Are you ready to take the Google Certified Educator Level 1 test? We can help! This is the beginning of a series that will help you gain the trust you need for your Google certification.
Here are the 5 essential Gmail skills we will be covering. Gmail is a powerful tool that has many intricacies. This is why we have simplified it down to the essential skills needed for the Google Certified Educator Level I exam.
You can find out more about Gmail in our podcast episode. It is packed with tons of tips and tricks to help manage your inbox.
A quick overview of Level 1 Google Certified Educator Exam
Google Certified Educator Level 1 is a certification you can get to prove your mastery over using Google tools within your classroom. You can find a lot of great resources on the Google Teacher Center to help you prepare for your exam.
Google Certified Educator level one exam consists two sections. One section contains multiple choices, true/false matching, and a shorter section. A larger, scenario-based task section follows. To complete the exam, you have 180 minutes (or 3 hours) to complete it. The registration fee is $10 USD. It’s really not expensive. You will need to recertify every 3 years in order to keep up with Google’s tools.
In this series of posts, we want to explain the capabilities of each tool to make you more competent and increase your confidence in the Google Workspace.
Gmail Skills You Must Know
These are the 5 skills you’ll need to master in Gmail. Here they are, in no particular order:
- How to use stars as a way to organize
- Understanding the various inbox types (especially the priority one)
- Gmail’s search tools
- Use and creation of labels
- How to make and use filters
Let’s look in depth at each skill.
1. Gmail Stars for Organization
Gmail stars are a great feature. You can make it a lot easier to find the important emails you need by using stars strategically in your Gmail Inbox. You can automatically add any email marked with stars to your Starred folder in Gmail. So you should only use them for the really important emails.
To add a Star to an Email, click on the star located to the left of your message in your Inbox, You can continue clicking on the star until the colour/shape of your choice is found.
You can add a star in an email to your Gmail inbox
You can also add starlets to your email using the three dots menu at top of your email or click on the star in your top right corner of the screen.
Gmail: Add a star to your email
These settings can be customized in your settings panel to change which symbols or stars you see in your inbox. Navigate to settings, then See all Settings. You can drag-and-drop between In Use (or Not in Use) by going to the General panel, which is located almost at the bottom. It’s important to scroll to the bottom so you can save your changes.
Gmail settings panel: Star and symbol options
Our best advice is to think of stars as a way to colour code important emails or remind you to respond to certain emails. You can get the most from stars if you use them sparingly.
2. Gmail offers 6 different types of inboxes
Did you know that Gmail allows you to customize the look and feel for your inbox? There are six types to choose from and you can customize some. This allows you to customize your product to fit your specific needs.
To see all options in your inbox, click on the settings button. There you will find all the types of inboxes.
Gmail has many inbox types
The default is the first. If your inbox has never been modified, it is most likely that this is the default view. Gmail’s default view can be customized to show you the tabs in your inbox. The primary tab must always be enabled. You can then add social, promotions, and forums tabs.
Options for customizing the default inbox
The three next types of inboxes are very similar. They are Unread First (all emails without a flag appear at the top), Important First (“emails that have a flag”), Starred First (“emails that have been starred) and Unread First (“all emails not read”)
Next, your Priority Inbox. This section is particularly important to learn and explore. It is emphasized in the Google Certified Educator level 1 course materials. Priority Inbox lets you separate your inbox and can be customized. Gmail will then learn to categorize your email based on the frequency with which you have taken actions. Isn’t that cool?
You can customize the priority email inbox.
Multiple Inboxes are the final type of inbox. You have a lot more control over what you set up in your Multiple Inboxes than Priority Inbox. You will need to learn more about the setup. We won’t get into the details, but this Google help article will.
3. Gmail’s Search Tool: How to Use It Effectively
Google Certified Educator Level I exam is important. However, it’s also crucial to be able to use Gmail search tools effectively. This will save you time and help you find the right email.
The filters dropdown menu offers many options for narrowing your search. Be sure to explore the tool and test out different options. You can search for email addresses, subject, keywords or attachments.
Options for Google Mail Search
Gmail search operators can also be used to accelerate your search process in Gmail.
4. Gmail Labels – How to Create and Use
Gmail Labels can be very useful for organizing your mail. These labels are similar to folders except you can add multiple labels to a single email. This can come in handy when you aren’t sure where to place your email. You can see any labels you have created in the left side menu of your email.
To create a new label, click on the More tab at the left side of your inbox. Next, scroll down until the Create New Label option. Click on it to enter your label’s name and choose whether or not you want to nest the label under another label. Next, click Save to save your new label.
You’ll see a menu option with three dots when you hover over any label in the left-side menu. To change the color of your label, click on that option. Our favorite is Show If Not Read for labels that don’t need to be displayed in the main left-side menu. This is where you can also edit your label and/or remove it.
To bulk edit your labels, scroll to the bottom in your main email and click Manage Labels. This option offers many editing options, so be sure you explore it.
To add a label to an email click on the checkbox, click on “Labels tag” in the top menu, then select the label that you wish to apply. This menu is also accessible from inside an email. You have many options to add labels to your message. If keyboard shortcuts are enabled, you can also access this menu by hitting the l key. This shortcut is very common!
Gmail: Add a label for an email
After you have finished with an email, archive it. They can be accessed from the labels menu at the left of your inbox. Or you can use the search tool to search your inbox using label and other keywords.
5. Gmail Filters: Maximize Productivity
Filters allow you to automate and filter certain routine tasks in your Gmail accounts. This is especially true if you combine it with stars and labels. Do you have labels that you only apply to certain emails? A filter can be set up to automatically apply those labels to your emails so that you don’t have too!
You will first need to use Google’s search tool to determine which emails the filter will apply to. For a quick review, you can go back to topic 3 (using Gmail’s search tool effectively) You should always do the search first, before creating your filter. This will ensure that Gmail finds the emails you want.
Once you are happy with your search terms go back to the search toolbar. Click on Create Filter. There are tons of options here so have fun and choose what suits you best. Skip the Inbox and Mark as Read (for certain email filters), Apply Label and Also Apply Filter for Matching Conversations are some of our favourites.
Gmail filters menu
Editing your filters is easy. Access it via the Settings Menu. Click See All Settings, then go to Filters and Blocked Addresses. This tab will allow you to access all of the filters that you have set up and can delete or edit.
Bonus tip: If you have filters that you love, export them to other Gmail accounts under the Filters & Blocked Addresses tab. Select the filters you would like to add by clicking on the checkboxes. Scroll down to export. Open your Gmail account again, and click the same menu but choose Import.
These 5 Gmail skills will prepare you to take the Google Certified Educator Level 1, at least the Gmail, exam. Stay tuned for the next part of this series, as we continue our journey through all the Google tools in order to pass the Google Certified Educator level 1 exam.