Getting to the bottom of your inbox is no small feat, but it only stays that way for so long if you don’t make some changes to the way that you handle all the incoming emails!

Gmail webmail has some built-in email management and automation functionality that you may not have noticed… or maybe you were too buried under emails to feel like it was worth doing!

To see the automation options, open Advanced Search in your Gmail webmail:

Now, enter some search parameters. Don’t click Search – just enter some parameters.

As soon as you enter some criteria, the results of that search will appear in the background, behind this pop up box.

To see what automation options are available, click Create filter.

Filters basically scan incoming email for the criteria you set, and then take the action you’ve indicated.

When you FIRST create the filter, you can also apply those the filters on existing emails, by checking off the last one “Also apply filter to matching conversations.” Note that the email forwarding doesn’t apply retroactively.

To make your first filter, enter that search criteria and click Create filter.

Check off the action(s) you want taken on those emails.
Examples: Apply a label, Forward the email, Never send it to Spam, Send template

Click Create filter

Repeat for each separate filter you want to create.

Play with it and have fun! You can automate all kinds of things. My favorite is to label and archive emails that I don’t want to unsubscribe from but that I don’t want cluttering my inbox.

Want to Get to Inbox Zero and stay on top of your emails? Check out the mini-course Get Productive with Gmail.

p.s. (Hack #4) This blog post is part of a series called Top 40 Google Hacks You’ll Wish You’d Been Using All Along. Download the whole handy Top 40 Google Hacks PDF.