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Gmail labels have been around for a long time now. But sometimes it’s easy to forget what you can do with them, so here’s a short refresher.

1. Drag and drop labels: You don’t have to use the Labels dropdown to assign a label to a message. Simply drag and drop the right label from the sidebar onto a message to assign the label to it. You can also drag and drop a message onto a label instead. This archives the message after assigning the label.

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2. Color code labels: Color codes are great visual cues to help find the right messages at a glance. To add a color code to a label, right-click on the tiny arrow next to its name in the sidebar and select a color under Label color.

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3. Hide labels: You can create, delete, show/hide labels via More > Manage labels from the sidebar. Click on the Hide link for any label that you don’t want to display automatically in the sidebar. Dragging and dropping labels between the always-visible section and the More section is also an option.

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Want to disable IMAP sync for a particular label? Uncheck the Show in IMAP box next to the relevant label.

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4. Add labels to the priority inbox: If you have enabled the Priority Inbox feature, configure Gmail to display messages from a particular label in the top section. To do this, click on the tiny arrow at the far right of the Important and unread section and select a label via In Inbox and: > More options

Gmail labels are more powerful than you think Rediscover Gmail Labels and Finally Tame Your Inbox Rediscover Gmail Labels and Finally Tame Your Inbox There are plenty of tricks to deal with email overload, but there's one right under your nose that you might not be using: good old Gmail labels. Read More . It’s time you rediscovered them!

Are labels a prominent part of your Gmail workflow? We’d love to know why or why not in the comments.

Image Credit: Hands searching through file folders by Elena Elisseeva via Shutterstock

  1. fcd76218
    February 2, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Based on my personal experience, these tips work well when one has few labels. The more labels one has, the less helpful these tips are.

    "1. Drag and drop labels:"
    You can also set up filters to automatically send incoming emails to their proper labels. Of course, the more labels you have, the more filters you have to set up.

    "2. Color code labels: "
    When you have dozens or hundreds, color coding gets unwieldy. You start running out of easily distinguishable colors to differentiate between labels. Is label 'MOM' hot pink or salmon pink?

    • Akshata Shanbhag
      February 4, 2016 at 3:40 pm

      That's true. Labels (and especially the color coding feature) can be a messy business when there are too many of them.

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