Creating a custom gmail email signature

 
 create custom email signature, gmail email signature, how to create an email signature
 

Creating an email signature is something I get asked about a lot actually, a lot of people want to know how I created my email signature because it’s got my photo in it. So today I figured I’d share with you a quick tutorial on how to create a custom gmail signature. Having a customized email signature is a great way to show more of your personality, give those you’re emailing a peek at your beautiful face, and share a little bit more about you/your business.

One thing that I do need to say is to not make your email signature crazy. What do I mean by that? Don’t go and add every single place you’ve ever been featured or tons of links. It makes it a bit overwhelming, and depending on the email provider it’ll show your photos as attachments (which can get wicked annoying if you’re actually sending them an attachment). If you’re dead set on adding where you’ve been featured as a way to boost credibility, add 3 max (and make sure they’re small) or even better, add a link to a page on your website that showcases them in full.

I personally like simpler signatures and do click on the links they provide. It’s a great chance to share your website, social media platforms, or add a few of the most common requested links (i.e. access to their client portal or schedule a call with you). I’ve had several clients use the link in my email signature to a schedule call with me rather than emailing me asking to schedule a call because they saw it was there!

Create your custom Gmail signature

  1. Create new Google Doc

  2. Insert > Table > 2x1

  3. Add your desired headshot to the left column (I put my headshot in a circle using Illustrator, but you can do that in Photoshop or Canva)

  4. Add your signature text to the right column

  5. Format the signature to look the way you’d like it to (i.e. fonts, sizes, links, colors)

  6. Resize and the column as needed

  7. To remove the table border, click on each of the border lines (shift + click to batch do it) then click the border width icon and set to 0pt

Here’s a quick peek at what it will look like:

create your custom gmail signature samples

How to add your email signature to Gmail

  1. Gmail > Settings > Settings > General > Signature

  2. Select the whole table you just created, copy and paste into the signature setting in Gmail

  3. Save changes

 
 
 

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Getting to Inbox Zero — Part 2

 
 Tips for getting to and staying at inbox zero — how to manage your inbox #inboxmanagement #gmailtips #emailtips #tametheinbox #inboxzero
 

How to actually get to and stay at inbox zero

I love seeing inbox zero or almost inbox zero, it brings just that much more peace of mind to me at the end of the day. And honestly, it’s actually not as hard as it seems. If your inbox is currently overflowing (I’m talking to you over there with the 365+ unread emails) I’ll be honest, it will take a little bit of time to clean everything up, but not as much as you’d actually think if you follow some of the tips below.

Right now the only emails in my inbox are ones that need response or are about upcoming meetings I have. And that’s it. How do I only have those emails in my inbox? Simple. When an email comes into my inbox I do one of these 4 things:

  1. Open, read and respond and label it

  2. Open, read and label it “needs response”

  3. Open, read and boomerang it

  4. Open, read and delete

By doing this I’m able to quickly get through my emails because if at that moment I don’t want to (or can’t) respond to something I won’t mark as unread, I’ll just label it “needs response” that way it’ll still appear in my inbox without adding to that ugly unread button.

I should probably also note that I do have 2 email accounts, one for client/business and one for business email subscriptions and courses I’ve signed up for. It may seem a bit over the top, but it’s helped me stay organized and not get so distracted when I do have to check my email during the day and I see that one of my favorite people is launching a new course I want to take. And I do have the same setup for that email as my business one so the only things currently in that inbox are things I need to download, respond to or read.

Let’s dive into the 4 things I do when I check my inbox!

1. Open, read, respond, label

Filters are an absolutely magical feature in Gmail. If you haven’t used it before get ready because it is seriously the best. I use filters to add labels to emails from clients and some other emails I get that I want to label. Once I’ve finished reading and responding to an email and have labeled (or created a new filter) I click the X next to “inbox” and let the email disappear from my inbox and stay safely tucked in its new labeled home.

How to add a filter

  1. Open Gmail and select an email you want to add a label to

  2. At the top of the screen will be three vertical dots, click on it to have an additional menu pop up, select the option, “filter messages like these”

  3. Choose the settings for how you want emails like the one you’ve selected to be labeled.

  4. Click “create filter” — this will allow you to tell Gmail what you want done with the email(s) in the future.

  5. Want all emails matching the filter from step 3 to get labeled too? Check that last box “also apply filter to matching messages”. Then create filter!

Using filters to organize client emails

My favorite way to use filters is for organizing client emails. When I get a new client I create a new label for them under “Clients” and then I open one of their emails and create a new filter for it. The only thing currently that I do is select “apply the label” and choose what label I want those emails to be added to.

