Using filters and labels in Gmail is a great way to reduce email in your inbox. By creating custom filters, you can have messages avoid your inbox all together and make managing email so much simpler.
In this video, Scott Friesen shows you three different ways to apply filters in Gmail. He also gives you step-by-step instruction on how to set up filters and labels to help you be more efficient with your inbox.
Are you sick and tired of having so many messages in your inbox? Are you suffering from inbox overload? Well, today I wanna show you how to use filters within Gmail, so number one, you don't receive quite so many emails right here in your inbox, and number two, so that you can easily find special or emails that are important to you. In today's video, I wanna show you how to apply filters and some of my favorite filters that help me keep my inbox nice and clean. So let's get started with finding out how we can apply certain filters. Now there's a few different ways in which we can do so. One way is to go to our settings. We start by selecting the gear icon and then coming down here and selecting Settings, and at the row at the top we wanna select Filters and Blocked Addresses, and near the top you'll see that there is a heading saying the following filters are applied to all incoming mail, and you can see in this example I actually haven't applied any filters at this point. Now the next step would be to select Create a New Filter, but hang on a minute. That's an awful lot of steps, isn't it? First we had to click this, then we had to click Settings, then we had to click over here, and then we had to click this. There must be an easier way to create a new filter. Well, there is, and all we need to do is use the search box at the top of the screen, and even before you search for anything in particular all you can do is select the little drop down arrow here and we can search for particular mail. Now, near the bottom of this little drop down box you will see that there is not only the search button but a Create Filter option. Now, when we hover over it at first it's gonna say enter some search criteria first, and that's true. We need to give it a little bit of information first before we can create a filter. But this is a very simple way, this is probably the fastest way, for you to create a filter within Gmail. I'm gonna show you one other way of doing so, but it's gonna be particular to a specific email address and not a variety of criteria. Here you can see we can select different From addresses. We can select To addresses, things that are more than just yourself, maybe if other people are included, or maybe you manage multiple email addresses within a single Gmail account. You can include things such as a subject line, if the message includes certain words, or excludes certain words. We can also filter by the size of that particular email message. A few other options, including a date range, which inbox, which label has been applied, and if it has an attachment or if it includes chats such as Google Chat. But let's use a real world example. So I'm gonna go back to my inbox here and in this example I've got a number of newsletters here. I wanted to make sure that I had a number of emails to show in today's tutorial. But let's pretend that a number of these emails are from actual people. They could be from your boss. They could be from coworkers. They could be from clients. These are emails that are important to you, or perhaps some of these are notifications from other applications, other systems, that you may be using. Well, one of the easiest ways to clean up your inbox is to make sure that certain emails don't even start their lives here. No, we want some of these emails to go directly to a separate folder or in Gmail a separate label. So I'm gonna use these Wired emails as an example and let's pretend that these Wired emails are something that are important to me. They're something that I would like to read. They're something that I do want to review, but I never need to look at them immediately. So I don't want them to hit my inbox. I want them to go somewhere else where I can choose when I want to read them when I want to deal with them. So in this case, I can just select any of these Wired emails. I'm gonna open up the email, and here is our third way of applying a filter. In this step I want you to select the little three dots. This gives us some additional options, and near the bottom we have Filter messages like these. By selecting that it's automatically going to filter all of the emails that have this From address. Here it's already pre-populated it because we selected it from within the message, and if I click outside of the search bar for just a moment you'll see it's already done the filtering for me. Now, I haven't actually told it what I want it to do yet, but here I've, it's quickly searched for all of this criteria. If I go back and select the drop down arrow I can add additional criteria if I want, but really, I just want anything from this address, I want it to go somewhere else. I don't want it to start in the inbox. So with at least one piece of criteria here I can now select Create Filter, and now I've got a number of different options that I can choose from. So when a message arrives that matches this search, in this case, that matches this email address, what do we want to do with it? Well, in this case I do want it to Skip the Inbox. I don't want it starting in the inbox. I don't wanna see it there. I want to go and look at it when I want to. So I'm gonna select this first criteria here. You can review the vast number of other options that are available to you including marking it as read, if you wanna add a star, delete it, always mark it important, a number of different criteria that you can choose. The only other one I'm gonna select in this case is going to be Apply the label, because I wanna be able to go and