At the moment it is an optional extra, which must be enabled in Gmail Settings under the Labs tab.
After turning it on, your inbox will be automatically labelled according to whether Gmail thinks it fits under Notifications, Bulk or Forums. What’s more the new smart labels feature operates nicely alongside your existing labels setup, so all you have to do is enable and go.
On the Gmail Blog, software engineer Stanley Chen explains:
“Bulk” mail includes any kind of mass mailing (such as newsletters and promotional email) and gets filtered out of your inbox by default (where you can easily read it later), “Notifications” are messages sent to you directly (like account statements and receipts), and email from group mailing lists gets labeled as “Forums.”
You might even want to go ahead and disable your current labels system entirely, and the filters work well in differentiating between automated email and direct messages from humans.
There’s also the ability to edit your smart filters, just like any other filter you have configured. This gives you total control over where you messages go and how you read them. We’ve got a bit of a guide about it right here, if you’re interested.
Will you use Smart Labels? Would you trust it to filter and label your emails properly? Do you use any other Gmail Labs features? Let us know in the comments below.