Folders or labels? How to organize your Gmail inbox

By | April 15, 2011
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If you’re used to organizing your email into folders in Outlook Express, Windows Mail, or Outlook, and you have a Gmail account, you’re probably wondering how you can organize your mail into folders. There doesn’t seem to be a way to create new folders. But there is. Gmail uses something they call labels. Think of labels as folders. Instead of creating folders, you create labels. Labels do the same thing as folders do – help you keep your email organized. And even better, you can color your labels to even better help you in sorting email, and quickly find important emails which require prompt action.

Colored labels make it easier to keep track of emails, and by using them with filters, they can provide an almost entirely new way of visualizing your inbox based on context rather than date or sender order. By setting up filters so emails from certain senders (or on certain topics) automatically appear with colored labels, you can scan my inbox and find what you want more quickly.

For example, we have filters that apply a red “Important!” label to emails which need prompt attention, a purple “Interesting” label to emails that have some interesting content we want to be sure to read, and a green “Newsletters” label to emails that come from newsletters that we subscribe to. Now, when we open our email and see a lot of red labeled messages, we know we need to get in gear and start filling orders or answering all that important email right away.

To set up a filter with a colored label, simply click the “Create a filter” link next to the search box. Add senders or certain words you want to keep a look out for then click next, and assign a label by checking “apply the label” and choosing an appropriate one. Now all you have to do is pick a label color by clicking the color swatch next to the label title in the left-hand navigation menu. Give colored labels with filters a try – and see if it changes the way you look at your Gmail inbox too. Getting organized and staying organized just got a lot easier with the help of colored labels.

If you have not yet tried Gmail and you’d like to get started, visit and set up an account today. It’s completely free. We’re pretty sure, after you used your Gmail account for a while, you’re going to love it as much as we do.

3 thoughts on “Folders or labels? How to organize your Gmail inbox

  1. Sonia

    Hello Everyone,
    This is another software “Beyond Inbox” designed specifically for backing up Gmail/Imap enabled account.
    There are five basic functions that we all need to perform in order to manage and safeguard our email- backup, restore, archive, transfer and organize the data. Beyond Inbox can help you perform all of these in a very efficient and easy way.
    You can download Trial version for 30 days with all feature.You can use this tool on Windows, Linux as well as Mac OSX. Click here to download

    1. infoave Post author

      When you use IMAP as your mail protocol in your email program with Gmail there is no reason to “backup”. Whatever mail is on the Gmail Servers is also on your computer, it’s mirrored. It’s highly unlikely that Gmail is going to lose your email at the same time you’d lose the copies on your desktop computer. Gmail keeps several backups as well.


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