find it and easily see it. So I'm gonna say choose and label, and in this case, I'm gonna say New Label and I'm gonna type in Wired, just so it's very easy for me to find all of those messages. I'm gonna select Create which is actually just creating the label at this point. Just before I select Create Filter you will notice at the bottom of this list there is, the final check box says Also apply filter to seven matching conversations, and in this case I do want to apply that. I want this filter to be applied immediately including the messages that it has found over here. So I'm gonna select Create Filter. The filter is created. I'm returned back to that message where I started this process, but I'm gonna start by clicking on Inbox to show the difference. So here, within my inbox, you will notice that I don't have, I have one Wired message in here, but I think that's because it's from a different email address. See, that's interesting. This one is from a different email address. So that's why this one wasn't filtered. So, the filter is working properly. But you will notice that that's the only Wired message in this list. Everything else is not in my inbox. Everything else is over here in this new label called Wired, and now I can come here and visit this when I like and review these particular emails. What this also means, because I've now created this filter, is that any new messages from that particular email address will never show up here within the inbox. They will all automatically come here to this label and I can still be notified of it when there's new messages. It'll still be bolded like this. So I can come down and take a look and review these emails as I like. So, think of some examples in your life. Are you receiving automated notifications from certain systems or applications? Are there certain people that their messages never urgent? You can maybe come and check on them once a day, or once every couple of hours. You can divert the inbox and go directly to that label. Now, the second example I wanna give to you today is how you can add labels to particular emails that may be very important to you. So let's say in this example that this Best Buy newsletter, I'm gonna say for an example that this is maybe my boss. Maybe this is someone important and I do want to know when their emails arrive and I want them to stand out a little bit more. In fact, I'd love it if there was a red label, something of that effect, so I can easily pinpoint those particular emails. So, in this case, what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna click on this message again, and what I could do is I could come up here and say Filter messages like these again if I wanted to. But I'm gonna do something a little bit different, just so you can see how the search bar at the top works with the filter option here. So, I'm gonna open up one of these messages again and all I'm going to do is I'm gonna copy the domain. I'm not gonna copy the entire thing. I'm just gonna copy the domain and I'm gonna put that into the search bar at the top of the screen. So yes, once again it's gonna bring back all of those messages, and I'm now going to select the search options, or the search criteria. So instead of just having those words I'm actually gonna cut that and put that into the From field. So anything that has this in the domain I wanna create a filter for that. In particular, I wanna add a label to it. So my next step is I'm gonna select Create the filter, and we're not gonna Skip the Inbox, because I do want it to appear in the inbox. I'm not gonna select really anything else in this except for the label option. So I'm gonna say Apply the label, and no, I don't want the Wired label that we just created, I want something different. So I'm gonna say New Label, and I'm gonna say Best Buy, or maybe it could be the name of my boss. It could be important. It could be urgent. I could say read this now, whatever label you wish, and I'm gonna select Create. Again, that just created the label at this point. The last thing I'm going to do just like in the previous example is I'm gonna say Also apply the filter to 13 matching conversations. So I want this to be applied immediately not just for the emails that I will be receiving in the future. So I'm gonna select that box as well and I'm gonna say create the filter. Now, what you'll notice in just a second I've got a new label here, the label we created, Best Buy, on all of these messages. Now, the only reason why we see the inbox label at this point is that we are still in the search mode or the filtering mode here. So we're seeing the search criteria up above, but if I select our inbox, we don't see that inbox label anymore, but you will see that new Best Buy label. Now, it's still not quite, it still doesn't stand out as much as I would like it to. So what I'm going to do is I'm gonna come over here to the Best Buy label on the left hand side of my screen and I'm gonna say change the label color, and remember, I want it to stand out. So I think I'm gonna select this red one with the white text, and now I think you would agree with me it certainly stands out. Every one of those Best Buy emails has this nice, big, bright red label beside it. So if this was my boss, if this was a very important customer, or maybe it's something in the subject line, remember, there's an awful lot of criteria that you can use. Whatever it is, you can give it this type of label and when I get a bunch of new unread emails I might want to jump particularly to those emails that have these types of labels with it. So, that's how you use filters within Gmail, and a couple of examples of how you can apply it in a real world situation. I hope you enjoyed watching today's video, and I'd love to learn how you may be using filters within Gmail, or if you have questions about using filter within Gmail. 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