3 Great Examples of Using Gmail Filters for Productivity

Ads by Google

gmail-filters-productivityIf you (like most of MUO readers, I suppose) receive and send quite a few emails daily, you should be using Gmail for two simple reasons: it’s free and feature-rich.

One of the best Gmail features is the ability to create and use customized Gmail filters. We’ve seen a lot of possible uses of Gmail filters already including creating an automatic email response and setting up Gmail SMS alerts. But most often, filters are used for increasing productivity and here are three examples to show you how.

1. Maintain To-Do Lists

You can send yourself email messages and store them in a separate folder until the task is completed:

Step 1: Create a label to store the task reminders.

  • Go: Settings -> Labels
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page, put the label name – TO-DO in our case – and click “Create”

Step 2: Create a filter for these messages:

Ads by Google
  • Go: Settings -> Filters
  • Create the following filter:
    • From:me
    • To:me
    • Subject:TO-DO
  • Click “Next step” and there:
    • check “Skip the inbox” (you don’t want them to get stuck in your inbox);
    • check “Star it” (you will be able to remove the star after the task is competed);
    • Apply label “TO-DO”

using gmail filters

Now whenever you want to remember to do anything, send yourself a message with the task details and don’t forget to include “TO DO” in the email subject:

using gmail filters

2. Send Reminders to Others

This one is particularly useful if you have a few people (freelancers, partners, writers, etc) you manage. You can send reminders all of them automatically.

There are two possible options to do that:

Option #1
Follow all the steps in tip 1 above but:

  • Instead of filtering messages with TO-DO, filter those that have “reminder” in the subject;
  • Instead of storing the messages in the TO-DO folder, forward them to the person you manage:

(Note: you will have to create a separate filter for each person you manage, there is no way to list two or more recipient addresses in that step as far as I know):

using gmail filters

Option #2
You can set up email reminders in services like RememberTheMilk and then automatically forward them to the people you manage.

  • First set up reminders within the time management service you are using – with RememberTheMilk this looks as follows:

    gmail filters advanced

  • Then create a Gmail filter to forward the reminder to the person you manage (just like in the above step but set up the search parameters accordingly i.e. the forwarded messages should be sent from the time management tool you are using):

    gmail filters advanced

3. Filter Google Calendar Events

You can organize your Google Calendar reminders more effectively by setting them up to go straight to your EVENTS folder.

Step 1: Create a label to store your events:

  • Go: Settings -> Labels
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the page, put the label name – EVENTS in our case – and click “Create”

Step 2: Create a filter to organize your events: set up all messages from “calendar-notification@google.com” to you to go straight to your EVENTS folder:

gmail filters advanced

More Gmail Productivity Tips and Tricks

Useful Tips for Email Productivity in General:

And how do you get organized using email filters and rules? Do you have any tips to share?

Join live MakeUseOf Groups on Grouvi App Join live Groups on Grouvi
Awesome Internet (and Tips)
Awesome Internet (and Tips)
1443 Members
Stay Invisible Online
Stay Invisible Online
1039 Members
Deep Web Links & Tips
Deep Web Links & Tips
704 Members
Web Security & Privacy
Web Security & Privacy
520 Members
Music Apps & Sites
Music Apps & Sites
397 Members
Become Better :thumbsup:
Become Better :thumbsup:
328 Members
Affiliate Disclamer

This article may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
New comment

Please login to avoid entering captcha

Log In