Time Management with Gmail Filters and Labels
|Time Management with Gmail Filters and Labels|
|Written by Ben|
|Wednesday, 19 May 2010 20:33|
If you've never used filters and labels to sort your email, you're missing out on a great time management tool. To clarify, I don't mean just using filters for spam (Gmail does that automatically for you). Filters and labels are to be used to sort and prioritize emails. In case you are not quite sure what I am talking about, filters are located at Gmail >> Settings (upper right link) >> Filters (a tab link).
Now I tend to check any email that comes into my inbox within seconds of it arriving. It's an addiction. And it's compounded by the fact that I receive a ridiculous number of emails each day. I'm on mailing lists, I receive Facebook and Linkedin notices (some people don't even email any more!), emails from other accounts used on other projects are routed to my gmail account. It's awful. On top of that, every message that is delivered to my inbox rings my phone.
If I checked every email I received in my inbox as I currently have the compulsion to do, I'd never get anything done. So I use filters to intercept most of my email, label it, and then instruct the incoming messages to "Skip the Inbox". Viola, the number of emails being delivered to my inbox is cut 80% - 90%. I can then go through my labels (that are actually acting like folders) when I am ready to switch to a different project.
The key is to not check the "mark as read" box. Unread emails will cause the label to be bold with the number of unread emails next to it, i.e. Mailing Lists (12).
If you have a similar inbox checking disorder, then this technique is a must.