Be a Gmail Superstar, Part 2

Did you miss Part 1?

Like I’ve said before, I need my email inbox to be clean and organized. Not only do I have six inboxes, but I make good use of filters and labels in Gmail to keep it my email even more streamlined.

How do I do it?

First of all, I use Labels.

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Labels are essentially folders for your email. As an example, all of the email conversations I have about Savvy Blog Services get the “Blog Services” label. I just finished the new design for Legally Fit, so I’ve archived all the emails between Katie and I about her blog. If she has any questions for me in the future, I’ll be able to easily find and reference all these conversations by looking at the “Blog Services” label!

To create labels, go to Settings –> Labels and create a new label. Easy as that.

Now, decide on the visibility of each label. “Show” means that the label will always be visible on the left-hand side of your Gmail, where the Inbox, Sent Mail, etc are shown. “Hide” means it will only be available in the drop-down on the left sidebar.

I personally always choose “Show if unread.” In the screenshot below, I have 2 unread emails with the “HLB” label, so that label shows up in the left sidebar.

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Once I’ve read those emails, the label will move back into the drop-down instead of the sidebar:

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I love the “show if unread” option because it makes my email look so streamlined and I can see in an instant what unread emails I have.

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To apply a label to an email, simply choose the “Labels” drop-down above the message or inbox and select the appropriate label.

Next up, filters!

To access and set-up filters, go to Settings–>Filters –>Create a new filter.

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Choose your search criteria.    Use AND or OR to list multiple senders, subjects, etc.

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Choose your action. In this example, I chose to have the emails be archived immediately and apply the “HLB” label. When I get emails from, they show up like this:

Screen shot 2011-03-04 at 8.56.30 AM.png
They aren’t in my inbox, but by using this filter and the “show if unread” setting for my labels, I can easily see that I have Healthy Living Blog emails that I need to address.
Here are a few other filters I’ve set up:
Screen shot 2011-03-04 at 8.58.03 AM.png
All the comments you leave for me on Savvy Eats automatically go into their own label so that I can see them right away without them cluttering up the inbox.

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All the Savvy Blog Services related emails automatically get labeled, but still go to my Inbox.

Do you have any special organization techniques for your email?


  1. says

    I LOVE gmail filters! I use them mainly to auto label things like “family” for anyone in my family, and to auto sort my “junk” email, meaning the stuff like a promotion from Gap, since I still want to be on the mailing lists for the coupons, but don’t want them clogging up my inbox. Then once a day or so I just look through them for anything I’m interested in and delete the rest (or if I’m trying not to shop, I just delete! haha).