step 2: Get Gmail Set Up

If you already have your business email account set up through Google Apps, then you’re good to go. If not, you can pay a small monthly fee to use Gmail’s functionality while using your email address. Follow Google’s directions to set up your Google Apps account.

Step 3: Get Organized with Labels and Filters

Labels and filters are two powerful features in Gmail. Labels are a bit like the email folders you might be used to seeing. They can be color-coded and nested. Emails can have multiple labels at once. To remove a labeled email from your inbox, simply “archive” it.

Filters let you automate a lot of your email flow. You can set Gmail to do specific things with emails that have certain characteristics. For example, it can mark them as read, give them a particular label, or forward them to someone else. The filters apply to any new emails that meet the criteria, too. Gmail will automatically do with them whatever you told it to do.

Step 4: Customize Your Signature

You don’t need to type the same closing every time you compose an email. Gmail lets you create a custom signature for your email address. It can include links, text, and even images. Do you manage multiple email addresses from the same inbox? You can have a different signature for each one. Gmail will automatically add the appropriate signature to the end of your email based on which address you’re sending from.

Step 5: Explore Gmail Labs and Integrations

Gmail Labs are experimental features Google is trying out. You can choose which ones you’d like to use (if any) in your Gmail settings. Google warns that these may break, disappear, or be integrated into Gmail at any time. Still, they can be useful tools for you and your business.

There are also many apps out there that integrate with Gmail. This is especially true of CRM and project management tools. It’s possible your favorite tools integrate with Gmail, too.

Step 6: Keep Exploring

Google is always working to improve its already solid product. New integrations and features are released all the time. Check to see what’s new now and then to keep your Gmail inbox working for you.