Gmail is a great tool, but it falls short in terms of offering intuitive ways of sorting your inbox. Fortunately, there are easy workarounds that give you more control over finding messages. We’ll go over several of them below.
1. View All Messages From a Recent Sender
There are several tricks that help you see all email received from a particular person.
One works best if you’ve got an email from that individual recently. However, you can use it anytime you’re in your inbox.
Go to your inbox and hover the mouse over the sender’s name on a particular email. It’s on the left side of the subject line. Then, wait for the popup box to appear.
At the bottom of it, you’ll see a gray link that says Emails. Click on it to pull up a complete list of all the messages that person sent you.
Don’t see the desired sender immediately visible in your inbox? No problem. Type the person’s name or email address into the Gmail search box first. It’s at the top of the screen and has a blue magnifying glass button to the right of it. Then, click on any of the messages retrieved by the search. Put your cursor over the name and go through the same process you just learned.
2. View Messages From Any Sender
You can also get results without knowing the person’s name. Refer back to Google’s search bar and notice the small downward-facing triangle on the right-hand side.
Holding your mouse pointer on it displays a box that reads Show Search Options.
After clicking on the triangle, you’ll see a box offering various ways to locate messages.
You can specify parameters to find emails that include or do not have certain words. That option finds them in whole emails, not just the subjects. Filtering the results to only include messages with attachments is another option.
Play around with the capabilities of the search box and become familiar with them. There are also ways to find messages that arrived within a number of days from a date. Depend on those features to determine the name of your sender, if it’s someone you don’t know well and whose name you’ve maybe forgotten. Then, use the person’s Emails link to generate a message list.
If you’d prefer not to use the search options, there’s another method to try.
Like Google, Gmail recognizes advanced search operators. Type “to:bob” in the main search bar without including quotation marks. That action finds all emails you sent to people named Bob.
3. Sort Your Messages by Subject
Perhaps you need to find all the emails people have sent you about an upcoming family reunion. Go back to Google’s search bar and bring up the additional search options. One of the boxes allows searching by subject.
As you’ll recall from the previous tips, it’s also possible to use word-based search terms. Get-together, gathering, and event are just some of the things a person might call the occasion. Make sure you don’t miss pertinent emails and enter all potential descriptors. Separate them with commas.
Next, turn your attention to the dropdown list at the top of the additional search options. The default setting searches through all your emails. However, you might feel that’s too broad.
If so, change it to anything you want. The choices include all Gmail’s default folders, as well as any labels you’ve made.
What if someone tells you they sent a message, but you don’t see it in the inbox? Switch the dropdown menu to Spam or Trash. Then, if the email got misinterpreted as junk mail or you deleted it, it’s not lost.
4. Look for Messages With Particular Labels
In the last section, we briefly brought up labels. If you’re not familiar with labels, think of them as folders within Gmail. Well, it’s possible to sort your inbox with them, too. Gmail offers many labeling options.
Apply Labels to Emails
One method involves clicking on any message in the inbox. After selecting it, look at the top of the Gmail interface to see the platforms graphical buttons. Choose the one with the tag-like image. That’s Gmail’s label button. Clicking it brings up a list of all previously made labels.
You can also label several messages simultaneously by selecting their respective checkboxes (you can also do something similar to delete messages).
Do that just before clicking the label button on the top of Gmail’s interface. You can also label a message after clicking into it instead of from the main inbox.
Sort Emails by Labels
Now that we’ve gone over applying labels, let’s apply that knowledge to email sorting, courtesy of labels.
It’s very easy to do: just click the label tag either in the email itself (shown above) or in the sidebar of your inbox (shown below).
5. Automatically Apply Labels to Sent Messages
As you’ve seen here, applying a label is a fast and straightforward process. However, it’s one more thing to remember while keeping tabs on your inbox. If you’re a perpetually busy person, you might prefer not to take that step.
A free app, with available premium plans, called Gmelius automatically puts labels on sent messages.
After downloading the app, open its dashboard and find the Productivity tab. Then, look for the Send and add Labels option. Apply that option and reload your inbox. Then, check out the label icon next to the app’s send button. It looks like a small ribbon and indicates you’ve enabled auto-labeling.
To see how Gmelius works, send a message through Gmelius. Clicking the send button for an email makes a labeling box appear. Scroll through the list to choose one or use the convenient search box. Then, click the Label and Send option at the bottom.
If you end up giving Gmelius a try, it has several ways to personalize your inbox. They don’t relate to sorting messages but include other helpful possibilities. Since you know how to sort your inbox, why not do even more with this feature-rich app?
What’s Your Preferred Way to Sort Your Messages?
Sorting your Gmail inbox isn’t as straightforward as some users expect.
However, making the tips you’ve just discovered part of your everyday routine isn’t difficult. For more, check out how to chop down your giant email inbox.