Working with remote and in-office colleagues? Learn how to thrive in hybrid work environments.

Tips to optimize your Gmail inbox

Google Workspace productivity guide
Want to get more out of Google apps at work or school?  Sign up for a free Google Workspace trial

Email envelope with messageOn this page

 

Expand all  |  Collapse all

Tips filtering & sorting

""

Automatically label and sort messages 

Manage incoming email messages automatically with Gmail filters and labels. 

  • Automatically label customer feedback or project-related messages
  • Automatically archive and label messages you want to read later, such as newsletters
  • Flag VIP emails
  • Archive notifications
Learn how

Step 1: Create a label

  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.
  2. On the left, scroll down, then click More.
  3. Click Create new label.
  4. Name your label.
  5. Click Create.

Access labels on the left

Learn more at the Gmail Help Center

Step 2: Create a filter that automatically labels emails

  1. In the search box at the top, click the Down arrow "".
  2. Enter terms to match specific messages. For example, to filter and label emails from an account, in the From: field, enter the email address.
  3. At the bottom of the search window, click Create filter.
  4. Scroll to Apply the label: and choose a label.
  5. Click Create filter.

Learn more at the Gmail Help Center

""

Automatically archive a message you're sending

If you're sending a message in Gmail that you don't necessarily want a reply for, you can send and archive all with one click. But first, you have to enable the Send & Archive button in your Gmail settings.

Learn how

Enable "Send & Archive"

  1. Open Gmail .
  2. At the top right, click Settings ""and thenSee all settings.
  3. Scroll to the Send and Archive section and select Show "Send & Archive" button in reply.
  4. Click Save Changes.
  5. Open an email you want to respond to and click Reply.
  6. Compose your message and click Send+Archive.
""

Mute irrelevant email conversations

If you're part of a Gmail conversation that's no longer relevant to you, mute the conversation. Muting keeps future responses to that thread out of your inbox so you can focus on important messages.

Learn how at the Gmail Help Center

""

Snooze an email until later

For confirmation emails with dates and times, snooze them until exactly when you need them. Your email will come back to the top of your inbox when you want it to, whether that's tomorrow, next week, or this evening. 

  • Find your hotel confirmation email right before check in
  • Get a Google Calendar event reminder the day before

Put email in Snoozed section and set a reminder to open it later

Learn how
  1. On your computer, go to Gmail
  2. Point to the email.
  3. On the right, click Snooze Snooze.
  4. Choose a later day and time to get the email.

To snooze multiple messages, select the messages. At the top, click Snooze Snooze.

""

Filter Calendar invites from your Inbox

Getting Google Calendar responses you don’t want in your inbox? Let Gmail automatically filter them so you can keep a clean inbox.

Learn how

Set up a filter for Calendar responses

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. In the search box at the top, click Show search options "".
  3. In the To field, enter your email address.
  4. Next to Has the words, enter invite.ics OR invite.vcs.
  5. Check the Has attachment box.
  6. Click Create filter.
  7. Check the Apply the label box and choose a label to automatically sort incoming event response messages.
  8. Check the Skip the Inbox (Archive it) box to move response messages out of your inbox. Don’t worry, you can still view them later if needed.
  9. Click Create filter.
""

Use advanced Gmail filters for work or school 

There are several useful filters when using Gmail in an organization.

  • Label emails from people outside your organization 
  • Label emails from your manager
  • Filter promotional emails from your inbox

Learn how and get more examples: Gmail filters for work or school

Organize emails in categories

""

Move promotional or social emails to tabs

Setting up a tabbed inbox is great for people who want to move less-relevant email, such as social updates and promotions, out of their primary inbox. A clean primary inbox helps you focus on what matters. Tabs appear at the top of your inbox, where you can quickly move between them. 

Learn how

Turn on default tabs

Turn on tabs for email that you want to move out of your primary inbox. For example, if you turn on the Promotions tab, Gmail moves any existing promotional email from your inbox to the Promotions tab. Any new promotional messages go directly to the Promotions tab.

  1. On your computer, open Gmail.
  2. At the top right, click Settings Settings and then See all settings.
  3. Click the Inbox tab.
  4. In the "Inbox type" section, select Default. Note: To hide all tabs, select another inbox type.
  5. In the "Categories" section, check the boxes of tabs you want to show. Note: You can't make new tabs; you can only show or hide existing ones.
  6. Scroll to the bottom, then click Save Changes.

