Gmail filters can be very helpful for managing your inbox. But updating and editing those filters can be a nightmare! In this video, Scott Friesen shows you a simple hack you can use to drastically reduce the number of Gmail filters you have.
For years, I've been teaching people how to get the most out of Gmail filters so that you can spend less time in a busy inbox like you see here and create custom filters, so things can skip your inbox and be applied to a label here on the left hand side. But recently I've discovered a hack which makes this so much simpler and allows you to have fewer filters. So I'm going to show you how to set it up and why it's going to make your day so much easier. Within your Gmail settings, you can come up to Filters and Blocked Addresses and see all of the filters that you have applied. And this first filter that I have here is a classic example where I want to make sure that a particular label is either applied to incoming messages or maybe, in this case, that it is never sent to spam. But there's a problem. I never want something from cloudhq to be sent to spam. But like many organizations, they are using multiple email addresses to send out information, whether that's marketing or updates or other things that come my way. So I've had to modify this filter over time to include things from cloudhq.net, cloudhq.us and cloudhq-mkt11.us. Not only is this time consuming but I have to make sure that I get the exact domain name or email sender correct when setting up this filter. In addition, what if you would like everything related to finance to be going into a certain filter? Every time you sign up for a new financial newsletter or a new financial service, do you really want to come into your Gmail account and set up a new filter just for that one organization? So to make this so much simpler, we're going to make use of the plus hack right here within Gmail so that we don't have to set up so many filters. What exactly is the plus hack? Well, for any Gmail account, including those that do not have a Gmail domain, you can add the + symbol just before the @ symbol and then add anything that you like. So for example, maybe I'm going to call this one not spam. My actual email address is ScottFriesen@Simpletivity.com. But if I sign up for a new service or a newsletter I can give them this email address, ScottFriesen+notspam, or I can include anything that I want there, @Simpletivity.com. And everything that I receive will go to my standard email address, ScottFriesen@Simpletivity.com. And I can use this as many times as I like. Maybe I'll give another service something like ScottFriesen+money@Simpletivity.com for everything that is financial or money related. Maybe I'll give another one +newsletter@Simpletivity.com for all of the newsletters I set up. You're probably already thinking one step ahead of me. I will only have to create one filter for incoming mail for that particular email address, and then everything, new or old, will go into and be treated by that filter. So returning to our Gmail main screen, I'm going to come up here and select Show Search Options. And what I'm going to do is create a new filter, but I want to pay special attention to the To line. So here I'm going to type in ScottFriesen+notspam@Simpletivity.com, meaning Gmail is going to be looking for any messages that are sent to that email address, and now I can do whatever I want with them. I'm going to come over here and I'm going to say Create Filter. I'm next brought to our second step where I can choose from many of the options here, including skipping the inbox, applying a particular label or categorizing it in some other way. Now, here I can say Never send it to Spam. In this case, that would be most appropriate, because of the way that I've titled this email address. And now I can say, Create This Filter. Now going forward, I can use that special email address ScottFriesen+notspam@Simpletivity.com for all of the newsletters or for really anyone that I want to make sure never get sent to my spam folder. And don't forget, you don't just get to use this for new services that you sign up for. You can now go back into other services or applications that you use and change that email address based on the filters you have set up right here within Gmail. This may reduce the number of filters that you have, which I've seen from many users upwards of 100 all the way down to maybe half a dozen filters based on the email addresses that they use. So whether you use Gmail to manage a traditional gmail.com address or a custom domain, you can use the plus filter hack. And for even more tips and tricks on how to get the most out of Gmail filters and labels, be sure to watch this video next. Have any questions? Let me know in the comments down below. And don't forget, being productive doesn't have to be difficult. In fact, it's very simple.
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