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Gmail labels: Everything you need to know

By 4th June 2019 February 5th, 2020 No Comments

Gmail labels are the best way to have an organized and customized inbox. It’s definitely a productivity enhancer tool. This is a feature that enhances all your inbox management abilities to a whole new level. First, you must learn the basics before you can master all the features that Gmail labels have.

One of the most distracting and time-consuming activities in the workplace is finding an email within an inbox. Gmail labels are the secret weapon that allows you to run your inbox on your terms. However, it does require attention to manage and continually utilize.

Gmail Labels: Getting started with the basics

Labels are more than just a simple feature from Gmail, things get more complicated as you start exploring them. It’s essential that people understand the basics of Gmail labels before using them. It’s vital to reorganize your inbox and gain control over it again.

What’s a Gmail label:

A Gmail label is a tag that you can assign to all of the emails you receive/send, and you can even add them to your drafts. The primary purpose of these tags is simple: Keeping your inbox tidy, organized and most importantly under control.

They work in a very similar way to folders; however, the main difference is that you can apply several labels to the same email, whereas you can’t use more than one folder to a single message in Gmail.

How are Gmail labels created

Anyone with a Gmail account can use Gmail labels. They are a free feature from Gmail which means that a regular Gmail user is free to create their own Gmail labels. You have two ways to create Gmail labels, and the first one is to do it directly from the left sidebar. Click on “more” and choose “Create New Label” from the dropdown menu.

The other way to create a new Gmail label occurs when you click to open an email. Right below the search bar, you’ll find a tag icon. If you click on it, you’ll see another dropdown menu. The option to create a new Gmail label can be found at the very bottom of that dropdown list.

Every time a label is created, it automatically goes to a “Label List.” All of the Gmail labels can be accessed from this section, which is found on the sidebar located at the left side of your inbox. If you’re stuck, then Google support offer step-by-step guidance.

gmail labels

Adding labels to emails

Adding labels to emails is very simple. You need to select any message from your inbox, once the email is open look for the Tag icon below the search bar. Once you hit the tag icon, you’ll get a dropdown menu containing all of the Gmail labels. At this point, you need to select as many labels as required to that particular email and apply.

This is where Gmail labels differ from folders. An email can have several Gmail labels attached to it, so if needed, a person can access the same email from different labels. This means that if a specific email is regarding a particular ‘company’ but also an ‘offer,’ then it could be accessed through both labels.

Moving emails to a particular Gmail label

There are also two ways to move emails to a particular Gmail label. All you need to do is open the email you want to move, then click the folder icon to display the dropdown menu. The first step is to select a Gmail label from the list. Then the email is added automatically to that particular label. However, you can also utilize the drag and drop function onto the label. This action is highly more productive than continually entering Gmail settings.

How can labels optimize productivity?

Now that you’re more familiar with the basics of Gmail labels, you can start learning about the ways to optimize your experience. These methods will allow you to begin organizing and improving your inbox in no time.

Stop archiving messages

Archiving a message can seem like the fastest method to deal with emails that don’t require our immediate attention. However, Gmail offers the ability to automatically process specific email types into labels and prevent clogging up your emails.

By doing this, you’ll manage any email that is not important or can be addressed at a later date. It will be like having a particular file for all the less important emails, such as notifications or newsletters. Using Gmail labels to manage unimportant emails will reduce the time used to sort the messages that you don’t need. They will not be in your way when you’re searching for the important ones.

For mobile use

One of the best features from Gmail labels is the ability to decide which email notifications you get on your mobile. The best part is that you’ll be able to arrange things based on the different labels you’ve created. This means that you get to choose which emails you want visible on your mobile. As a result, unimportant emails won’t bother you anymore,  thus you’ll be more aware of your essential inbox.

Sadly, this option is not available for iOS, but for all the devices, it’s a great way to reduce the number of mobile alerts which can be pretty annoying, especially if you do get a lot of incoming mail.

Apply Gmail labels automatically

Even though some people are capable of applying labels to each message, not everyone has the time to do that. A good use for Gmail labels is that you can create several filters, so you have all of the incoming mail organized as soon as it arrives.

Just go to your Gmail settings then choose Filters and Blocked Addresses and then click ‘Create New Filter.’ Remember to keep in mind the different types of emails you receive when you’re organizing them. You can use Gmail labels for emails from certain domains to containing particular keywords.

Gain more control through the use of sub-labels

Sublabels is a category from Gmail Labels. These labels come from inside other labels. They are great tools to gain even more control over your inbox. You can implement a big label for the main work, and then use sub-labels. These sub-labels can help you organize all the emails related to individual projects. Alternatively, you could create sub-labels for each family member but still being contained in a big family label.

As you can see, there are many ways to optimize your inbox, and with Gmail labels, you can put your mark on the way you organize your email, especially if you prefer the drag and drop functionality or being confident you’re attending to emails based on priority. 

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Samantha Anacleto

Author Samantha Anacleto

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