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Manage Emails with Filters in Gmail

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012 by | Filed Under: E-Mail Help

Rita from TX writes:

I have a Gmail account and have heard that you can set it so emails are sorted as they come in, instead of having to go through the label and move process. Do you know if this is true? If so, can you tell me how? Thanks!

Gmail is the fastest growing choice for email, and its rapid development has attracted an ever-growing number of users. However, with this rise in usage, the number of different types of mails we receive has increased too. There are various mails like newsletters, deals and offers, chat and Facebook notifications and what not. With so many different categories filling up our inbox, it’s extremely crucial that we have a management strategy for our emails to prevent important ones from getting lost in the clutter.

Using Gmail Filters to Categorize Emails

Filters are an amazing way to take control of your incoming mails in Gmail. With filters, you can sort mail into different folders as and when they arrive. This sorting is done automatically, and creating a filter is just a one-time process. 

Before we go ahead with the sorting, it is extremely important to formulate a strategy for dividing mails into categories.

Let us consider a scenario: I am an active social media user and blogger – I read newsletters, and I am subscribed to deals for my city. Therefore, my probable labels are Social Media, Blog comments, Newsletters and Deals. 

Now that you have decided on your label names, it is time to create them.

I am using the new look on Gmail, which has the feature of creating filters without going to the settings page at all.

Step 1: Select some of the mails you want to filter into one label and select “Filter messages like these” from the drop-down menu.


Step 2: Test a search with the filters as applied by you, and make sure no irrelevant results get through. Now, we are ready to create a filter using this search. Click on the link saying, “Create a filter with this search”.


Step 3: Now that we have a number of emails matching this search, we will decide what to do with them. If you already have a label suitable for these emails, then simply create the filter. Or else, click on “Choose a label” as shown.


Step 4: If you click on choose a label, it will show you the following list. Click on “New label…” and a window will appear asking you to enter the name of the label.


As you can see, I am naming my label DB Backup.


Step 5: Select the checkbox beside the “Create a filter” button that says, “Also apply filter to (n) matching conversations”.

Click on “Create a filter” and we are done.


Bonus tip

You can also check out how to block any email ID from sending you mails, using Gmail filters.

~Chinmoy Kanjilal

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