You’re assigning and snoozing messages like there’s no tomorrow, leaving comments left and right, maybe even tagging messages to stay organized…sounds like you’re on your way to being a Front pro! Now that you’ve had some time to get your bearings, take your productivity to the next level with these more advanced tips for using Front.
We recommend you check these out after you’ve had a chance to work in Front for a few weeks — or if you’re feeling super comfortable with it. If you’ve just started using Front, check out these seven tips for getting started for an overview of the basics before reading on.
1. Automate your work with rules
In Front, you can make “rules” to boost your productivity. Rules let you automate workflows you often repeat by using “if, then” statements — guidelines that tell your inbox what to do with certain messages. For instance, “if an inbound message contains "urgent support", then add the tag "Urgent".
Individual Rules vs. Team Rules
Everyone can make rules for their individual inbox. Depending on the level of permission you have in Front, you might also be able to create Team Rules, as well. Individual rules only work for messages to your individual work email, while team rules can apply to your shared inboxes.
Make your own rules
Here’s a popular rule you can try setting up for your individual inbox: For any message you receive that’s unreplied for a certain time period, say 2 days, then tag that message as
Needs Reply❗️ so you can easily see what you need to prioritize.
Want to see some other interesting rules teams have set up in Front? Check out our Rules Directory for a few of our favorites, and read more tips on building rules.
2. Get all the context you need
When you’re responding to customers, you usually need to open other apps to get the information you need to reply. Good news! Whether you need to view a project timeline in Asana or grab some customer data from Salesforce, you can access all that information without ever leaving Front.
Integrations & Plugins
Click the circular button in the top right corner of Front to access your integrations and plugins, right next to your messages. Most often, your Team Admin will choose which integrations to set up for your whole team. Check out the whole list of Front integrations, and if you see one that might be useful for your team, ask your Team Admin about getting it set up.
Along with integrations and plugins, you’ll also see a section called “Contact Details”. Here you can access every conversation you’ve had with a contact — emails, tweets, live chats, or any other communication channel you have set up in Front. You can also leave notes in your Contact Details, so you don’t forget important information about certain customers.
3. Take control of your work schedule
Front has a few different features that allow you to break free from constant email notifications, so you can get time for deep focus, or a little relaxation. You can set up vacation responders like you would with traditional email, but you can also change your status in Front, and specify “Do not Disturb” times for peace and quiet from notifications.
Create a vacation responder
Under “Settings”, “My responses”, and “Vacation responders”, you can create and save as many vacation responders as you need. Front allows you to get more granular with your responder than you can with Gmail or Outlook: Choose specific channels you want to send to, set a schedule, and attach files. Keep in mind, your vacation responder only works for messages that come to your individual inbox. If you’re looking to create an auto-reply for team inboxes, you can do that using rules.
Set your status in Front
Find your status in Front by clicking your icon and “Available.” From there, you can choose from three options:
Out of Office: When you’re OOO, any shared inbox messages that are assigned to you will be automatically unassigned, so the rest of your team knows to work on them instead.
Mute: This will prevent you from receiving any of the notifications you usually get from Front. Mute can be useful for times when you really need to buckle down and focus on your work.
Do Not Disturb: Specify a daily time when you won’t receive notifications. When this is switched on, it applies every day. Do Not Disturb is great for building some quiet time into your schedule, whether it’s to get work done notification-free, or just to relax and recharge outside work hours.
4. Work through your messages faster
You’re likely already collaborating with your team using comments and @mentions in Front — and maybe you’re snoozing messages and setting reminders too! Here are a few more ways you can breeze through your inbox and never miss a conversation:
Share drafts: Work on a reply with a teammate by typing a reply in your composer, then clicking the “Share draft” icon next to the “Send” button. This will allow your team to see a message you’ve typed up, and if they have something to add, they can edit in real time and send.
Send options: Click the drop down arrow next to your “Send” button to choose from three different ways to send a message: “Send”, “Send + Archive”, and “Send Later”. To help you work through your messages faster, set a default send preference for all your messages under “Settings” and “My preferences”.
Send: When you send a reply, the thread will stay in your “Open” folder, until you archive it.
Send + Archive: When your send a reply, the thread will automatically move to your “All” folder, so you know it’s been worked on, and you don’t need to reply.
Send later: You can specify an exact date and time you want the message to send. Once you specify a time to send, the message will remain as a draft until that time (so you can go back and edit it if you need.)
Search: Front has an Advanced Search bar to help you find messages faster. You can easily access messages using the Quick Filters: Unread, Attachments, or Snoozed. Click the gray arrow at the bottom to view all the properties you can search by, like typing "from:" to search by sender.
5. Keyboard shortcuts
Front has keyboard shortcuts so you can work through your inbox faster. To make it easy for you to remember, we always stick to Gmail conventions where possible. Find them directly in Front, all the way at the bottom of your integrations and plugins. Below are a few commonly used shortcuts to get you started moving around Front mouse-free.
Basic Front keyboard shortcuts
J / Up Arrow - Move to a previous conversation
K / Down Arrow - Move to the next conversation
/ - Navigate to the search bar
G + A - Go to all unassigned conversations
Shift + X - Force the conversation list to refresh
R - Reply to the most recent message
Command + Enter - Send & Archive
W - Assign conversation to a team member
E- Archive the conversation
L - Tag a conversation
+ Delete - Trash the conversation
S - Set a snooze/reminder on a conversation
Shift + I - See information about current conversation
M - Navigate to the comment bar
@ - Pulls a list of available team members to mention
You can also access the full list of keyboard shortcuts on our Community Page.
Want a more in-depth look at all Front’s features? Download our full user guide, Getting Started with Front, for everything you need to know about working in your shiny new inbox. ✨
Written by Emily Hackeling
Originally Published: 17 April 2020