Rules are meant to keep us in line, make things more organized, and create a method to the madness. Of course, most of us don't like when someone else gives us rules, but we can use rules in our daily lives to make everything easier to manage. For example, we can create Gmail rules to keep our inboxes from becoming overcrowded with junk.
By keeping your email inbox under control, you can save hundreds of hours of time over the course of a few years. In addition, by preventing certain emails from ever making their way to your primary inbox, you will be able to reach the important emails quickly without having to sift through piles of garbage mail.
Gmail Rules Vs. Filters: What’s the Difference?
Filters and rules are more or less the same things in Gmail. While Gmail calls them filters, you must create a rule that controls the filter. For example, if you're receiving many junk emails from a specific account, you can set a rule that will filter all incoming emails from that address straight into your spam folder. You can basically call these settings either rules or filters, depending on what you prefer.
How to Create a Rule in Gmail
Creating a rule in Gmail is quite simple. Go to the search bar and type in a keyword to get started, then click the search bar options on the far right of the bar. From there, you can narrow down specific search criteria using the options you see there. Any search you do can be turned into a permanent filter by making your selections and clicking "create filter."
From there, you can decide what you want Gmail to do with the emails that match that criteria. For example, you can automatically forward it to another email address or send it straight to archives. There are many options for the rules you can set in Gmail.
What Can Gmail Rules Do
Gmail rules will filter emails based on the search criteria you input and then can perform a specific function with those emails. There are a variety of things that rules can do with Gmail. Here's a quick peek at the potential options for Gmail rules.
- Skip the inbox (archive it)
- Mark as read
- Star it
- Apply the label: (choose label)
- Forward it
- Delete it
- Never send it to spam
- Always mark it as important
- Never mark it as important
- Categorize as: (choose category)
How to Edit or Delete Gmail Filter
Once you’ve added a filter, you may need to edit it or delete it if it’s not working how you wanted it to. To do this:
- Look for the settings icon in the top right corner of your desktop.
- Click the icon and then click on "see all settings.”
- From there, look for the tab that has filters and blocked addresses.
On this page, you should see a list of all the filters you've set up for your inbox, plus any addresses you have permanently blocked. To the right of each filter, you will see the option to edit or delete.
How to Import and Export
If you have multiple email accounts and have gotten all of your rules perfect on one of them, you can export the rules and import them to another account. In order to do so:
- Open the original Gmail account with the rules you want and click on the settings icon.
- From there, go to "filters and blocked addresses.”
- Click the box next to the filter, scroll to the bottom, and hit export. The rules will be saved in a .xml file to your computer.
To import those rules on another Gmail account:
- Open up your settings in the new one.
- Click “filters and blocked addresses,” but this time, look for the “import filters” button.
- From there, find the file you just saved and hit “create filters.”
In as little as a few clicks, you can easily transfer all the rules you’ve made on one Gmail account to another. If you need to make some small changes after you’ve transferred them, you can edit the rules just as we explained above.
More Precise Yet - Gmail Rule Operators
A few specific words and symbols can be used when setting up your search criteria to get more specific results. Google support has a great tutorial for the basic operators you can use. These operators can perform much more specific functions such as specifying the sender or recipient, words in a subject line, and many other
There’s An Even Easier Way
As easy as setting up rules in Gmail may be (for some of us, anyway), there's an even easier way yet. Imagine, instead of having to set up individual rules, you just answer some quick questions, and a program does all the filtering for you!
InMoat can help you set up smart filters that will help you filter out the junk on its way to your inbox while making sure you don't miss out on anything important. For example, InMoat knows the difference between a spam marketing email and an essential piece of shipping information for something you've purchased! With InMoat, you can even create a list of trusted contacts, so you guarantee never to miss something important coming your way.
Let InMoat handle your inbox with smart filters, so you don’t have to take the time to set up all of your own Gmail rules. Get started with InMoat today - it’s free!