Smart Labels

*Gmail: Reduce Inbox bloat with SmartLabels

If you’re like most of us, your Inbox gets bombarded with email from forums you joined, newsletters you signed up for, and other miscellaneous email messages that aren’t really all that important. All these messages really do is help bloat your inbox.

Well, there’s a Gmail lab called SmartLabels that can automatically label these messages to help get them out of your way. All you have to do is enable the lab and allow the magic to happen.

Enable the SmartLabels lab

To enable the lab, (1) click the Gear menu, (2) Settings, and then (3) Labs. Search for (4) SmartLabels, (5) enable the lab, and (6) save your changes.

View your new SmartLabels

When you return to your Inbox after enabling the SmartLabels lab, you’ll notice three new labels called Bulk, Forums, and Notifications. You might also see these labels applied to several messages. Specifically,  Gmail looks through your Inbox and automatically labels messages as follows:
  • Bulk: Messages sent to many users, such as special offers, promotions, or marketing emails.
  • Forums: Messages from forums, social groups, or Google groups you belong to--typically, groups where people post and reply to messages.
  • Notifications: Machine-generated messages from other companies that include time-sensitive or other important information. Generally, these are messages require no reply.

Color your SmartLabels

To make labels more visible, you can give them each a color. Just open the label’s color picker.


Automatically archive your messages

Gmail labels messages using filters it creates for you. By default, messages that get the Bulk label are immediately archived and therefore skip your Inbox altogether. Messages marked with the Forums or Notifications labels remain in your Inbox.

If you’d like to also archive incoming notifications or forum messages, click the label, such as Notifications, to display its messages. Then check the box that archives incoming notifications. This archives future messages, but not any currently labeled messages.

To remove existing notifications from your Inbox, too, select all messages with the Notifications label. Then open the More menu and choose Archive. When you return to your Inbox, all these messages will be gone (though you can always get back to them by clicking the Notifications label, again).

To similarly archive your forum messages, repeat these same steps for messages with the Forums label.

So, why not help your bloated Inbox and turn on SmartLabels today! Remember, with Gmail you can quickly disable any lab; just go back to the Labs tab in your Gmail Settings. And to find any archived message, either click the appropriate label or perform a search.