Gmail Automation: 5 Useful Google Scripts to Automate Your Gmail

Gmail, by itself, is already a very powerful email client. With the help of filter, you can even set up automation to better organize your inbox. However, for power user, the filter is not sufficient. Here are 5 Google scripts that you can use to further automate your Gmail.

Very often, after we read the email, we will just keep it in our inbox, regardless whether it is useful or not. While Google gives you tons of space to store your emails, you might still want to clean up your inbox and get rid of those useless emails. The following script can check emails with the “Delete Me” label and delete them after “x” number of days.

1. Go to Google Scripts and create a blank project (make sure you are logged into your Google account).

google-script-blank-project

Paste the following script and save it.

function auto_delete_mails() {  
  var label = GmailApp.getUserLabelByName("Delete Me");  
  if(label == null){
    GmailApp.createLabel('Delete Me');
  }
  else{
    var delayDays = 2 // Enter # of days before messages are moved to trash   
    var maxDate = new Date(); 
    maxDate.setDate(maxDate.getDate()-delayDays);    
    var threads = label.getThreads();  
    for (var i = 0; i < threads.length; i++) {  
      if (threads[i].getLastMessageDate()<maxDate){  
        threads[i].moveToTrash();
      } 
    } 
  }
}

You can change the number of days (under delayDays) to pass before it deletes that email from your inbox. Set a trigger (Resources -> Current Project’s Triggers -> Add one now) to run it daily.

google-script-set-trigger

Once activated, it will create a label “Delete Me” in your Gmail account. All you have to do is to tag the unwanted emails with this label and they will be deleted after the expiry day (as set in delayDays.

Sometime, after reading an email, you want it to return to your inbox after a few days. With the following Google script, you can do so:

1. Create a new Google script with the following code:

var MARK_UNREAD = true;
var ADD_UNSNOOZED_LABEL = false;
 
function getLabelName(i) {
  return "Snooze/Snooze " + i + " days";
}
 
function setup() {
  // Create the labels we’ll need for snoozing
  GmailApp.createLabel("Snooze");
  for (var i = 1; i <= 7; ++i) {
    GmailApp.createLabel(getLabelName(i));
  }
  if (ADD_UNSNOOZED_LABEL) {
    GmailApp.createLabel("Unsnoozed");
  }
}
 
function moveSnoozes() {
  var oldLabel, newLabel, page;
  for (var i = 1; i <= 7; ++i) {
    newLabel = oldLabel;
    oldLabel = GmailApp.getUserLabelByName(getLabelName(i));
    page = null;
    // Get threads in "pages" of 100 at a time
    while(!page || page.length == 100) {
      page = oldLabel.getThreads(0, 100);
      if (page.length > 0) {
        if (newLabel) {
          // Move the threads into "today’s" label
          newLabel.addToThreads(page);
        } else {
          // Unless it’s time to unsnooze it
          GmailApp.moveThreadsToInbox(page);
          if (MARK_UNREAD) {
            GmailApp.markThreadsUnread(page);
          }
          if (ADD_UNSNOOZED_LABEL) {
            GmailApp.getUserLabelByName("Unsnoozed")
              .addToThreads(page);
          }          
        }     
        // Move the threads out of "yesterday’s" label
        oldLabel.removeFromThreads(page);
      }  
    }
  }
}

Next, save it and run the “Setup” function. This will add several new label to your Gmails (such as “Snooze for 2 days”, “Snooze for 7 days” etc.) Lastly, just add a trigger for “moveSnoozes” to run everyday. Now, emails marked with the “Snooze” label will return to the inbox with unread status after the number of days have passed. (via Gmail blog)

This Google script make use of the Google Calendar’s SMS feature to send you SMS for important emails.

1. Create a new Google script with the following code:

function Gmail_send_sms(){
  var label = GmailApp.getUserLabelByName("Send Text");  
  if(label == null){
    GmailApp.createLabel('Send Text');
  }
  else{
    var threads = label.getThreads();  
    var now = new Date().getTime();
    for (var i = 0; i < threads.length; i++) {  
      var message = threads[i].getMessages()[0];
      var from = message.getFrom();
      var subject = message.getSubject();
      CalendarApp.createEvent(subject, new Date(now+60000), new Date(now+60000), {location: from}).addSmsReminder(0);
    }
    label.removeFromThreads(threads);
  }
}

2. Save it and set a trigger for it to run every 5 minutes.

3. Lastly, you have to set a filter to add the “Send Text” label to all important incoming emails. The script will scan your inbox every 5 minutes and when it detects an email with the “Send Text” label, it will create an immediate event in Google Calender which will then trigger the SMS.

Boomerang is one web service that you can use to schedule emails to send at a later date, but that requires you to install a browser extension. Gmail Delay Send is a Google Script that can do the same task.

1. Go to this link and click the “Install” link. Once you have authorized the script to access your Gmail, it will redirect you to another page where you can configure the script.

google-script-gmail-delay-send-options

2. Once configured, you can then proceed to draft an email and include the future date/time for it to send and save it as draft with the “GmailDelaySend/ToSend” label.

If you have an email that you want to archive in Google Drive, you can use Google script to save it as PDF in your Google Drive account. The following script will save all the messages in an email thread as one PDF file in your Google Drive. If it comes with attachments, it will create a folder and store the messages and attachments within.

1. Create a new Google script with the following code:

function save_Gmail_as_PDF(){
  var label = GmailApp.getUserLabelByName("Save As PDF");  
  if(label == null){
    GmailApp.createLabel('Save As PDF');
  }
  else{
    var threads = label.getThreads();  
    for (var i = 0; i < threads.length; i++) {  
      var messages = threads[i].getMessages();  
      var message = messages[0];
      var body    = message.getBody();
      var subject = message.getSubject();
      var attachments  = message.getAttachments();
      for(var j = 1;j<messages.length;j++){
        body += messages[j].getBody();
        var temp_attach = messages[j].getAttachments();
        if(temp_attach.length>0){
          for(var k =0;k<temp_attach.length;k++){
            attachments.push(temp_attach[k]);
          }
        }
      } 
      // Create an HTML File from the Message Body
      var bodydochtml = DocsList.createFile(subject+'.html', body, "text/html")
      var bodyId=bodydochtml.getId();
 
      // Convert the HTML to PDF
      var bodydocpdf = bodydochtml.getAs('application/pdf');
      if(attachments.length > 0){
        DocsList.createFolder(subject);
        var folder = DocsList.getFolder(subject);
        for (var j = 0; j < attachments.length; j++) {
          folder.createFile(attachments[j]);
          Utilities.sleep(1000);
        }
        folder.createFile(bodydocpdf);
      }
      else{
        DocsList.createFile(bodydocpdf);
      }      
      DocsList.getFileById(bodyId).setTrashed(true);
      label.removeFromThread(threads[i]);
    }
  }  
}

2. Save it and set a trigger for it to run at regular interval. Whenver you want to save an email and its attachments to Google Drive, simply tag it with the “Save to PDF” label.

With Google Script, there are tons of things that you can do to your Gmail, Google Docs, Calendar and various Google Apps. If you have any other Google script that you use to make your life better, feel free to share them with us in the comment.

Image credit: gmail cookies