GMail is now the defacto email provider and, if you've been around long enough, you remember when the standard was Yahoo!, and before that it was Hotmail and AOL. (I finally killed my abandoned Hotmail account a couple years ago after spending an embarrassing amount of time going through college emails). The bad part is Google having access to yet another part of your life. The great part is GMail having the agile, always-evolving spirit common in Google.
And one simple, little-known trick could actually prevent a communication misstep from blowing up your next business opportunity.
Don't send it yet!
GMail can give you something you didn't realize you needed: 30 seconds.
Just recently, I was multitasking (which I have literally written entire books warning against) and accidently did a Reply All when I should have done a single reply (in a way, proving my actual point). The intended recipient politely, but firmly reminded me that they asked to be emailed directly.
Apologies flew quickly and were accepted, but there wasn't anything I could do about it. Even Microsoft Outlook wouldn't have helped, as its popular retract email function often doesn't work. I've gotten more than a few awkward Microsoft emails saying that the previous email was retracted - even though I still had the original email.
The best I could do is prepare for next time, which I did immediately.
Here's how to buffer your time
GMail gives you up to 30 seconds to stop the just-sent email from going, though you need to set it up now, not after the fact. First, go into Settings (currently a little cog symbol in the upper-right hand corner). Next, click on Undo Send and choose your length of time delay between five and 30 seconds. Lastly, rest easy that you now have a buffer between your finger and your brain.
And if you haven't already, consider streamlining up to 90 percent of your email, keeping your emails only five lines long and, for the sake of productivity, stop checking your email first thing in the morning.
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