If you’re like other managers, you sit down each morning, turn the computer on and check your email, and continue to check it throughout the day, often receiving up to 100 messages or more. Over a year, that’s 365,000 emails, and if you use Gmail, all of them are sitting in your inbox creating a bit of an unorganized mess, and you probably don’t have the time to clean it up.
Here’s how you can quickly organize your inbox using Labels, filters and archive. What are Labels and filters? Many users are used to storing their documents and information in file folders on hard drives. The same goes for email, they want to be able to put emails into folders for organization purposes. With Gmail, you have the inbox and other folders provided by Google, but you can’t add more. Google’s solution to this is Labels.
Labels essentially replace a file system by following the same idea as a filing system with an added benefit. As with files, you can sort and and store emails using Labels. Unlike files, you can attach different Labels to the same email, allowing you to organize, and easily search for emails that might fit into different categories.
Filters allow you to tell Gmail what you want it to do with emails from a specific sender. You can set up a filter that tells Gmail to apply an urgent Label to emails from a certain client, or to send Facebook notifications to archive without the email going to your inbox.
How to create and apply Labels To create a Label:
- Open Gmail, and from the main screen press the Labels button, located above the center panel and below the search bar.
- Click Create New.
- Enter the name you’d like to apply. If you click Nest label under, this will put the Label in an already established Label. i.e., in Reply Later.
- Select an email by clicking on it so it changes color. Click on the Labels button above the email pane, and select the Label name from the dropdown list. Or,
- Select a Label from the left hand side of the window and drag it to the email you want to apply the Label to.
- Selecting the email you’d like to filter and clicking on More above the email pane.
- Clicking Filter messages like these from the drop down menu.
- Entering the information in the window that pops up. There are numerous options on how you’d like to filter email. For example, you can set Gmail to filter all emails with the subject line: “Complaint.”
- Pressing Create filter with this search. A new window will pop up with options on what you want Gmail to do with email with the previous info. You’ll notice that in the background, Gmail has listed all the emails with the info you entered from step 3. If you’d like Gmail to apply the same filter to all related emails, press the button besideCreate Filter.
- Pressing Create Filter.
To the archives! To go one step further in your "clean the inbox campaign", you can add a filter option to Send Directly to Archive. This will tell Gmail to archive all related emails so you can look at them at a later date. You can also archive emails individually by selecting them and pressing the button that has a file with an arrow pointing down on it, located above the email pane.
The emails will be moved out of your inbox, and into the archive folder, so don’t worry when they disappear. You can view what you have moved by pressing All mail on the left hand side of the window. If you can’t see it, press more. When you press All mail, you’ll notice your inbox will now be showing every email. If you’ve applied a Label to archived emails, you can also view them by clicking on the Label name on the left side of the window.
By using these three methods, you can organize your inbox making it easier for you to find important information without having to scroll through thousands of emails. If you’d like to learn more interesting Gmail features, please contact us.