Many businesses, just like Stuff, use Google’s excellent email service for business emails. And while you can use an email client like Outlook/Thunderbird/Kiwi with Gmail, it’s often easiest to use Gmail in a browser window, just as Paul Buchheit intended.
No matter how you access your Gmail emails, we know that managing them efficiently is a vital part of staying organised. So here are some easy-to-follow tips to help you effectively filter, sort, and categorise your Gmail messages.
Yes, we know Stuff readers are smarter than the average bear, but this might be someone’s first time here. If that’s you, here you go.
Automate Labelling and Sorting of Messages
Automatically manage your incoming email messages using Gmail filters and labels. By adding a filter and News label to any newsletters that hit your Inbox, you can automatically archive any newsletters that arrive. When you’re ready to read them, simply click the News label to locate them.
How to Create and Apply Labels:
- Open Gmail on your computer.
- Scroll down and click “More” on the left panel.
- Click “Create new label.”
- Name your label and click “Create”.
How to Create Filters for Automatic Labelling
- Select the “Show search options” icon located on the right edge of the search box.
- Enter terms to match specific messages.
- Click the “Create filter” button, found towards the lower end of the search window.
- Scroll down to “Apply the label” and choose a label.
- Click on “Create filter”.
Also important: How to delete labels
- Hover over the labels on the left side of the Gmail screen.
- Click the More button (the three dots).
- Click Remove Label.
- Confirm by clicking “Delete”.
Flag Important Emails
Identify and flag important or VIP emails so they stand out. This can save your bacon by highlighting emails that need immediate attention that you might otherwise miss if they weren’t flagged.
Automatically archive notifications to keep your inbox focused on what matters.
- Click the Show search option button on the right side of the search bar.
- Specify your auto-archiving criteria.
- Click Create filter.
- Check the Skip the Inbox (Archive it) option.
- Check the Never Send it to Spam option.
- Click Create filter.
Organise Emails in Categories
Keep your inbox organised by moving promotional or social emails to tabs; click and drag them to the tab you want them to arrive on in future. Tabbed inboxes help you focus on what’s important.
Automatically Archive Sent Messages
Sending a message that you don’t need to keep following? You can send and archive emails with one click. Enable the “Send & Archive” button in your Gmail settings, under the “General” section.
Mute Irrelevant Conversations
If you’re part of a conversation that’s no longer relevant, mute it. Muting keeps future responses to that thread out of your inbox. Right-click on the conversation you want to leave and select Mute from the list.
Snooze Emails for Later
For emails with dates and times, snooze them until you need them. Snoozing lets you focus on emails when you need them most. Snooze is also on the context menu that pops up when you right-click on messages.
Filter Calendar Invites
Don’t want Calendar responses cluttering your inbox? Set up filters to keep them organised and out of your way. One option is to activate the Forums tab and set a label that automatically sends them to that tab when they arrive.
To make the Forums tab appear:
- Go to Settings
- Then All Settings
- Click on Inbox
- Choose Default as the Inbox type
- Tick Forums
- Click Save Changes at the bottom of the screen
- Voila, you now have a Forums tab
Make use of Gmail’s Priority Inbox
Choose “Priority Inbox” in Quick Settings (you may need to scroll down a bit to see it) to automatically categorise your emails into important, unread, starred, and other sections.
Teach Your Tabs
If an email lands in the wrong tab, you can move it to the right one. Click Yes to have those emails land on those tabs going forward. If you want specific emails to also appear in your Primary tab, click on the Star icon to the left of their subject line.
Create Label Sections in Priority Inbox
In the priority inbox, you can create sections based on labels, making it easier to manage your emails. To access emails with those labels, click the three dots (top right) while in Priority View and choose the labels of the emails you want to see.
Following these steps lets you keep your Gmail inbox organised, focused, and with a bit of practice, clutter-free.