Using Gmail filters to organise your inbox

With Gmail filters and labels you can become an inbox ninja. Unfortunately, not many people know about these filters or how to set them up.

With Gmail filters you can:-

  • Make sure messages from specific high-priority senders always go into your Primary inbox so you can see them immediately.
  • Automatically sorts lower-priority messages such as invoices, reports, and updates from online services are filled way in specific labels and don’t show up in your inbox
  • Forward messages from a specific address or with a specific subject to other members of your business.
  • Do you email yourself reminders? Well mark them automatically with a nice bright “REMINDER” label to make them really stand out in your inbox
  • Using a neat trick within Gmail you can add a +urgent or +netflix to your email address, such as You can then filter and highlight these emails automatically.
  • Finally… Automatically archive emails from annoying people, we all have some.

Creating Gmail Filters

The quickest and simplest way to create Gmail filters is via the Search mailbox. Type whatever you want to base your filtering on.

Gmail filter

If you select the drop-down arrow the following form will appear. From here you can add further details to your search query, by using a combination of variables and even operators like “AND” and “OR” within fields, if you really drill down to the exact message types you’re interested in. Once you’re happy with your search you can click “Create filter” at the bottom of the box.

filter screen 2

Now that we have our filter we can start to decide what we need to do with the emails that meet this condition. You can select any combination of actions from the list. You can even tell Gmail to search your historical emails and apply the filter retrospectively by checking the “Also apply a filter to matching conversations” at the bottom of the dialogue box.

.filter screen 3

Once all that configuration has been done you’re good to go and hit the “Create filter” button. There you have it, you have officially created your very first Gmail filter. The next time a message comes into your inbox it will automatically be flagged as you want it.

If you want to modify your filter or create others you can also access filters from the “Settings” page under “Filters and blocked addresses”.

filter screen 4

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