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How To Use Filters for Gmail Organization

Have you ever felt that you’ve been spending too much time trying to organize your email? It's a new decade and we're skipping new years resolutions to create real habits that last us longer than a few months. First up, organizing our inboxes!

One of the most commonly asked questions that Cloudbakers' training team receives is how to more effectively manage email and be more productive. Often, colleagues who work together in the same department or organization find that they’re struggling to keep up with all of the mail that they’re receiving from each other.

In Gmail, you can use filters to create rules for actions that should automatically be taken on emails that you receive, such as:

  • Applying a label to all email messages that you receive from a specific person
  • Labeling messages that are related to a project you’re currently working on
  • Having specific messages skip your inbox and automatically be archived in All Mail

Here's an example. Let's say you want to automate the labeling of all messages that come from your boss:

GCS-1 Determine what criteria you want to filter messages for. From the search bar, expand the advanced search filters:

Gmail Filters Blog- 1GCS-2Enter the content you want to filter for, and instead of clicking the search button, select ‘Create Filter’ when done. Here in the ‘From’ field, you would enter your boss’s email address. 

Gmail Filters Blog- 2GCS-3Indicate what actions you want to see applied to messages that meet the defined criteria. Select the check boxes that you want to tell Gmail to apply to the messages being caught by the filter. In this example, I will pick to ‘apply the label’ and then from the drop down select which label or even create a new one from there. 

Gmail Filters Blog- 3

Now when I receive a message from my boss, I will see that label applied to the message in my inbox, and be able to find it with others from my boss when I go to the label area.

Gmail Filters Blog- 4

Using filters to organize your inbox can save you time and help you to prioritize which email messages you should act on first. 

Check out the G Suite Learning Center to learn how to get started with filters, and to discover even more ideas about filters that you can create to organize your email!

Originally published on January 13, 2020

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