Turn Gmail Into A Trello-Like Task Board With Sortd

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In the modern workforce, your email often turns into your task list. Trello is a great app to organise your tasks. Well, now you can get the same sort of organisation right in Gmail with a new Chrome extension, Sortd.

Sortd is a skin that adds a new layer to your Gmail. Click the small red tab on the side to activate and you’ll be taken to the Sortd view, which is essentially a kanban board—columns where you can add and delete your tasks.

Sortd-for-Gmail-Trello-Boards-Gmail-Default

How Does Sortd Work?

Sortd lists all of your emails in a single pane on the left, with boards taking up space on the right. Here’s what you can do with it:

  • Drag and drop emails to any task board
  • Reorder and rearrange emails with the same drag and drop action
  • Change the subject of emails for clearer understanding
  • Add new items manually to any task board
  • Group emails into a single task
  • Rename lists
  • Add new lists

Sortd-for-Gmail-Right-Click-Options

  • Mark any item as Done, Archived, Dismissed or highlight it with a colour.
  • Click any email and you will be able to view it in a preview (overlaying the boards). You’ll need to dismiss the preview to access your task board again.
  • In preview mode, mark an email as Done
  • In preview mode, add notes to an email
  • Snooze emails to organise and get through your tasks
  • View a summary of Sortd as a sidebar in Gmail

Tips To Use Gmail Productively With Sortd

Sortd-for-Gmail-Productivity-Task-Boards

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With the number of features, you might be tempted to fiddle around with Sortd a bit too much. Don’t get lost in productivity porn. You need to stop organising and start doing, so we have a few tips on how to arrange your task boards.

  1. Make a Task Board titled “Today”. Every morning, go through your inbox and add important emails that need to be acted upon today.
  2. Similarly, have another task board titled “Later”. If an email needs to be addressed tomorrow or in a few days, add it to “Later” and change the subject to the date and day it needs to be tackled. When that date comes, add it to your “Today” board.
  3. Make a Task Board titled “To-Do”, and add odd jobs and small tasks there. These should be time-insensitive items, which you can tackle whenever you get a chance to do them.
  4. Make a Task Board titled “Finished”. Whenever you’re done with a task, shift it to this task board. Trust me, nothing is as soothing for the soul as seeing what you have achieved today!
  5. Revisit your Task Boards periodically and make changes to the above recommendations as you see fit.

Where Sortd Falls Short

Sortd-for-Gmail-Sidebar-in-Gmail

Sortd is great, but it still could use a few improvements. For starters, it lacks reminders and alarms, which are super-important for organising tasks. You also can’t share a copy of your task lists, which would be useful for those working in teams—admittedly, this isn’t a big concern but it would be a nice feature to have.

My bigger problem with Sortd is that it only works with one Gmail account at a time. So if you use Gmail’s multi-account login for your personal and professional email IDs, you can only choose to have Sortd running in one at a time.

How To Install Sortd for Chrome

If you head to the official Sortd website, you can sign up to be an early user. However, there’s a neat workaround to get Sortd right now.

Just head over to the Google Chrome Extension page for Sortd and install it using the signup code MAKEUSEOF. In a minute, you’ll be up and running, ready to make your Gmail more productive. While you’re at it, there are some other great Chrome extensions for Gmail that you should check out.

If you have installed the previous Chrome version, please uninstall it before downloading the new Sortd extension. The new version adds support for multiple accounts and lets you assign due dates, although there are no reminders at the moment. The Sortd developers say that is coming in an update soon.

If you use Gmail, we’re interested in knowing how you make it more productive. Do you have any favourite extensions or tricks that help you get more work done with Google’s email app? Do you use something like the new Inbox by Gmail to make it better? Share your success story in the comments below!

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