They say two things in life are guaranteed - death and taxes. But in 2022, it’s safe to say you can throw spam emails onto that list. Sometimes it feels like a never-ending war trying to prevent, delete, and sort through all the junk mail that finds its way into our inbox. But luckily, just as companies use advanced technology to find our addresses and send us marketing or phishing emails, we can use technology to battle them.
Nowadays, Gmail offers the option to set up filters to help control the flow of your inbox. If you’ve been feeling stressed every time you pull up your Gmail account, try incorporating some of these Gmail filters to enhance your inbox. These filters can be used to label incoming emails, send them directly to your calendar, prevent them from getting into your inbox, alert you when you get an email from someone important, and even alert you to urgent requests.
Let’s take a look at the best Gmail filters in 2022 and how to use them to sort your inbox.
How to Create a Gmail Filter
To create a filter in Gmail, you start off the same way as you would when you’re doing an advanced search. First, open up your Gmail account on your desktop and look on the right side of the search bar. You should see an icon with three switches. When you click on the icon, the advanced search bar drops down.
Any of the search options you see here can be turned into a permanent filter. The best way to make sure your filter will work the way you intend is to run the search. This way, you will see all of the emails that your filter will include. Then, once your search shows what you would like filtered, click "create filter" on the drop-down menu instead of search.
Once you’ve decided what emails you want to be filtered, you need to decide on a label or action for those emails. For example, you could have certain emails sent to a social folder or labeled VIP.
Potential Gmail Filter Criteria
As mentioned above, you can use any search criteria to create a filter, but some are more helpful than others. The following search options are the best criteria for creating filters. You can use them in various ways to organize your inbox the best way for you.
- From: You can use this criterion to filter certain emails from one sender as well as all emails NOT from that sender.
- Subject: Use the subject filter to catch specific words in a subject line, such as “urgent” or “invite.”
- Has the words: Similar to above, you can catch keywords from the subject line and anywhere else in the email.
- Has attachments: Don’t miss important emails by labeling all emails that come with an attachment.
Actions or Labels for Gmail Filters
Just as there are multiple criteria for filters, you can have numerous commands or labels placed on the predetermined criteria.
- Skip the Inbox (Archive it): This action will send emails directly to the archive, so you don't even have to see it. You can use this as another way to block specific senders.
- Star it: Automatically mark an email with a star. You can use this as one method to give extra attention to an email.
- Apply the label: Give emails a specific label as soon as they arrive in your inbox.
- Forward it: Send emails to another email address as soon as you get them. This works great if you have multiple email addresses for different purposes.
- Delete it: The email will be deleted immediately.
- Categorize it: Send an email to a specific category. You can use this in conjunction with skipping the inbox to avoid ever seeing marketing, social, or promotional emails.
Helpful Gmail Filters to Organize Your Inbox
Now that you understand the basics of filter criteria plus potential labels or actions, you can combine the two to create automated email filters. Luckily, Google offers a Workspace Learning Center to help you see the potential of filters if you're still a little confused. In addition, they've included the following ideas on how to organize your inbox with filters.
Applying a label for a specific organization
- From: *@your_ organization.com
- Label: Internal
Applying a label for all external senders
- From: -@your_ organization.com
- Label: External
Applying labels to meetings and sending invitations directly to your calendar
- Has the words: invite.ics
- Label: Calendar
- Skip the inbox
Applying labels to promotional and other junk mail
- Has the words: promotion, social, update, forum
- Label: Promotion, Social, Update, Forum
- Skip the inbox
Applying labels to emails from your manager or other important senders
- From: manager@your_organization.com
- Label: VIP
Get Creative With Gmail Filters
These general ideas are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to filters. There are countless ways to utilize different combinations of search criteria and actions. Depending on your goals, you can experiment until you finally get your inbox organized the way you like.
Prefer Someone Else to Do the Heavy Lifting
Creating Gmail filters for yourself isn't rocket science, but it does take time and effort to get everything set up for you the way you like. Of course, if someone were willing to do all that work for you, you'd probably take them up on that, right?
InMoat offers smart filters that can not only help you filter out spam but prevent you from missing out on emails that may really be important to you. Instead of filtering out all advertisements from an airline, a smart filter knows the difference between your itinerary and a promotional email. With InMoat, you can also create a list of trusted contacts to ensure that the crucial emails always get through.
Let InMoat set up your own personalized Gmail filters with the click of a few buttons! Get started with InMoat today - it’s free!