Here comes another post in the series of Tips and Tricks for Gmail. This is part 3 of the series. Here are part 1 & part 2. In this post, we’re going to explore labels, categories and organizing part of Gmail. You will learn a handful of tips and tricks for Gmail, which let you organize emails/messages in a much better way.
Labels are kind of equivalent to folders in Gmail. The email service utilizes labels in place of folders-based system, which many other email solutions utilize. This provides users with much more control over their emails and versatility. Moving emails, moving emails quickly, creating, applying and managing labels is mostly what this post is about.
At the end, I give a tip about reloading your inbox without reloading the page itself.
Create & apply a label
Labels, I have told you, are like tags. Instead of folder-based system that many email solutions offer to organize emails, labels are offered by Gmail. Unlike in folders, you can apply multiple labels to an email. They possess much more versatility than folders. How to create a label:
- Click Create new label under More toggle, to the extreme bottom side of left panel.
- Give your label a name like Personal, Friends or Work, etc. You can even select a parent label, which must exist before you nest child label under it. What’s a parent label? It’s like little broader in sense like Personal can be parent label of Friends, right? Friends label will be called child label in this case.
To apply a label to any message/label:
- Simply open the relevant email, click ribbon-like icon from Action menu and select the label you want to apply fro the drop-down.
- You can select multiple labels and apply them.
- Once a label has been applied, you should see that labeled email under that label from left panel.
- In the drop-down list, you will see a one label already defined for the email. This is most likely a system label & Gmail applied it for you automatically.
Moving emails to labels/Spam/Trash
First.. you can labels emails under certain labels like Office, Personal, etc., right? Multiple labels can be applied and labeled emails will be displayed under each label, right? What about moving? Can you move emails to labels? Yes.. Moving basically doesn’t equate to copying, just so it’s clear. An email moved will no longer be in your Primary Inbox.
Moving emails to labels:
- Open email you want to move, click folder-icon located in action menu.
- A drop-down list of labels will appear. From there, you can move emails to labels, Spam as well as Trash.
- You can even create labels right then and there and make the move
System labels are pre-defined labels, which Gmail has built for you. For automatically applying most common labels by itself. Inbox tabs, which we learnt about earlier, are basically system labels. Inbox, Starred, Drafts, Sent Mail, Chat All Mail, Spam, Trash and Important are these system labels. From Labels tab on Settings page (If you click Manage labels option, which appears after you click More, you will directly land on that tab.), you can configure these system labels too.
All that’s under section called System labels.
So now you have a bunch of labels in place like: Office, Fun, Read later, To Do, etc. And you’re actively labeling relevant emails to their correspondent labels. There’s more you should know: You can configure which labels are displayed in left side under Inbox, Starred and other system labels.
- If you click Manage labels option, which appears after you click More.
- A tab named Labels from Settings page will appear. Here you can manage your labels. You can define which labels are to be shown in the left panel, which not. Also you can rename, delete or add any labels you want. All up to you.
What are categories?
Social, Promotions, Updates and Forums are categories. They come pre-defined. Categories are basically labels, it’s just that they come by default and Gmail labels corresponding emails under them. If Inbox tabs are enabled at your side, these are those categories. Plain and simple. But if you have disabled Inbox tabs you can still see Gmail automatically labeling your emails under these categories by clicking Categories option from left-panel & selecting any category.
Move messages in tabs
Inbox tabs are basically labels, called categories as well as Inbox tabs as we learned, right? I told you how to move emails in labels, categories and Spam/Trash too, didn’t I? Another way of quickly moving emails between labels, categories or tabs is by clicking, dragging and dropping emails directly in labels, categories, etc.
Refresh inbox..without reloading page
One of the things I like about Gmail is its ability to refresh inbox; check for new emails, without having to reload the whole page. It works intuitively great. Not that other email solutions like Yahoo Mail, Outlook, etc. don’t offer this feature, but Gmail was probably the pioneer here.
How it works? Click Inbox then from Action menus, you can find a reload-like icon, click it and the inbox will be refresh.