Sometimes a client will send me an email not from their normal account and so a label doesn’t get added, I can choose to either create a new filter for that email address or (what I tend to do) I just add a label to that individual email. When I’m in my email I can see next to the subject the labels that are attached to that email. Once I’m done reading or responding to an email I simply click the X next to the “inbox” label (since it was in the inbox. This will take it out of the inbox and I can then move on to my next emails. Just make sure that either you’re deleting emails or moving them to a specific label when you’re done with them.

Using filters to weed out promotional emails

One great way you can use filters to declutter your inbox is when you first sign up for an email list you’ll get that initial email from them. Depending on if it’s for a newsletter or emails from a company like Target letting you know the latest deals, you can create a filter for those emails and tell them to (1) mark as read (2) apply a label (i.e. get added to a folder) (3) skip the inbox (archive it). What this will do is every email from Target (using that email address) as soon as it enters your inbox it will mark it as read, add your chosen label to it and archive the email — the email will still appear in the folder (label) you gave it, but it won’t appear in your inbox. So essentially all of those promotional emails that you sign up for never have to show their face in your inbox and they’ll be neatly stored in a specific promotional folder that you can go to when you want to go shopping and want to know who has what sales. The only downside of marking as read and having emails skip the inbox is that you won’t know what new email you have so you may miss the big sale they’re emailing about etc.

2. Open, read and label it as “needs response”

This is the key to this whole thing. This is how I’m able to read emails and not let them get lost in the “unread” folder or somewhere else in my email. What I’ve done is used the “Multiple Inboxes” option in settings (didn’t know they had one?? They do and it’s amazing!) and used 4 categories to organize my inbox with.

Want to see how I organize my inbox using Multiple Inboxes? Read the whole post here and see the 4 categories I use and details on how to set it up for your account.

3. Use Boomerang to make emails go away for a bit

Sometimes we get emails in our inbox that aren’t from clients or anything related to running your business, it could be an email from a company asking to have their product added to your resources list (true story, I get these a lot). In some of these instances it was a straight up no, and other times it’s been something I need to look into and actually see if their product/service would be something I’d recommend to my audience. At the moment I honestly don’t have the time to do that research so I use Boomerang for Gmail to have it leave my inbox and come back in a few days to a few weeks when I know I’ll have time to look into it. Rather than letting it sit opened in some “read later” folder that I know I really will never check again I have it leave my inbox and come back later (...like a boomerang). This has really helped me not let those emails take up space in my brain when I could be thinking about 100 other things (like what cup of tea I’m on and if I should switch to decaf soon). Let me backup a sec, if it’s something that I’m not going to recommend to my audience I do email them right then so they don’t have to wait for my response. I know it’d be nicer to email them if I just need to think about it but sometimes I don’t even have mental space to do that because then it starts a new email chain of them thanking me for that and whatever other sales pitches they now think they can send me. So I’ve made the decision to just boomerang those emails for when I have space to respond.

4. Open, read and delete

There’s a lot of emails I get that need no response and have no purpose staying in my email account. Those are the ones that I just delete. I try not to hang on to too many non-client or business (legal/financial) related emails as those do take up space that I’ll need for other actually important emails. Don’t feel bad for deleting emails, and if there was a webinar that the time ran out on it to join, delete it. You don’t need to save things that expired. I do however have a “Swipe Files” folder for times when an email had an amazing layout or copy that I want to remember. Those are the rare times I’ll save those expired emails.

 
 Tips for getting to and staying at inbox zero — how to manage your inbox #inboxmanagement #gmailtips #emailtips #tametheinbox #inboxzero
 

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Getting to Inbox Zero — Setting Up Labels and Sections

 
 Getting to inbox zero using labels and sections #inboxmanagement #gmailtips #emailtips #inboxzero
 

Inbox Zero.

It’s an elusive concept.

...or is it?

It can sometimes be controversial, the whole inbox zero concept. When it’s done not in a stressful or obsessive way, it can be really good. I’m a huge inbox zero (or almost zero) fan and love the peace of mind and the amount of stress it reduces seeing how little there is in my inbox.

Currently the only things that are in my inbox are things just arrived (unread), that need response, or are upcoming meetings. On average I’ll have less than 10 email in my inbox per day. The majority of emails that chill in my inbox are emails from Acuity letting me know about upcoming meetings.

When I was on the lookout for how to organize my inbox (and not just create a bazillion folders), I discovered that Gmail has a setting called “Priority Inbox”. It’s hidden in the settings, but once you find it, it’s like hitting a gold mine.

