Creating Email Filters in Google Apps

28Jan, 2012

It can be tough to keep track of the dozens of emails we receive each day, and important messages can easily be lost in the more routine emails the inundate our inboxes.  In Gmail or Google Apps, you can create an email filter to automatically “Label” or categorize messages, and have them bypass your inbox.


For this TechBlog Post, I am going to focus on two categories of email I receive a lot of each day:  First, Groupon, Living Social, and Google Offers.  I don’t want to disable these notifications, but I do want them to bypass my inbox where I can review them later.  Second, my school’s listserve, where students try to buy and sell textbooks, find rooms or roommates, etc.  Some days there can be more than 10 of these emails, and while I do want to review them at some point, I don’t want my phone buzzing each time one comes in.  Google filters to the rescue!


This screenshot shows a typical view of my inbox with the listserve emails (wagner-want) and groupons/offers highlighted.  To start making a filter, click the little arrow in the right side of the search box.

In the drop-down that appears, we want to enter the criteria for our filter.  Every email from my school’s listserve has [wagner-wants] at the beginning of the subject line, so I enter that in the subject field, and click “Create filter with this search >>”.



In the next screen that appears, we tell gmail what it should do with any emails that match the criteria.  In this case, I want it to have these messages skip the inbox, and also apply a Label so they will all be grouped together. We also want it to apply the filter to all existing emails that match the criteria.  Next, click “Choose Label”.



Choose “New Label”…



Enter the name for your new label:



We’re ready to create the filter!  Click “Create Filter”









You should see this notification:


We’re done!  Our new label is now listed in the sidebar, and any new emails will bypass

he inbox!



To do the same for Groupon, Living Social, and Google Offers, we follow all of the same steps above, but create three separate filters that all send emails to the same label.

Thanks for reading, and may your inbox be less cluttered!