When you get up in the morning and check your emails, is your inbox full of dozens of daily deal site newsletters, LinkedIn group summaries and community updates? Mine was. Sad thing is, I only tended to read most of the sale emails on payday, so the rest of the time they end up unread in my trash folder. And the LinkedIn emails got quickly deleted because I needed to focus on the other emails.

Since last year, I’ve had a folder filtering system in place in gmail, so that all the regular stuff lands in sub folders so I can focus more on the new and urgent emails. For example, I have a ‘sales’ folder where all the shopping emails go (especially great around Christmas/sale season), a LinkedIn folder for all alerts from LinkedIn, a Daily Deals folder for everything from Groupon and the like and a Google Alerts folder.

I tend to check these folders three or four times a day (for instance, for connection invitations in the LinkedIn folder). They’re easy to set up and make life just a little bit easier.

Want to give it a try? Here’s a quick guide (there are a few methods):

Method 1

Step 1: Go to your gmail account online, and look for the little cog in the top right hand corner. Click on it, and go to ‘Settings’


Once you’re in settings, go to the Filter section. As you can see from the image below, I already have filters set up – but yours should be empty. There is a button at the bottom that says “Create a New Filter”. Click on it.

Now you can create a filter!

You can do it by addresses/search terms/subjects etc (see the example below for Twitter)

This will filter in anything that uses Twitter in the Subject, so you might want to check it periodically for press releases if you work in the media.

To complete the filter, click on ‘Create filter with this search’ and then choose the folder you want it to filter through to. You can also choose whether to always mark it as important, add a label or forward it to another address (handy if you have an assistant or deal with multiple accounts)

There you go, one filter done!

Method 2

Go into your main inbox and do a search for the term you want to filter into a different sub folder. This will give you an idea of what kind of content might be filtered.

Once you’ve got that search, click on ‘More’ above the emails and ‘create filter.’ Follow the same process as above in choose your filter method (folder/label/forwarding) and you’re done.

Method 3

The final method is one I tend to use when I’m adding new emails to other filtered folders.

Go into the email you want to start filtering, and click on the More button at the top. Click on Filter Messages Like this.

Then fill it the form as you would in Method 1 or 2. This method is great too if you just want to filter from one person and not on a topic.

So, how do you keep your email organised? Any tips to share?

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