Make your labels and determine your inbox sections

Before we dive into the good stuff (who am I kidding it’s all good stuff) you’ll want to make sure you’ve created all of the labels you’d like to have in your email account. Sure you’ll probably add or delete some later, but for now let’s get your basics setup.

Take a peek at the labels I use

Business

  • Affiliate-Referrals

  • Biz Finance

  • Collaborations

  • Courses/Products

  • Legal

  • Receipts

  • Other

Clients

  • Client A

  • Client B

  • Client C

Clients - Archived

  • Client A

  • Client B

  • Client C

Leads
Learn + Grow

  • Communities

  • Courses

  • Guest Posts

  • Masterminds

  • Newsletters

  • Swipe F iles

 

Needs Response
Upcoming Meetings

Determine your inbox sections

Now it’s time to figure out what 4 sections you want to see in your inbox. You can choose to see any label you’ve set as well as unread emails, read emails, and so much more. Currently I have my sections set to...

  1. Unread

  2. Needs Response

  3. Upcoming Meetings

  4. Everything else (these are all of your opened emails that are in your inbox)

How to setup multiple inboxes in your gmail inbox

A little known secret is the Gmail labs

  1. Click the gear in the top and select “settings”

  2. Once you’re in the settings you’ll choose the tab “Advanced” and find the Multiple Inboxes option, and choose “enable”. Make sure to scroll to the bottom and click “Save Changes”!

  3. Back at the top, click on the tab “Inbox” and change the Inbox Type to “Priority Inbox” in the dropdown menu.

  4. Time to set up your Inbox Sections — these are the categories you’ll see  in your new inbox

    1. In space 1 click “options” and click “more options…” to see the new labels you’ve created. Choose the label you want to appear first in your inbox.

    2. Repeat this for space 2, 3, and 4.

  5. SAVE CHANGES!

Now your inbox will show those 4 sections (or up to 4 sections) and any emails that are in them. If there isn’t an email in them at the moment the section won’t show, but soon as an email gets in there it’ll reappear. I love this feature because if I’m trying to focus on a certain section and I don’t want to be distracted by say the “upcoming meetings” section I can minimize it and it’ll hide the emails in there.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this mini inbox series where I’ll share the exact steps I do to get to (almost) inbox zero. P.S. it includes filters and Boomerang!

 
 Getting to inbox zero using labels and sections #inboxmanagement #gmailtips #emailtips #inboxzero
 

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How to Customize Your Instagram Bio Link

 
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An alternative to using Linktree

One of my first blog posts was about how to use Linktree for your Instagram bio so that you could have multiple links in your bio. After a while , I realized that I didn’t need to use a third-party program to do this...I could just use my own website! What do I mean by that? I could create a page on my website that wasn’t linked anywhere on my site where I could add whatever links or information to that page I wanted and design it specifically to be viewed on mobile (since that’s where we all check our IG).

The benefits of using your own website to create your social media landing page

As a former brand designer, using your own website is a no-brainer (even though back then I didn’t even think of doing this!). By using my own website for my social media landing page I can keep the visual aspects of my brand intact...for free. Rather than using a third-party like Linktree where you’d need to pay a monthly fee to be able to use your own branding, remove Linktree branding, see in-depth analytics, and several other premium features.

One other thing I love about designing my own page is that I can use a gallery block (in Squarespace) to showcase my latest blog posts. As I post new ones it will automatically update for me, which is one less thing for me to have to do.

What’s should go on your social media landing page?

Depending on what your business is and what your goals are with Instagram, what goes on your landing page will differ. Because my goal as a website designer and VA is to get people to hire me, I want to work on my Know-Like-Trust factor, so in addition to giving people links to hire me, they can also hop on my email list or check out my latest blog posts.

Occasionally I’ll add other links on this page if one of the companies I’m an affiliate for is having a sale or there’s a webinar I’m attending that I think would benefit someone else. But for the most part, I just have links to hire me, join my email list, and check out the blog. I’ve seen people do a short intro and headshot to let people know who they are/what they do and then give them links to their top 3 things (i.e. service, blog, email list).

Want to see my social media landing page?

Check it out here: luxandvita.com/social

 
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Getting Started in Dubsado — Part 1

Getting Started in Dubsado — Part 1

One of the first systems I recommend clients get setup is their CRM (client relationship management). This is where they’ll be able to keep track of their leads and current and past clients. One thing that a lot of people don’t fully realize is how much time and work it takes to get a CRM set up. A lot of people get overwhelmed when it comes to setting up a new program, but today I’m walking you through the very first thing you need to do to setup Dubsado!