Emails, as harmless as it may sound, could be a big pain in the rear especially for those who deal with hundreds of emails every single day. If you’re having trouble with your email such as missing important emails or simply forgetting to reply because you got distracted, here are a few tips using Gmail’s advanced search and labelling. In this post, we’ll be doing the following:
- Use advanced search to find an email.
- Create a label, give it a colour and set up a filter to apply that label.
Using Gmail’s advanced search to find emails
Finding important emails like for example, messages from your boss can be challenging. Fortunately, Gmail has a simple way to do advanced searches and it’s as easy as 1-2-3.
Let’s say you’re trying to find an email from your boss that was about budgets.
- Inside the Gmail search box, click the Down arrow. This opens up a window with more ways to filter your search results.
- Fill in the form. Enter the manager’s email address and “Budget” in the subject.
- Click the Search button to see the results.
Google introduced search chips in Gmail, an easier way to sort and filter search results to find exactly what you’re looking for faster. For example, you can search a colleague’s name and further narrow your results by selecting search chips below the search box like attachment type (Text document, Spreadsheet, PDF) or a specific timeframe. You can also filter out certain results, like calendar invites.
With search chips, you can easily refine your search results and find what you’re looking for faster, without needing to sort through irrelevant returns or use search operators (like from: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Using labels, colours and filters to manage important emails
Sometimes we can get overwhelmed by the number of emails coming into our inboxes and miss the important ones. Gmail has features to help you manage your inbox with labels, colours and filters.
Let’s say you want to make sure you never miss an email from your manager. You might want to create a label and a filter that makes it easy to identify and find these emails.
Step 1: Create a label
- Go to Settings (hint: the gear icon on the top right).
- Click the Labels menu item (hint: it’s next to General).
- Scroll down the page and click on the Create new label button.
- Name your new label; for emails from my boss, I use the label “Management.”
- Click Create.
Step 2: Give your new label a colour
- Find your label’s name on the left-hand side of your Gmail inbox, and click the three dots.
- Select Label colour.
- Select the colour you’d like for the label; I picked red to make it super visible.
Step 3: Setup a filter to apply the label
- Inside the Gmail search box, click the Down arrow, which opens a window to create a filter.
- In the “From” section of the form, enter the email address of your manager.
- Select Create filter.
- The form will now show actions the filter can take; in this case, we select Apply the label and choose the label “Management.”
- Select Create filter and you’re done!
You now have a red label named “Management” that is filtering emails from your boss.
Hopefully, these tips about Gmail’s advanced search and labelling help you save time and improve your productivity. Watch the video below for a step-by-step guide on how to use advanced search and create labels.