Thursday, March 3, 2022

An Essential Student Skill: Student Gmail Inbox Maintenance (Share with your students)



Students these days are absolute experts when it comes to staying on top of notifications for their online gaming, social media, text messages, DM's and more. What they need to get better at is applying those same skills to email. As they get older, and transition into college or the workforce, professors, admissions officers and employers will communicate vital information via email, not text or DM. The sooner kids take email as serious as they do other forms of communication, the better they will be prepared for their future.

A common theme I see with students, adults too, is a crowded, cluttered inbox. This type of inbox can lead to missing important messages. Since most students are using Google Classroom, they get emails whenever their teachers post assignments, announcements, etc. Kids need to develop the habit of going through their inbox and deleting unnecessary or old messages and moving into labels the messages they need to save. 

The screenshots shown below are using the most up-to-date version of Gmail, recently released by Google. If your Gmail doesn't look like this yet, it will soon. Start by showing kids how to create labels. Click the plus button to create a new label.

Each school year, I like to have students create a label for each teacher. It's also a good idea to create a label for counselors.

With labels created, you can move multiple, or single, messages by clicking the Move to button at the top. In the dropdown that appears, click the label into which you want to move the message(s). 

Instantly, you'll see those messages disappear from the inbox. Click on the label to view those messages.

For messages you know you don't need, don't hesitate to delete them. One way is to click on the message to open it. From there, click the trash can button at the top.

If you have a ton of emails you know you don't need, you can delete many at a time. Do this by clicking the checkbox next to each message you want to delete. Once you've "checkboxed" them, click the trashcan button at the top.

Share this video with students to show them each of the tips demonstrated above.

Share these screenshots with your students. Set up time during the day or make it an expectation for free time for kids to not just check their email, but to organize and declutter their inbox. What email tricks do you have or have you used with students? 

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