Friday, May 13, 2011

How to Configure GMail's filters to Move Messages from Your Inbox

I've been using GMail for almost a month now and honestly I really liked. It's really fast and has lots of good features and extensions.

One of the things I was not really sure I was getting everything out of it was Filters. GMail's Filters allow you to manage the flow of incoming messages where you can automatically label, delete, forward, etc.
As much as I like the label feature where you visually see what "category" the message belongs to I was not able to manage that properly and since I'm now on paternity leave my inbox started flooding once I could not keep up with the tons of emails I get subscribing to many mailing lists as they all show up on my Inbox.

So, how can you apply the filters feature to move messages to other folders automatically? Where is the magic button? Actually, there is no magic button but a magic checkbox on the filter setting.

When you create a new filter, you first select the search criteria (from, to, etc) and then you choose the action you want to take for that message category.

The first option on the Choose Action panel is Skip the Inbox (Archive It) and that's the missing part here. Check that checkbox.
Now you just have to tell GMail where to move those messages. Check the Apply the label checkbox and then select the label you want.

That will give you exactly the Move To behavior and your Inbox will be much cleaner.

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