Turn on tabs for email to move out of primary inbox

Train your tabs

If an email ends up in the wrong tab, you can move it. Drag an email to the tab you want.

Tip: To remember to follow up on an email in another tab, mark it with a Star "" so that it appears in your Primary tab, too.

Train tabbed inbox by moving email to the correct tab

Learn more at the Gmail Help Center

""

Split emails into sections using Priority inbox 

When you choose the "priority inbox" setting, your emails are automatically split into three sections: important and unread, starred, and everything else.  

Select priority inbox to separate important messages from other email

Learn how

Turn on Priority inbox

  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.
  2. To configure your inbox, go to the top right, then click Settings Settings.
  3. In the "Inbox type" section, select Priority Inbox.
  4. To customize priority inbox setting, click Customize
  5. Choose the inbox sections you want to show and then Save Changes.

Reorder existing sections

  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.
  2.  At the top right, click Settings ""and thenSee all settings.
  3. At the top, click Inbox.
  4. Go to Inbox sections, and next to the section you want to change, click Options.
  5. Select the new section you want to use.
    Note: The Everything else section always appears last.
  6. At the bottom of the page, click Save Changes.
Reorder inbox sections

Train Priority inbox

Gmail uses several signals to decide which messages to automatically mark as important, including:

  • Whom you email, and how often you email them
  • Which emails you open
  • Which emails you reply to
  • Keywords that are in emails you usually read
  • Which emails you star, archive, or delete

To see why an email was marked as important, hover over the importance marker Importance marker.

Note: If an email was marked as important but you don't want it to be, click the importance marker Importance marker to change it. This also helps Gmail learn which emails you think are important.

Train Gmail to prioritize messages

Learn more at the Gmail Help Center

""

Add a label section to Priority inbox

If you choose the "priority inbox" setting, you can optionally create an additional section based on one of your labels, such as From my manager

Learn how

Step 1: Turn on Priority inbox

  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.
  2. To configure your inbox, go to the top right, then click Settings Settings.
  3. In the "Inbox type" section, select Priority Inbox.
  4. To customize priority inbox setting, click Customize
  5. Choose the inbox sections you want to show and then Save Changes.

Step 2: Create a label-based section

Before you begin: Create the label. 

  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.
  2. At the top right, click Settings ""and thenSee all settings.
  3. At the top, click Inbox.
  4. Next to the inbox section you want to label, click Options or Add section.
  5. Click More options.
  6. Click the label you want to use. You can search to find a label name.
  7. Click Save Changes.

Create a label based section

""

Create a separate inbox for a label

You can create a separate inbox based on a label, then add the correct label when you compose or read an email. That way, your email and the reply automatically go to the correct inbox.

To practice the zero inbox method, create an inbox for each of these labels:

  • Action—Issues that need immediate attention
  • Follow-up—Issues that need further collaboration
  • Later—Issues that don't need immediate attention

Set aside 30 minutes in the morning to triage your inbox. Respond to any email now that takes less than 5 minutes and apply the Action label. For everything else, apply either the Follow-up or Later label to move it to the appropriate inbox to address later.

Learn how

Step 1: Create the label you want an inbox for

  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.
  2. On the left, scroll down, then click More.
  3. Click Create new label.
  4. Name your label.
  5. Click Create.

Step 2: Create an inbox for the label

Follow steps at the Gmail Help Center to create your inbox. For the search criteria, enter label:name of label.

To implement a zero inbox, create a separate inbox using each of these search criteria:

  • label:action
  • label:follow-up
  • label:later

Step 3: Apply labels as you read your email

To apply the labels you created for a zero inbox:

  1. On your computer, go to Gmail.
  2. As you read each message, at the top, click Labels Label.
  3. Select one of the following labels: action, follow-up, or later.

Respond to the action emails now, and look in your other inboxes later, as you have time. 

Apply a label to email in your inbox

Manage multiple accounts or identities

""

Manage multiple signatures

Need to use different signatures for email within your company or externally? With Gmail, you can create multiple different signatures. The next time you compose an email, just choose the template with the signature you’d like to use.

Learn how

Create each signature

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. At the top right, click Settings ""and thenSee all settings.
  3. In the General tab, scroll to Signature and click Create new.
  4. Name your signature, then click Create.
    This name is not your actual signature, but is a name for the signature template.
  5. In the text box at the right, add your signature text.
  6. Use the format bar to add text colors, links, and images.
  7. At the bottom, click Save Changes.

