4 Ways Filters Can Help Organize Email in Gmail
I love that email allows me to get in contact with almost any person anywhere in the world at any time. I also love that it allows me to keep a written record of conversations. But, like you, I know the overwhelming feeling of opening up your inbox and finding a million new emails. It’s that sinking feeling of dread when you know that you’re going to have to spend so much time going through your emails.
If you can commiserate with that feeling, here’s a helpful list of ways to use filters to organize your email in Gmail.
(If you don’t have Gmail, the filters you have might work a little differently, but they’re just as useful!)
1. Skip the Inbox With Non-Essential Emails
I have filters set up in my email for notifications from social media platforms and forums. This way, any email coming from Twitter, LinkedIn, etc skips my inbox and gets archived right away. All those sorts of emails are then waiting for a time that I can address them. I set aside specific times for maintaining my social media presence, and I don’t want a million social media emails to distract me while I’m doing my other work.
2. Automatically Label and/or Forward Emails to the Appropriate Person
You can set up filters to label emails for the right person. For instance, if there is one person who deals with financial things, you can set up a label for PayPal emails. Your financial person will know right where to find all those emails when they need them. You could choose to skip the Inbox or not, depending on your preferences. And, if your financial person has their own email, you could also have your filter forward those automatically.
3. Set Up Automatic Responses
You can set up a filter to send an automatic response. So, if you have a contact form on your website you might want to consider setting up an automatic response that gets sent to people who submit a question through your contact form. It could let them know that you received the email and what they should expect to happen next. This way, you won’t feel that you have to respond immediately to every submission of your contact form. Instead, you can take the time necessary to respond to whatever inquiry you received.
4. Apply Labels
Gmail allows you to create labels for emails, and one great thing is that you can pick a color for your labels. I use this to help me assess, at a glance, what emails have come into my inbox. For instance, I have another email address that gets forwarded to my Gmail account and that label has one color. I also make labels for each of my clients and those each have a different color. This way I can get an idea of how many client emails I have and who they are from.
Ever since I started using Gmail filters, my anxiety when opening my email has disappeared. I know I’m no longer going to find a thousand emails waiting for me, the urgent or important mixed up with everything else. With filters, my email organizes itself so that I can be more efficient and less frazzled.
What about you? Do you use filters in your email? If so, what are the most helpful ones that you have set up?