Manage Your Chaotic Inbox
Provided by MyGloss
Nothing’s worse than Gmail gone wild. With all the daily forwards from friends, online sale reminders, Facebook updates and messages from whatever mailing lists your address has found its way onto, an overflowing inbox can make email communication overwhelming and frustrating.
Sure, there’s Priority Inbox, but if your idea of organization is throwing everything into the junk drawer, you may need a few more tools to help control the chaos.
Using a potent (and functional) combo of Gmail’s coolest features — Filters, Labels, Multiple Inboxes and Desktop Notification — even the most haphazard of users can keep their email organized.
Want to save time and space and keep unread messages to a minimum, without missing another important message ever again? Here’s how:
Set up filters
Make monitoring your inbox easier by setting up Filters to manage your incoming messages.
- Click Create a Filter, located at the top of the inbox, next to the “Search the Web” button. Or, just click Settings > Filters.
- Specify the search criteria, whether it’s an email address or word(s). Use Test Search to see which messages would have been filtered using these criteria.
- Click Next Steps to choose the action(s) applied to incoming messages that fit the criteria: automatically archive, delete, star, mark as important/unimportant, forward, keep it out of Spam, or label (more on that later).
- Tick the box at the bottom to apply your new filter to both new incoming messages as well as any from the past that also fit the criteria.
- Helpful Hint: When specifying more than one word or name, use Boolean search operators, just as you would for a Google search. Using a space for AND will filter messages that use both of the specified terms Anne Smith AND firstname.lastname@example.org. Using OR includes messages that contain either of the words you type in: Victoria’s Secret OR VictoriasSecret.com. Using a hyphen for NOT narrows a search by filtering messages that contain one of the terms, but not the other: Google -Voice- Alerts.
Think of Gmail Labels as “folders”; sort messages by sender, subject, importance — whatever you want! But unlike folders, messages can have multiple labels, making your organization process a bit more flexible.
- Click Create a New Label located in the drop-down menu to the left of the page or just click Settings > Labels.
- Type the name of your new label then click OK.
View your labeled messages by searching or by clicking the label name in the menu to the left of any Gmail page.
To label a message while you’re reading it, click the Labels drop-down menu located at the top and select the label name from your list.
You can also label a message in your inbox by dragging it to the label name in the menu to the left.
Filters and labels are a great way to sort messages, but Multiple Inboxes really punches up the functionality and makes monitoring for important emails even easier. Instead of switching between labels, use Multiple Inboxes to view more than inbox at a time.
- To enable Multiple Inboxes, click Settings >Labs, then Save Changes.
- You can also configure your settings — the number of messages displayed, the positioning of the panels, etc.
Thankfully, managing your Gmail inbox no longer requires constant vigilance. Get pop-ups whenever a new email or chat message arrives by using the Desktop Notification for Google Chrome.
- Click on Settings. Scroll down to the Desktop Notifications section.
- Customize settings for your notifications and click Save Changes when you’re done.
Install the Google Reader Unread Count extension to keep a running tab of unread messages displayed in the browser tool bar.
Implement these tools and you’ll never lose a message to a black hole again. Now if only Google had a solution for organizing a handbag …
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