Create a new signature in Settings

Choose a signature for a message

Tip: If you want to change your signature while you write an email, at the bottom of the window, click Insert signature pen.
Sign and save

Learn more at the Gmail Help Center

""

 Use variations of your email address in one inbox

You can create variations of your email address where all messages arrive in your current inbox. Just add a plus sign (+) and any word before the @ sign in your current address. Messages sent to your current address or any variation with the plus sign, all arrive in your current inbox. You can then set up filters to route or handle the messages based on the address. 

If your Google Workspace email address is cassy@solarmora.com, you can:

  • Sign up for newsletters with cassy+news@solarmora.com
  • Let prospective clients or customers contact cassy+questions@solarmora.com
  • Tell team members to surface urgent issues in your inbox by contacting cassy+urgent@solarmora.com

You can then easily find or label messages sent to each address

Learn how

Step 1: Create a variation of your address

Just add a plus sign (+) and any word before the @ sign in your address.

For example, if your email address is cassy@solarmora.com, use cassy+news@solarmora.com or cassy+urgent@solarmora.com.

Step 2: Automatically sort incoming messages based on the address

Set up a filter to automatically label and sort messages based on the address.

For instance, a filter can automatically archive and apply the News label to all incoming newsletters sent to cassy+news@solarmora.com. When you're ready to read them, click News in your list of labels to find them.

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. In the search box at the top, click Show search options "".
  3. Under To, enter your task-specific email address, such as cassy+news@solarmora.com.
  4. Click Create filter.
  5. Choose what you want Gmail to do to these messages, such as archive, apply labels, and marking as important.
  6. Click Create filter.
""

Easily switch between Gmail accounts

If you own more than one email account, such as your work and personal account, you can easily switch between them without having to sign out. Add all your accounts as profiles on your computer, then quickly switch between profiles.

Learn how

 Add and switch accounts on the web (Chrome Browser)

  1. Open Chrome browser.
  2. In the top-right corner next to the address bar, click your profile image.
  3. Click Manage People.
  4. Click Add Person.
  5. Enter a name, choose an image, and click Add.
  6. Sign in with the Google Account you're adding.
    All settings and bookmarks automatically sync.
  7. Click your profile image and choose a different profile to switch between accounts.

Note: If you’re unsure which account you’re currently using, click your name and see which profile is at the top.

Add and switch accounts from Gmail

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. In the top corner, click your profile photo and then click Add account.
  3. Sign in to your other account.
  4. In the upper-right corner, click your name and select a different profile to switch accounts.
""

Send mail from multiple accounts using one inbox

If you own several email accounts, you can also set up Gmail to send messages from any account without switching between account inboxes.

People you send an email to see the address you choose to be listed as the sender.

  • Respond to customer emails with a customer-facing alias (sales@solarmora.com) instead of your regular work address (cassy@solarmora.com)
  • Respond to work emails with your work address—but from your personal inbox
  • Manage multiple accounts in one inbox 

Learn how at the Gmail Help Center

""

Create a separate inbox for another account

If you own several email accounts that you'd like to manage separately, you can create an inbox for each address.

Learn how

Follow steps at the Gmail Help Center to:

  1. Send mail from a different address or alias.
  2. Create another inbox for that address or alias. For the search criteria, enter to:you@youremail.com.

Mail sent to that address will go to your custom inbox.

""

Manage a shared email account with a group

If you want several people to collaborate in a shared email account, you can create a Google group and the members can manage the account.

  • Assign responsibility for a conversation to yourself or another group member
  • Search for conversations based on who they are assigned to
  • Mark conversations complete

Learn how: Use a group as a collaborative inbox

""

Give someone access to your inbox

If you want to allow a person or several people to read, send, or delete your emails, you can give them delegate access. You can use the delegate's name as the sender or use your own name.

Learn how
  1. At the top right, click Settings ""and thenSee all settings.
  2. Click Accounts and Import.
  3. In the Grant access to your account section, click Add another account.
    Note: Your organization may restrict email delegation. If you don’t see this setting, contact your administrator.
  4. Enter the email address of the person you want to add and click Next Step.
  5. Click Send email to grant access.

Learn more at the Gmail Help Center


Google, Google Workspace, and related marks and logos are trademarks of Google LLC. All other company and product names are trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?
Search
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu
Search Help Center
false
false
false
false