Letting your phone tell you what's happening when it happens can be both a boon and a curse. Email notifications on Android phones may help you stay productive or they might distract you from what you really ought to be doing instead. Customize your notifications and your email to get the most out of your Android phone.

Gmail Notifications

Within the Gmail app you can set up notifications for all your email, some of your email or none of your email delivery. When you're in the Gmail app on your Android phone, tap the three dots in a vertical line and touch "Settings." From there you can check or uncheck the notification option. If it's unchecked, you won't get notifications for any email delivered to your Gmail inbox. If it's checked, you can use the "Inbox Sound & Vibrate" option to set up how your phone reacts to incoming emails.

Sound and Vibration

The first option in the Sound and Vibration settings for your Gmail notifications is for Label Notifications. The Label Notification option enables you to set up different sounds and vibration options for labels within Gmail. Tap the "Sound" option to choose from the available tones to play when a new message comes in. This sound will play only if you have your volume set above vibrate. Tap "Vibrate" to cause your phone to vibrate when a new email comes in. These options are for your primary inbox, not any other labels you might use. Tapping the options for "Notify for Every Message" will cause your Android phone to give you a notification for each new email instead of one notification for when you have new email.

Email Labels

From the main Settings menu for your Gmail app you can tap "Manage Labels" toward the bottom to see the labels you currently have and determine how each one generates email delivery notifications. Tap the label you want to work with; touch the "Label Notifications" option and set up the sound and vibration for that label. If you have no sound and no vibration set up, your phone's notification light will still blink when you get a new email.

Android Email App

If you don't -- or can't -- use Gmail as your email service on your Android phone, you can still use the stock Android email application. It's the one that simply says "Email" in the app launcher. Since it's designed to work with a variety of email services it can't offer the label-level support for notifications, but you can enable or disable notifications in the settings menu as well as determine how often your phone checks for email, anywhere from automatically to once an hour.