It might seem like something difficult to achieve but organizing your Gmail inbox will help you manage your time and priorities better while reducing stress. Also, read my post about mastering any inbox you use here. You can also learn about how amazing Google Workspace is here.
Use the following simple steps to get rid of clutter in your inbox and increase your productivity.
1. Choose Your Preferred Layout
When you open your inbox, click on the gear icon at the top right corner and choose “Settings”. And click on the “Inbox” tab. Here, you will find five options for your inbox layout:
- Default: This is the standard format that organizes emails by date received. You can choose different categories in which your emails are placed, and they will appear as tabs at the top of our screen.
- Important First: Gmail predicts the emails that are most important, and the less important ones will be placed in a lower inbox at the bottom of your screen.
- Unread First: Here, the unopened messages will be displayed in your top inbox and everything else will appear in the bottom inbox.
- Starred First: This view splits your inbox into two and only shows the emails that you have starred at the top. The rest falls in the second view below the starred emails.
- Priority Inbox: This sort of combines all the views. Using your past actions, Gmail determines which emails you are more likely to interact with and places them in the top view.
2. Include a Preview Pane
Gmail’s standard view shows the sender, subject line, and some preview text. So, you will normally have to open the email to figure out whether it’s worth reading. A preview pane can save you the effort of doing this.
Go to the Settings tab at the top right of your screen and select “Labs”. Once you see “Preview Pane” click enable and then save your changes. This step enables you to see a preview of all the emails that come into your inbox, before opening them.
3. Create Custom Folders and Labels
On the left side of your inbox, there is a list of labels that you can use to help you find and keep track of your emails. In addition, you can customize these labels and add new ones too.
When you create a label, you will see a folder in the list on the left side of your screen and it adds the label name next to the email’s subject line. So, when you archive that email, it will be placed in that specific folder.
4. Create Filters
Once you have your custom labels you can apply filters to certain emails directly to their assigned folders and remove them from your general inbox.
For example, if you receive a newsletter every Thursday and you don’t have to time to read it, you can send that email to a particular folder using filters and view it later or have it deleted automatically.
To do this, choose the email you want to filter and click on the “More” button that’s at the top of your inbox. Click on “filter messages like this” from the drop-down menu and then you can opt to filter messages by keywords, sender, attachments, subject line, among others. After selecting your preference, click on “Create filter with this search”. You can also click on apply filter to all conversations so that you don’t have to create an individual filter for the same emails. You will then come to a menu with actions you choose from like assigning the email to a specific label or folder, skipping the inbox, or deleting it. Once done, click on “Create filter.”
Activate the Send and Archive Feature
Once you have created filters, you can completely clear your inbox by archiving emails as you respond to them. Click on the Settings icon, select “Show ‘Send & Archive’ button in reply” and save your changes
When you respond to an email, you have two options for sending. One is the default send option and the other will send the message and automatically move the email thread to the “All Mail” archive. If that email is assigned to a specific label it will move to that folder instead. When you receive a reply, the conversation will move back to your inbox.
Following these tips on how to organize your Gmail inbox will be extremely helpful in clearing clutter in your inbox and ultimately increasing your productivity and making your interactions more successful.