How to get more out of inbox filters, categories, and rules
Over the last 2 decades, email has revolutionized how we communicate with others. In particular, we’ve become accustomed to using email for work. In fact, it has become so prevalent that reading through our mailbox can be overwhelming.
If you’re used to juggling dozens of emails a day, you should already have some idea how important email organization is. The problem is that it’s a solution that’s much simpler than it sounds—even with regular care and attention, it only takes one unusually busy day to throw your inbox into disarray.
Prevent inbox chaos through automation
There’s a simple solution to the problem, though, and one that many overlook: inbox filters and categories.
Gmail’s filters and Outlook’s categories and rules are clever ways users can optimize and personalize the way their inbox works. All users have to do is invest a little bit of time setting up a few rules and their inbox will do the rest. Then, by letting their inbox do all the sorting, users can seamlessly increase productivity by automating unnecessary admin work.
Use rulesets to do the work for you
Although there are a huge variety of rules and exceptions that you can apply to your emails, some of the most basic (and useful) involve sorting your emails as they come into your inbox.
You can use rules to instruct your email to place messages in certain folders as they arrive in your inbox. This helps you see at a glance what emails are important and which are best left for later.
As an example, you might tell Gmail or Outlook to send certain sales and invoice emails to a specific folder. While these might still be important to the business at large, they rarely require immediate attention.
Keep essential services in mind
Although we intend our professional emails to be exclusively productive spaces, this doesn’t always work out to be the case. To manage this (without simply deleting everything that isn’t important), it’s also possible for non-essential emails to be redirected to another email address entirely. For example, you could set up an “alias” email address such as email@example.com and redirect incoming newsletters to be forwarded to that account.
This way, you can forget about being distracted by a particularly enticing blog, offer, or article, and check on any emails you’ve missed when you have the time.
Other ways email inbox rules can work for you
These filters, rules, and categories are so often touted as game-changers because they’re so flexible. The flipside to this is that users new to rules and filters might not know where to start.
To give you a clearer idea of how you can get more out of Gmail and Outlook rules and categories, we explore some of our most popular picks.
Move and archive emails from specific addresses
Filters can be applied in Outlook and Gmail that tell these programs to send emails from specific email addresses (firstname.lastname@example.org) or entire domains (@domain.com) to certain folders that you set up in your inbox.
Automatically detect unwanted marketing emails
Marketing emails have the uncanny ability to find their way into your email inbox whether you signed up for them or not. By telling your email program to filter emails that feature the words “unsubscribe,” you can have them put to one side for review another time.
Delete old emails quickly and easily
It doesn’t take long for inboxes to amass hundreds of unnecessary emails, and manually sorting through these and deleting them can take a considerable amount of time. Filters can work to delete all of the archived emails that contain a certain keyword or phrase.
Still strapped for time?
Although putting these rules and filters in place can save you time, you still have to set up and fine-tune all of the required rules.
It’s also important to note that even when you do invest the initial time in setting up your email rules and categories, they’re not likely to stay consistent. As your needs change, you’ll also need to continue to adjust and finetune your rules, and this will also inevitably be a bit of a time investment.
If this sounds familiar, you don’t have to just put up with a bloated inbox. InMoat’s Smart Filters are automatically set up for users and constantly update and improve themselves through careful AI-powered learning behind the scenes.
Ready to save time with your emails?
Dipping your toe in the water is a great way to figure out how your emails can work for you. By understanding where you need to save time, you can start playing around with filters, labels, and categories to give yourself back a little bit more time during busy work weeks.
Luckily, InMoat goes one step further and does this for you automatically. So instead of sinking time into creating keyword rules, why not give yourself a break? Give InMoat a try today.