Maximizing email efficiency
We have long advocated for using Gmail in your business, but have also admitted that it is an incomplete tool, but has many extensions and add-ons that can maximize the efficiency of your emailing habits, particularly for small business professionals’ lives where every second counts. If you want to know not just basic information like how many email messages you have sent, but more important information regarding your habits as to response time, you can improve your habits just by knowing your strengths and weaknesses.
Google has announced that Romain Vialard, a Google Apps Script Top Contributor has developed a tool called “Gmail Meter” which is powered by Google Apps Script. The app runs on the first day of every month, or runs custom reports as you designate it to, offering statistics about your inbox.
According to Google, the report offers information on the following:
- Volume Statistics show you the number of important and starred messages, the number of people who sent you emails, and more. Volume statistics can be very useful in determining how you are using email efficiency tools like Priority Inbox.
- Daily Traffic gives you an estimate of when you receive messages and when you send them during a given month. For example, in the graph below you can see how the peaks in my “Sent” curve indicates that I write emails in spurts.
- Traffic Pattern lets you get a sense of your overall email activity over the past week.
- Email Categories tells you how you are managing your Inbox. In the pie chart below, you can see that the majority of my emails are labeled. My Inbox is tiny compared to other labels which indicates that I keep a lean and mean Inbox.
- Time Before First Response shows you how long it takes you to reply, and how long it takes others to reply to you. By looking at this chart, I can infer that I reply faster than others I communicate with.
- Word Count tells you whether you are writing long emails. The example below shows that most of my emails are shorter than 200 words.
- Thread Lengths help you understand whether you participate in long conversations resulting in long threads. Top Senders and Top Recipients help you identify who you communicate with more frequently.
How to set up Gmail Meter
For the visually inclined, there is an instructional video below the steps outlined below:
- Go into Google Docs and start a blank/new spreadsheet, name it “Gmail Meter.”
- Go to the Tools menu, select Script Gallery.
- Search for “Gmail Meter,” and click the Install button.
- Authorize the script when prompted. Once you authorize, you’ll also need to grant access to the script.
- You’ll see a “Gmail Meter” menu option, click, then choose Get Report.
- When it asks what type of report you want, click “Monthly report” to get started.
- The script will start generating the report, and you will receive an email when it is ready (it took quite a bit of time when we tested it).