Monday, December 1, 2014

Gmail Filters

Last week we looked at adding labels to your email. This week we will look at FILTERS.

As I stated before, Gmail puts all of your email in one container and uses filters and labels to gather what you want in ways you request. Since Gmail is a Google product it makes sense that they would approach mail organization as a searching task. :-) When we create a filter, we ask google to do a pre-defined search and display the results in a pre-defined format.

One warning before you get too far. You can set up filters to forward and delete things. Be careful when setting up your filters.

So HOW do I create a filter?

Open your chrome browser and go to your email account.
Enter a term in the search box. (I am searching for Tom's email address.)

Next click on the down arrow in the right side of the search box.

Edit the fields to search for your subject. Only one field is required, so you can use any or all to narrow your search results. (See the numbers referenced below)

  1. From - This would filter based on SENDER
  2. To - This would filter based on RECIPIENT
  3. Subject - Spelling counts but NOT case sensitive Best, BEST, and best are the same
  4. Has the words - Searches for words, use quotations for exact phrase
  5. Doesn't have - Removes results that contain a word or phrase to be left out 
  6. Has attachment/Don't include chats - check the box to search emails that ONLY have attachments, and check the box to exclude any online chat you have done through your gmail
  7. Size - Set the size to find a larger or smaller emails
  8. Search button - Click it. ;-)
  9. Create filter with this search - This takes us to the next part of filtering

Click the arrow in the search box to hide and reveal the advanced search tools.
If you edit the search term be sure to click the search button to reset the search.
Once you narrow the results to what you want click on the Create filter with this search link.

On the next page select how you want to see these search results. The numbers on the image below reference the feature listing below the image.

  1. Search box - Shows the search term from the previous page.
  2. back to search options - Takes you back to refine the search (previous page).
  3. Skip the Inbox - Tick this box to have the incoming message go directly to your archive (All Mail label)
  4. Mark as read - Tick this box to un-bold any new message that meets the criteria.
  5. Star it - Adds a star to the message.
  6. Apply the Label: - Here you can add further labels. For more info on labels visit last week's post.
  7. Forward it - This allows you to send the email to a different address.
  8. Delete it - Marks it as trash.
  9. Never send it to Spam - Allows you to guarantee you always see your Kohl's ad. 
  10. Always mark it as important - Marks the message as important.
  11. Never mark it as important - Doesn't mark it as important.
  12. Categorize as: - Categories can be used to divide your mail into bundles based on Forums, Promotions, etc. Google sets a few default categories and you can create additional categories.
  13. Create filter - This is the button to have the filter created.
  14. Also apply to matching conversations. - Tick this to apply a new filter to anything already in your email - it will apply the filter to everything in the search results behind your filter creation page.

To edit your filters, click the settings gear in the upper right corner of the page and select Settings.

Click on the Filters tab on the settings page. Any existing filters will show in the list.

Click the edit link to the right of the filter you would like to adjust.

This will get you started.
For more information about filters check out this Google Help document:

Happy filtering!

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