Here’s a question that we get asked all the time, “How do I use Gmail filters and labels?”. It’s a really powerful tool and once you get the hang of it there is so much you can do with it.
Labels are also another feature within Gmail that allows you to store emails within folders. The labels make the appearance of the typical Outlook folder structure. It’s a little bit more flexible and powerful in Google because you can apply an email to multiple labels and give the appearance that it’s in multiple folders.
Once you can get the hang of filters and label, you can really do powerful stuff to organize your inbox. Today we are gonna walk you through Gmail filters and all the features you can do in it so you can master them and organize your inbox to start your day.
Creating Gmail Filters
The idea for creating Gmail filters is that any search item can be considered as a filter. Once you create a search, the down arrow to the right of the search bar will show a drop-down menu for the advanced options for your search.
You can provide specific search for the following options. The following search options are the usual ones used.
- Email Subject contains certain words (use the syntax “subject:overdue”)
- Email body Includes the words (just type the word in the search bar for example “invoice”)
- Email From or To a specific email address (use the syntax “from:email@example.com)
- Or just type the email as-is (e.g. “firstname.lastname@example.org” without any to: or from: before it) to search for all email to and from that address.
- Email that has an attachment (use the syntax “has:attachment”)
Putting it all together if you type this into the search field:
from:email@example.com invoice subject:overdue has:attachment
will find all emails from firstname.lastname@example.org with the word invoice in the email body, with the word overdue in the subject line and that has an attachment
For more detailed search syntax that you can use, refer to this documentation from Google.
There are a lot of advanced options you can do to search for email using either the provided interface within Gmail or using some of the more advanced search syntax you’ll find in the link above.
Most Common Options Used in Filters
Here are the top things you’ll normally search for when creating a filter:
- Skip Inbox > Automatically Archive the email
- Mark as Read
- Apply Labels
- Always/Never Mark as Important
- Forward important emails
- Send Canned Response (requires the Gmail Lab for Canned responses to be activated first)
- Apply filter to other matching conversations
Where Can I See the Filter I Just Made?
Within Gmail, simply go to the Cog (top right) > Settings > Filters and Blocked Addresses. This space will show all of the filters you’ve applied to your inbox. If you need to edit a filter you’ve made before, this is where you can also update the filter.
In a nutshell Google filters is a great way to sort your inbox and cut down the noise of incoming emails, allowing you to focus on the top things you need to do for the day and increase your productivity on a daily basis.
Hope you find this short video helpful. Feel free to let us know if you have more questions.