This week, we feature a guest blogger, McCombs sophomore Srinivasa Kadamati. He’s a Management Information Systems major and Supply Chain Management minor. His interests include DJ’ing, Starcraft & Halo, tennis, basketball, and hanging out with friends. One day, he hopes to start and run his own start-up.
Do you find yourself sorting through hundreds and hundreds of e-mails trying to find out when that essay is due, or when and where that person in your class was organizing a study session? With Gmail’s powerful, built-in features you can keep your e-mail organized so you can find information quickly and easily.
Gmail’s labels feature allows you to assign a custom tag, complete with a color and name, to any e-mail or group of e-mails. For example, let’s say you get an e-mail once a week from your Statistics professor with the homework that is assigned that week. If you assign customs labels, come test time, instead of having to search and dig for all those e-mails, you can simply click on the label on the left side and you’ll see all the e-mails tagged with that name & color.
To set up labels in Gmail:
1. First click on Settings in the top right corner.
2. Then click on the Labels tab.
3. In the ‘Labels’ section, in the Create a new label box, enter what you want to call your new label and click Create.
4. It will then appear on the list of labels underneath and on the left side of Gmail. Click the white box next to the label to pick a color for the label.
Now, whenever you receive a new e-mail that you want to tag as that label, simply click on the label on the left side and then drag and drop it into an e-mail.
Hint: You can even stack labels and tag e-mails into multiple categories.
Below, I have tagged my weekly homework assignment from my Statistics professor as ‘School’ and ‘Statistics”.
While labels alone are great for manually organizing your e-mail, for more automatic categorization, you must use this feature alongside the Filters feature.
In reference to the previous example, instead of having to manually tag and apply the label to each e-mail, you can set up a filter to automatically tag the weekly statistics e-mail with a label.
To set up a filter:
1. Open the e-mail that you want to automatically filter & tag.
2. On to the top right corner next to the ‘Reply’ button, click on the drop down triangle and select Filter messages like this.
3. Across the top of the screen you will see the Create a Filter options panel. On this panel, you can select how exactly you want to setup the filter. These are the following ways you can filter e-mails:
-by the sender(s) e-mail address(es) (From)
-by the receiver(s) e-mail address(es) (To)
-by the specific subject (Subject)
-by a certain keyword or phrase in the e-mail (Has the words)
-by not having a certain keyword or phrase in the e-mail (Doesn’t have the words)
For my statistics homework example, since I know that every week only my Statistics professor will send me the assignment, I setup my filter by the From address, and put my professor’s e-mail address:
4. Pick one or several of the filtering options, type in the necessary information, and then click Next Step.
5. Now in the drop down menu next to Apply the label, select the Label that you created earlier. If you have other e-mails that meet the same filter criteria, they will show up underneath the filter options panel, and you should check the box Also apply to _ conversations below. Then click Create filter and you are finished!
Viewing E-Mails by Label
Now that you have setup automatic filtering, or if you are only manually labeling your e-mails, to view all e-mails tagged with a particular label, just click on the name of your label from the list of labels on the left side.