How Can I Sort Mail in GMail?

sorting-snail-mailIf you’ve used Gmail long enough, you’ve probably notice the ‘tabs’ across the top. These tabs can be useful in that you can drag individual emails into one of the ‘tab’ group and declare that new emails from that sender be sent there, too. Beyond that they are limited in that you cannot rename them and you cannot set up filters to sort emails into them.

The solution is to create multiple inboxes. For example, you could create a separate inbox for ‘Subjects’…

  • work related emails
  • for church related emails
  • for family related emails
  • for sports related emails
  • for a hobby related emails
  • etc.

OR filter emails FROM particular email addresses OR TO particular email addresses.

Then, whenever you wanted to look at your email related to one of those topics you can just click on that inbox. Any emails that don’t apply to the ‘filters’ you set up will go to your primary inbox.

Here’s how you do it (this looks hard, but it isn’t – take your time)

  • Click on the ‘gear’ at the top right
  • Click on ‘Settings’
  • Click on ‘Filters and Blocked Addresses’
  • Click on ‘Create a new filter’ and choose an approach…
    • ‘From’ – add email addresses
      • Gmail will insert a comma between each – when finished, change the commas to ‘Or’
    • ‘To’ – add email addresses
    • ‘Subject’ – ex: work, church, family, sports, hobby related emails
    • ‘Has the Words’

IF the email doesn’t actually include the ‘subject’ or ‘particular words’, but you want it in that folder – simply forward the email to yourself and include the ‘subject’ or ‘particular words’. 

  • Click ‘Create filter with this search’
  • Next screen…
    • Click ‘Skip the Inbox (Archive It)
    • Click ‘Apply the label’ > ‘Choose Label’ > ‘New Label’ – enter the name of the filter
    • Click ‘Never send it to Spam’
    • Click on ‘Also apply filter to __ matching conversations’ to include previous emails
    • Click on ‘Create Filter’
  • Click on the ‘gear’ again and ‘Settings’
  • Click on ‘Labs’ (across the top, pretty far to the right)
    • Click on ‘Multiple Inboxes’ and ‘Enable’
    • Click on ‘Save’ at the bottom.